New Haircut, New Lows

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February 17, 2013 by NowhereButPop

by Andrew Doscas

This is the first time since Eddie Murphy was caught with a transsexual hooker that the Los Angeles Lakers have been a bad team.  So, you can understand why this is weird to me.  For the first time in my life, as a fan of the NBA, the Lakers may not make the playoffs.  While sportscasters and commentators have been trying to figure out why they’ve been playing so poorly, the answer came to me last night, driving home from work.  The reason why the Lakers are losing is because of Steve Nash’s new hairdo.

It’s not merely the hair, but his new, Conan-esque haircut embodies exactly what is wrong with this incarnation of the Lakers in way similar to how Bob Rock playing bass on St. Anger personified everything wrong with post-1988 Metallica.  Nash’s hair is a gigantic symbol for not only himself, but for the team trying to be something they are not: Showtime 2.0.  Even before the season started, one sports writer called this Lakers team The New Showtime Lakers.  They were supposed to be a fast, well transitioning offensive juggernaut that would simply steamroll through other teams.  Instead we got a slow, sluggish team that can’t play defense and would rather spend most of the game arguing with each other.

I don’t know why Nash felt that as soon as he got to L.A. he had to get a Hollywood haircut.  He’s not Hollywood; he’s the long-haired rebel who gave Mark Cuban the finger by winning two MVP awards in his first two seasons after leaving Dallas.[1]  If anyone isn’t supposed to be a Laker, it’s him, let alone a 40 year old Steve Nash.  He’s not a West, Jabbar, Johnson, Worthy, or Kobe; he’s someone who’s always been counted out, an underdog.  For him to come to the Lakers, and worse get a new haircut that makes him look like a Canadian Conan O’Brien who just woke up, screams out “I’m trying my hardest to be something I’m not-a typical Laker”.  He’s not flashy, or fast, or particularly good at defense as past Laker greats have been.  It’s all for the imagery, not for the actuality.

That’s the problem with this Lakers team, for them the team itself is all about imagery and not actual playing.  A team made up of an impatient Kobe Bryant, an old Steve Nash, a disgruntled Dwight Howard, and a displaced Pau Gasol is never going to work-in fact it’s always going to fail.  Throw in a stubborn head coach who won’t change his system to fit the team or even give defense a chance, and you’ve basically guaranteed this team will go nowhere.[2]  What started out as a disjointed team trying to accomplish two things at once in living up to the massive hype surrounding them, and figuring out how to play together, soon became a team with no identity trying to create a false one for themselves within D’Antoni’s seven seconds or less offense.

What we are watching is a team that is trying to be something they are not, and that is a typical Los Angeles Lakers team.  The problem though is that they are anything but that.  They aren’t young, they don’t play defense, they can’t play together, and they all hate each other.  I take that back, they have one quality that all other Lakers teams have had.  Howard is not a good fit for any team that Kobe plays on, Pau has to be allowed back in the paint, Metta World Peace has to go back to being Ron Artest resident psychopath of the NBA, and Steve Nash has to stop running up and down the court with well quaffed hair.

Just like Malone and the Glove did in 2004, Nash and Howard joined the Lakers this past summer because they thought it’d be easy.  But like Glove, and Karl Malone especially, Nash and Howard quite fit in well with Kobe’s team.  But because you have a dominant player like Howard on the same court they will both struggle to play their own game independent of the other one.  This is where a young Steve Nash would come in handy, someone who has the energy to at least try an orchestrate an offense that utilizes both of their different talents.  That’s the problem with Nash’s hair, it represents trying to do something because it’s easy, even if it isn’t for the best.  The hair, just like the team is trying too hard to be glamorous and flashy, but it isn’t them.  Nash and these Lakers aren’t Showtime 2.0; they look more like a bunch of grumpy old men lost in the spotlights of Tinseltown.

[1] For this he will have my eternal gratitude.

[2] I’m not a Lakers fan, but I am pro-Lakers.  The Lakers are crucial to the continued success of the NBA; see game 6 of the 1980 Finals for further proof.


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