Possibly the most well-known beard in NBA history, James Harden’s facial hair is a defining feature of this awesome Brooklyn Nets player. The idea of James Harden with no beard would seem almost unimaginable to many of his fans. And yet, James didn’t start his NBA career with a beard. And he has even offered to shave it off if the price is right.
Here we take an in-depth look at the legend behind the beard, when James started growing it, the times he’s appeared without a beard, and what the future may hold for the iconic beard and mustache.
James Harden’s Beard – the Origin Story
It’s always a surprise to learn that James didn’t decide to grow a beard for any particular reason. There are still plenty of pictures around a clean-shaven Harden, notching up Arizona State Sun Devils’ buckets when he used to play college basketball.
Fans noticed that Harden’s beard first began to make an appearance in 2009. It was his during rookie season with the Oklahoma City Thunder – who had taken him third overall in the draft.
Harden has said in several interviews that he didn’t deliberately set out to grow a beard. He simply got a little lazy with his shaving, and the rest is history. Initially, the beard didn’t include a mustache – the mustache was added later.
Today James Harden without a beard is inconceivable to many of his fans, and the NBA in general.
When did The Beard Become a Legend?
Somewhere around 2011 is when Harden’s beard started to become a talking point. By this time its thick, luxurious growth and meticulous grooming had resulted in the creation of an impressive facial accessory that gave Harden a commanding and confident presence.
He has said that his beard did provide a boost to his confidence on the court. If this is the case, it’s certainly paid off. Harden’s prowess at the sport is legendary. The highest-scoring left-handed player in NBA history is also recognized as possibly the strongest shooting guard the sport has ever seen.
Since its initial appearance a decade ago, Harden’s beard has become an icon that’s as famous as the man himself. The beard plays a key role in the player’s outfits on and off the pitch. Well-known for his distinctive style, Harden’s wardrobe is designed to complement his beard. The result is an enviable look that’s completely his own.
Harden’s beard is so well-recognized and revered that it’s become the player’s defining feature. Many people refer to him simply as, “the beard” – an affectionate title that pays tribute to his stunning facial hair. His fans even show up at his NBA games wearing fake beards, as a tribute to their hero.
How Does James Harden Look Without a Beard?
Although it’s been a good few years since James went cleanshaven, there are plenty of pictures around that show him as a fresh-faced teen back in his college days.
Even without the beard, it’s fair to say that Harden still cuts an imposing figure. Weighing in at 220lb and 6′ 5″ tall, Harden has a significant physical presence, both on the court and off. The beard simply adds a little something extra to his already impressive persona.
Has Harden Ever Shaved?
From time to time there is considerable speculation regarding whether Harden will ever part with this beard. As far as we’re aware, the closest Harden came to getting rid of the iconic beard is an April Fool joke perpetrated by Space City Scoop. A post claimed that Harden had shaved his beard in 2015, after losing a bet to his life-long friend DeMar DeRozan.
At the time, fans who fell for the ruse became alarmed. They were convinced that, in true Samson style, Harden’s alleged lack of beard would interfere with his performance during the season. Thankfully the joke was soon exposed. Harden’s beard was as large and lovely as it’s always been.
Since then, the beard has remained a focal point of the player’s appearance.
With regard to who is charged with trimming and maintaining the beard, Harden says he doesn’t do the job himself. Only his trusted barber is allowed to do the skilled trimming necessary to keep the beard looking its best.
Could We See James Harden With No Beard Permanently?
Given the level of interest that the beard has generated over the years, it’s little surprise that he’s been asked on several occasions if he would ever shave it off.
The beard plays in his overall image and persona. So it would seem unlikely that he’d simply shave it off on a whim. He has, however, indicated a set of circumstances in which he’d be prepared to see the beard go.
In a recent interview, he has said that he’d be prepared to have his beard shaved off, but only on the basis that $10 million is donated to charity. To date, nobody has come forward to take Harden up on his offer, and so the beard remains!
What Does the Future Hold for The Beard?
Harden’s recent move to the Brooklyn Nets provides a further opportunity for the talented shooting guard to show off his prowess on the court. Having been with the Nets since the beginning of the year, his impressive performance has been pivotal in securing the ongoing success of the team over the past few months.
Whether Harden decides to shave his beard off in years to come remains to be seen. What is clear is that his formidable talent and hard work ensure that “the beard” will continue to dominate the court in the foreseeable future.