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Rip Hamilton Introduces the Use of Grooming, or Lack Thereof, to a Baller's Advantage

NBA players get a haircut before every game, but for some, there are limits to their personal grooming. From The Boston Globe, the story of Rip Hamilton and his dastardly claws. Apparently, last summer Hamilton and Ray Allen crossed paths at a Jumpman event in Vegas. It was there that Ray Ray politely told Hamilton that, because his long, long talons, the Celtics guard had to wear an arm sleeve during last season's Celtics/Pistons series: ↵
↵⇥"He was saying how when he saw me come out the next game with an arm sleeve on, they started laughing about it," said Allen. "And then I said, 'Look, man, I'm wearing an arm sleeve because ...' And then I picked his hand up and looked at his nails. And his nails were way out. He said, 'Man, I didn't know I cut people up like that. People tell me all the time that I need to cut my nails, but I don't know what I'm doing.' I told him, 'Come on, dog, you know why you're using them.'" ↵
↵I'm not buying this for a second. I've seen at least 16 pictures of Rip walking out of the locker room with a custom-made toiletries case. Or maybe he's just so fastidious about the rest of himself that he never gets around to the nails. But more likely, Hamilton -- one of those tooth and (cha-ching!) nail -- competitors who will win at any cost, and plays for a team known for getting physical and never backing down, has found a way to get that extra edge. Thanks, I'll be here all night. ↵
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↵So what if Hamilton is doing this to gain an unnatural (or, umm, too natural) advantage? If all NBA players are willing to let themselves look like they just stepped off a plane from Spain -- where it's customary for ballers to let their stubble grow special for games, and make sure their hair is sweaty before tip-off -- there could be plenty of new directions to take this in. For example, what about a beard that actually served as an extra set of arms and legs? That would almost be like having an extra man on the floor, but perfectly legal. It would totally change the game ... ↵
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↵Hold on, I just realized something: Drew Gooden already figured this out. And I thought he was expressing his respect for the Greek god Posieden. Now if only we could crack the strategic secret of the ducktail.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.