Through Thick And Thin...
First of all, I think this is the funniest story in all of sports. The fact that this isn't talked about more blows my mind. Everybody loves to talk about how LeBron isn't better than MJ and that he can't win a title by himself, but this story should take the spotlight away from all of that. The King of the NBA, LeBron James has some major insecurities going on and he is doing everything he possibly can to hide it. In 1999, LeBron found himself a freshman at St. Vincent St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio. The phenom had everything going for him. He was starting (and dominating) at the Varsity level, their team was on their way to a perfect record, and he had a perfectly normal hairline. Although he maybe didn't think of it now, this is definitely a time in life where he would wish he could revisit over and over and over again. Maybe just to take a look in a mirror and truly appreciate what he had right in front of him.
He did it. LeBron did it. Not only did he successfully make it through his first year in High School, but he led his team to an undefeated season and a state championship. LeBron had arrived, and so did his hair! Holy cow where did this tremendous growth come from?! I would be willing to put money on the fact that this would be the hairstyle LeBron would want to revisit more than anything. Not only did he average 25.3 PPG, 7.4 Rebounds and 5.5 Assists, but he had one smooth ass fro going on as well. I can only imagine this kid's confidence level. What could possibly go wrong in his life? He has it all.
Junior year rolls around and LeBron is as big as ever. Coming off a feature in Sports Illustrated where they dub him with the title of "The Chosen One", he is ready to take down High School basketball and go for that 3rd straight state championship. LeBron is now averaging 28 PPG, 8.9 Rebounds and 6 Assists, clearly leading the state in each category. His stats continue to improve on the court, his fame continues to explode on and off the court, but his hairline starts to take a turn towards bald... Granted, it's not an awful hairline. In the picture to the right you can clearly see that is the case. But you can also notice a difference between his Sophomore and Junior year. You can almost sense that something catastrophic is going to take place in the near future.
Coming off an absolutely heart breaking season in which they lost in the state championship, LeBron is recommitted and dialed in more than ever. This is the year that we as a Country would be introduced to a staple in LeBron's game day attire... The headband. Yes he would occasionally bust it out every so often during his Junior season, but this is where we would see what he would look like while playing for the rest of his career. Notice how thin the headband he wore is. It's just your average headband! Not too thick, nothing too special about it. This would come into play down the road... One has to wonder as well, with all the stress that LeBron went through his Senior year with being ruled ineligible to play a few times, did this take a tole on him and his hair growth? I would like to think it did.
High School is over and LeBron makes one of the most important decisions of his life. Granted everyone and their dog knew it would happen, but he officially decides to forego his NCAA basketball career by signing an agent and entering the NBA Draft. Fast forward a few years and LeBron is one of the games newest and biggest stars. This is a surprise to nobody. Being selected first overall by his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers (sketchy), it was a match made in Heaven for the city and state that had already fallen in love with him. Through the next several years, this is something that everybody would begin to notice. Why are LeBron's headbands so thick? How the hell does that thing even stay on his head? Where did his hair go? All very real, and valid questions. LeBron's hair was slowly disappearing, and as hard as he tried to hide it every time he stepped out on the court, he just could not do it. Yeah, it was funny to talk about and weird to look at, but nobody really gave it much more thought or attention than that.
July 8, 2010 LeBron found himself sitting in front of a camera in a YMCA gymnasium while the whole world was awaiting his decision. The previous season, the Cavaliers were knocked out of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics and Cleveland fans were terrified of what they saw. As game 6 ended, LeBron exited the court and took off his jersey on the way to the locker room. The ESPN commentators even said, "will this be the last time LeBron James wears a Cleveland Cavaliers jersey?". Fast forward a few months and here we are. LeBron, sitting across from Jim Gray, made the announcement that he would be taking his talents to South Beach to join the Miami Heat. A lot of people focused on what the team would be like, LeBron, Wade and Bosh, would they not only be able to win a title, but how many? My thoughts and attention turned towards something else... How would the warm weather down in Miami help or hurt his hair growth? I couldn't imagine he would be feeling a lot of stress, moving to a nice tropical city, joining two other all-star players and being the favorites to win the NBA championship. Maybe his hair would start to cut him some slack and grow back a little.
2014 rolls around and LeBron has made the decision to head back to his hometown of Cleveland and play for the Cavs once more. The Nation is captivated by this story, as the biggest player in all of sports has decided to return home. Of course it being LeBron James, he does not shy away from the media attention in the least. In an interview given by Rachel Nichols on CNN about his decision to return to Cleveland, fans were given another surprise as well. LEBRON HAS HAIR AGAIN!!! I can't quite believe my eyes! Seemingly overnight, the superstar has sprouted hair once more, looking like he did back at St. Vincent St. Mary's High School. LeBron is coming home, and he's bringing a luscious head of hair with him.
Back To Reality
All good things must come to an end, and this good thing came to an end pretty damn fast. Only a matter of days after LeBron reintroduced his hairline to the world, we were all shocked to find out what on earth was going on with his head now. Who is this old man wearing a Cavs practice jersey? It looks like LeBron, but in 30 more years! Not now, couldn't be now. We just saw LeBron a few days earlier and he was looking as good as he ever has. The sad reality set in... The King will be dealing with this problem most likely for the rest of his life. Yes, it's sad. He can't grow hair. But the fact he goes to such drastic measures to attempt hiding it or getting it fixed is what absolutely fascinates me. I wish LeBron all the best in Cleveland and truly hope he can eventually bring those poor fans a championship, but as far as his hair goes, I'm rooting for it to keep bouncing back and forth like a beach ball a Nickleback concert.