Not only did the Oklahoma City Thunder lose one hell of a basketball player on Saturday night, but they also got rid of one of the greatest pop culture icons to ever capture this city in James Harden’s beard.
I’ve never seen this town become so fixated on one object. Launched by cool (and now discounted) t-shirts and sparked by a viral video made by the whitest people in the world, the beard became a local pop culture phenomenon. It reached it’s climax during the Thunder’s 2012 NBA Finals run. Everyone wore fake beards and posted pics of them to their Facebook walls. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think the entire city was going to a stoning. One shopping center owner covered his building with a giant beard. Hell, James Harden’s became so popular that I got all hipstery and begged for it stop. I was concerned it would become overexposed. I guess we don’t have to worry about that ever happening.
Even though the magic and popularity of James Harden’s beard well never be matched, we decided to come up with a list of 11 possible replacements. None of these suggestions will match the furry goodness that was The Beard, and I doubt opponents will ever fear them, but maybe they’ll inspire a very white viral video or a funny t-shirt.
Here they are:
11. Kendrick Perkin’s Old Man Goattee
If James Harden’s beard was the Devon Tower, then Kendrick Perkin’s old man goatee would be a new Braum’s. You can’t even compare the two.
10. Jeremy Lamb’s abnormally small head
You know what’s funny. When I first saw the trade report on my phone, I was so worked up from the OU game that I misread Jeremy Lamb is Jeremy Lin. My reaction was “Holy Fuck.” Then I sobered up, re-read the post and saw it was Jeremy Lamb. Then my reaction was “Who?”
Anyway, after going back and reading pre-draft scouting reports and draft night grades, I’m pretty convinced that Jeremy Lamb is going to be a great fit for the Thunder. Mind you, I read all those reports while drinking orange and blue vodka Kool-Aid, but still, the guy should be a key contributor in a few years and give the Thunder more flexibility in match-ups. That being said, what’s going on in that pic? Is his head that small or did they give him the largest hat ever made? I’m confused.
9. Thabo Sefolosha’s weird basketball crown tattoo
The game may have chosen Thabo Sefolosha, but lets hope it didn’t choose that tattoo.
8. Sam Presti’s Huge Balls
We won’t know if the this was a good move or not for many years, but give Sam Presti credit for having the balls to make a controversial, unpopular, blockbuster deal. The safe route was to do the logical thing and wait things out. He didn’t. In Presti we trust.
7. Nick Collison’s Freckles
Freckles just don’t have the same charm as an awesome beard, do they?
6. Kevin Durant’s Monthly Proactive Shipment
In addition to become one of the top two basketball players on the planet, Kevin Durant’s also done a great job of getting his acne under control. Maybe he’ll do what that pretty blonde girl who I’ve never heard of does and endorse Proactive or something.
5. Eric Mayor’s Knee Brace
“Brace Like Maynor” doesn’t have the same ring to it as “Beard Like Harden.”
4. Kevin Martin’s anonymity
Whenever I’d watch a Rockets game over the past few years, I’d always find myself saying “Oh yeah, they have Kevin Martin. I forget about him. He’s pretty decent” That’s the type of player he is. Pretty decent, but forgettable. Although he doesn’t have the playmaking and highlight reel abilities of Harden, I think he’ll fit in nicely as a volume bench scorer. Plus, he’s an expiring contract. I think we forgot how valuable those can be in the NBA.
3. Tweeting in ALL CAPS like Hasheem “The Dream” Thabeet
I’m not sure what’s more worrisome. Is it that the Thunder’s back-up center doesn’t know how to turn off the caps-lock button on his iPhone, or is it that he thinks typing in all-caps is normal? Either way, warning sirens are going off right now. Although I’d rather have Hasheem Thabeet as a back-up center than this guy:
2. Serge Ibaka’s Douche Baggieness
I took some heat last spring for letting people know that Serge Ibaka has some douche bag in him. Well, I still think he’s kind of a douche bag, but he’s also a really good and talented basketball player. Maybe we can all wear fashionable European scarves in support of him?
1. Russell Westbrook’s Glasses
This is probably the best thing we have to replace the beard. ESPN is already featuring Russ and his frames in a commercial, and the glasses are recognizable look. The only problem is that they’re not The Beard. Anyone can wear glasses, but only a few select people can grow something on their face that people will remember for years. RIP, Beard.