Something is not right with the world. Xuewen Zhang, a CBA player posted this picture on Weibo on Tuesday.
Yes, that is Kawhi Leonard second from the right, and yes, it appears he has cut his braids! SOMETHING JUST FEELS WRONG NOW.
The Spurs forward has had his braids since birth, as far as I’m concerned. They are a huge part of him and — hold on. This inspired me to do actual research into the origin of the braids since they have been so cruelly chopped away.
Of we want to get into specifics it’s obviously not since birth but he has had them since at least 8th gradde because I found this picture of his old student ID and it’s very blurry but THERE ARE THE BRAIDS. And that was in 2004. He also wore them throughout high school and college — they were already his signature back then.
Going a bit further back, say, 10 years, and we see a chunky little Kawhi, without his braids. I’m going to put this at 1994. Check out this photo published in the San Antonio News-Express. Take a moment to awwww.
According to the same article, Kawhi did not have his braids in 1997 either (he was 6 then). OK, now let’s do some math. Let’s assume Kawhi got the braids at the start of middle school, which was 2002. He was 11. Kawhi is now 25. That means he would have had these braids for 14 years.
Fourteen! Even if that photo ID was the very first year he had them, that’s still 12 years. That is a very long time to rock a consistent hairstyle. I get it. Perhaps it was time for a change. After all, LeBron has finally gone bald (via shaving, folks).
But I guess Xuewen Zhang was a little sad about the braids being gone too, because he ran the photo through an app, FaceU, to bring them back.
Yikes. Not sure why it missed the trainer on the right, maybe because he’s so short. He is standing on his tippy toes, after all.
Alas, the braids are gone. RIP.