In today’s news, ahead of the tail end of the Boston Celtics’ home-and-home series with the Detroit Pistons, Kyrie Irving has cut off his signature (as of this summer) afro. Sources tell me that Uncle Drew fans across the league are devastated.
After a long summer working his way back from his season-ending knee surgery to clean up a bacterial infection, Irving made his away across the continental United States (he may or may not have been traveling in a funky van with his closest retired NBA associates) to dominate the summer workout circuits. The afro paired with his funky headband took him to Miami and the Bahamas with Kevin Durant to face off against stiff NBA competition, including Kelly Olynyk (and that James Harden guy, I guess).
On the strength of such a strong summer circuit, much anticipation surrounded Irving as Media Day and training camp approached. Some fans were spotted on the internet making outlandish predictions for this season simply because of a (lack of a) haircut. Imagine being that ridiculous online.
Headband Frorie really might go for 60 at some point this year if the Celtics haven’t already won the game by halftime— Cousin Steez (@AndrewDoxy) September 29, 2018
Through the first 6 games of the season, Frorie (Afro + Kyrie = Frorie) Irving averaged a career-low 14 points, 5.5 assists, a career-high 4.8 rebounds while shooting 39% from the field, 24% from 3 and 69% from the free-throw line. Although some might describe Irving’s start to the season as nice, especially with the team owning a 4-2 record, others are disappointed at his mediocre (for him) numbers.
Personally, I believe in the Law of Funky Averages, so I wasn’t overly concerned. Objectively cool things have a way of becoming objectively good over time. Alas, Kyrie Irving has chosen to forgo the afro in favor of a more traditional look. Perhaps he felt that this afro, in particular, didn’t have buckets in it. And to that, I say, “fair enough.”
In the immediate aftermath of this devasta- I mean, newsworthy event, Kyrie Irving brought his talents to Boston’s shootaround this morning.
Kyrie’s new hair seems to be working. pic.twitter.com/akgv56Mj1h— Chris Grenham (@chrisgrenham) October 30, 2018
If Irving starts to go on a tear following this game, the eternal afro/no afro debate will come to a close. I contend that Irving has been fantastic at everything except for getting buckets, and his career-high rebounding averages is a perfect microcosm of this claim. He’s been a phenomenal leader, has played within the offense way more often than not, and he’s probably averaging a career-high in hustle player per game, if that were trackable in one stat.
But getting buckets is Uncle Drew’s schtick, so I can’t help but respect Irving’s dedication to his brand. Perhaps we’ll see the afro once more down the line. Until then, I’ll settle for the Celtics continuing to rack up wins.
Catch Kyrie Irving and the 4-2 Celtics in action as they take on the Detroit Pistons at the TD Garden tonight at 7:30 PM EST.