A beard can be defined as the source of a man’s power that is gauged by its shear awesomeness. Growing a beard is a God given gift (have you seen Jesus’ beard?) and is an issue that should not be taken likely. As a man who can not grow a proper beard, I must admit that I am envious of the many men around the world who have the incredible talent to not appear to be an 17 year old boy. This is most evident in the NBA. There are a lot of players that love to express their individualism by allowing their face growth to grow and be shaped into various degrees of manliness. I know this has been done before, but this is going to be a Post Up first, as we have a Beard showdown of who has the best beard.
The process of choosing the NBA beards was a difficult one. There were hundreds of Google images and plenty of players that should be on this list but did not make it (maybe I’ll do an all-time list) The scale is in the following categories:
Fullness: How full is a players beard. Are there holes? Does it look like whiskers?
Intimidation: How intense is the beard. Would you want to fist fight a guy with that kind of beard?
Well Kept: Do they pay attention to their beard or would it be hard to differentiate them from Tom Hanks in Cast Away?
Style: If you are a lady, does that beard make you want to say “Can I have yo numba? Can I have it?”
Manliness: As men, does the beard allow you to give the universal “bearded guy head nod” but stays classy at the same time.
Each category is out of 10 and we are looking at facial hair as a whole. The numbers are then crunched and calculated through our rigorous algorithm, also know as “taking the average,” and out comes the IBR or the Incredible Beard Rating.
Starting from the best to the worst (MXC host voice) Lets get it on!
Carlos Boozer IBR= 8.8
First Impression: “He has a very classy beard, it has a very good shape and it is very full. I like how it is the opposite from whats going on with the top of his head.”
Well Kept: 10
Carlos Boozer may not be a legend when it comes basketball, but he will always be a legend here. His beard is very fresh, like MC Hammer in the 90’s fresh. The most critical aspect of the beard is that it is interchangeable – it can wear a suit, it can go to the beach, it can go to a wedding. It is basically the MVB’s (most valuable beard) of beards because it is able to do a lot of things in variable aspects. There may be times I believe that Carlos spends more time trimming his beard than he does playing defense. But, if he can produce a beard that swank, then by all means continue to do so. Basketball talents fade, but beards are forever.
LeBron James IBR = 8.2
First Impression: “His beard makes up for his hair line”
Well Kept: 9
LeBron is not getting a whole lot of love on Post Up this season. Coming in second place, his beard is so close to winning, but while his hair has volume, it lacks fullness. Also it is a bit wild. To me he needs to get hair plugs from that beard to the frontal portion of his forehead thus evening it out. What really knocked LeBron off was his pencil thin mustache which is odd because LeBron has such a great understanding of assists yet lacks to apply that when trimming his mexi-stache. Oh well, he must be busy being the best basketball player in the world or something.
Anthony “The Brow” Davis IBR = 8.0
First Impression: “Holy Eyebrows”
Well Kept: 7
This is about facial hair people and that includes the eyebrows. Yeah he has a scruffy look to the facial hair he wants to call a beard. However, the brow is just one of the most intimidating thing in the NBA. A large part of Davis’ defensive skill comes from mesmerizing his opponent into submission. That or the thing is just distracting. The brow is very crisp and clean, and goes well with just about anything. Anthony Davis- never shave your brow because with great brow comes great responsibility.
Mike Woodson IBR = 7.0
First Impression: “Who cuts his goatee? Does he use an outline? Is it sharpied? Why is it so perfect? He kind of looks like a black Mr. Potato Head and his goatee is a removable piece.”
Well Kept: 10
My girlfriend is just in shock and awe at the beard goatee combo that is Mike Woodson’s face. The first thing she said was that it is beautiful. Now at first you may sit and think this beard is photo shopped. I am please to let you know that Mike Woodson has his beard trimmed everyday and his hard work shows. His beard/goatee combo looks like a baby bib that gently sits around his lips. If that isn’t love and care for a beard, I don’t want to know what is. Yeah, it may not be the scariest, but it is definitely the sexiest.
Chris “Birdman” Andersen IBR = 6.8
First Impression “Tattoos”
Well Kept: 4
Birdman’s beard is an American muscle car of beards – looks good and is really loud. It compliments his tattoos and piercings in a very manly way. When he had the 3 foot Mohawk it completed the set. Now Birdman spends the rest of his days as an aspiring lumberjack or future ex con. His beard is fierce and scary, but not all that sexy. We all know that the ladies prefer those sexy beards first. Still, Birdman’s beard is pretty epic, and that earns him a pretty good IBR.
James Harden IBR= 6.2
First Impression: “A razor would get lost in the hairy woods that is his beard”
Well Kept: 1
At first the beard thing was cute. Then cool. The epic. Then “Eh” with a Kanye shoulder shrug. Now James Harden’s beard looks like he is trying to nail a part on a remake of Cast Away. For the record though, I would totally watch that. Harden’s Beard is no doubt manly, yet somehow is beginning to become its own being. I swear I saw the beard swat away a contested layup during a Rockets game I was watching. At some point Harden needs to go on Match.com and hook his beard up with a comb, or at the very least a small trimmer. Harden is this low on this list because put him in the right clothes and you would assume he is not the starting shooting guard for the Houston Rockets but rather that he was about to ask you for some spare change.
Kevin Love IBR= 6.0
First Impression: “So easy a caveman can do it”
Well Kept: 5
Kevin Love is one of the best power forwards and also has a pretty good beard. Remember, the bar is set at 8.8 so a 6.0 is pretty good. It is the kind of beard you grow and get food or keys lost in. This is a beard of power, while it loses points in style and grooming, it gains points in the shear manliness of it. I would like to believe that the beard’s manliness is attributed to those Right Guard endorsements, supplying him an unlimited supply of facial shampoos. Is Kevin Love single? I hear Ke$ha has a thing for guys with beards. That could totally happen.
John Salmons IBR= 4.0
First impression: “Kind of looks like he has a paint brush on his chin”
Well Kept: 5
John Salmons Mustache Goatee combo has taken a while for John Salmons to grow. At this point in his career his once trademark goatee is now an unruly force of chin hair, possibly plotting world domination. Seriously, give John a monocle and you have your next Bond villain. Salmons facial hair may be lacking in the intimidation and lacks the grooming of a Carlos Boozer, yet it is still manly which is something I can respect.
Kendrick Perkins IBR = 3.4
First Impression: “Looks like a little bush, or a black Egyptian Pharaoh”
Well Kept: 7
Kendrick Perkins is on this list because his hair style was pretty different enough to place. Also my girlfriend goggled bad beards and he came up frequently. Where do you begin? His goatee looks like his hair is attempting to depart from the rest of his head. The little blotch of hair that does not sit on his chin but under it is enough reason alone to be placed at the bottom of the list. Yeah there are a lot of facial hairs in the NBA, but none quite like this. Perkins shaves like he plays on offense- incredibly indecisive. I mean either choose a goatee or shave it off. But this? Not like this Kendrick, not like this.