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Ranking of the top 15 best bald NBA players to ever play basketball!
When it comes to being the best in basketball, Physique, commitment, determination, and innate desire to be the best are what separates great players from the rest of the pack. But could lack of hair also help make a great player? Obviously not, but there is one thing not worth denying: some of the greatest NBA players to have ever graced the court had one thing in common: they were bald. So, who were they? Join me as we rank some of the best bald NBA players to have ever played basketball.
Hair, especially grey hair, symbolizes wisdom in many cultures. But when it comes to sports, just as their haired counterparts, bald guys dominate a considerable portion of the sports world. This is quite evident in basketball, where some of the greatest players have rocked short or no hair throughout their careers. So stick around to the end as we highlight those who played in the NBA basketball League and look at what made them successful in the sports.
Who are the best bald players in NBA history?
We've compiled a 15 all-time best bald NBA players list based on credible ranking publications and fans' opinion polls. The list might also act as the best bald black NBA players because, except for Jason Kidd, all our players on the list are black. A spoiler alert is, therefore, in effect. So, without further ado, let's jump straight to it.
15. Magic Johnson
Our list couldn't be complete without this legendary player who would make it into the top five of many basketball fans and is considered the greatest point guard of all time. Though he is rocking a fully shaved head now and on most occasions of his playing era, it is also worth noting that there are times in his playing days that he went on with a head full of hair, thus accounting for him starting the list for us.
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14. Antonie Walker
Walker, a three-time NBA all-star, is most notably known for winning the 1996 NCAA Championship with his college Kentucky, his seven-year career with one of the biggest NBA teams, the Boston Celtics, and his 2006 NBA championship with the Miami heat. He played his entire career rocking a hairless head.
13. Lamar Odom
He is known for his post-NBA life and relationship with the reality star Khloe Kardashian which has somehow overshadowed his NBA legacy. But, unknown to many, Lamar was a pretty good player before he was let go by the New York Knicks in 2014. He played his entire career bald and is a two-time champion with the LA Lakers.
12. Ray Allen
In his 18-season career, Ray Allen is widely considered one of the greatest three-pointers in NBA history and held the title for the most three points made in a career until 2021, when Steph Curry broke it. He is also a two-time NBA champion with the Boston Celtics.
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11. Reggie Miller
Reggie, who had his entire career with the Indiana Pacers, is often regarded as the greatest Pacers player of all time. He is also a five-time NBA all-star and was widely known for his high-precision three-point shooting, especially in high-pressure situations against one of Pacers' arch-rival New York Knicks, which earned him the nickname Knick Killer. In his entire career, he always played bald.
10. Vince Carter
Nicknamed Half man, half amazing no other player entertained crowds with their leaping ability and slam dunks in the 2000s like Vince Carter. He is also the only player in the league's history to play 22 seasons. In addition, he is also an eight-time NBA all-star. As far as fans can remember, Vince Carter has always been bald since he was drafted in 1998.
9. Gary Payton
Next on our list is Gary Payton, a player who played his entire career bald and was known for his 13-season career with the Seatle Supersonic and his defensive skills that earned him the nickname the Glove. He also won a champion with Maimi heat and is a nine-time NBA all-star.
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8. Jason Kidd
Even though he had a small hairdo moment at the beginning of his career, Jason Kidd decided to go bald and has been ever since. He is known for his triple-doubles, where he ranks second in the NBA all-time list of career assists and steals.
He is also a 2011 NBA champion with his team, the Dallas Maverick, where he is the current coach and a ten-time NBA all-star.
7. Charles Barkley
Nicknamed the Round mound of Rebound and known for his aggressiveness, that saw him become one of the NBA's most dominant rebounders. Charles is a 1993 NBA MVP, eleven-time NBA all-star, and the 1991 NBA All-Star MVP. Since the inception of his career in 1997, he has always been bald.
6. Kevin Garnett
One of the greatest players, if not the greatest, to come off the 2000s, Kevin Garnett, or KG as he was popularly referred to in his 21-season career, was known for his intensity, defence ability, and versatility.
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Straight from high school, skipping college basketball, and headed straight for the 1995 draft, Garnett is a 2008 NBA champion with the Boston Celtic, of which he was their main player leading them to victory. In addition, he is also the 2004 NBA MVP and the 2008 NBA Defensive player of the year.
5. Karl Malone
Though he had hair earlier in his career, from the mid-90s to the early 2000s, he faced premature baldness and decided to embrace it fully by shaving. As a result, his hair was a subject of ridicule in the early 2000s.
However, aside from his hair, Karl, or the Mailman, was one the greatest power forwards in the history of the league. He is also a two-time NBA MVP and a fourteen-time NBA all-star.
4. Shaquille O'Neal
Known for his larger-than-life personality outside the court, Shaq is regarded as one of the greatest basketball players and centres not only in the NBA but all of the game. He is a four-time NBA- champion with two teams: LA-Lakers and Miami heat, a three-time NBA finals MVP, 2000 NBA MVP, and a fifteen-time NBA all-star.
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In the 1990s, when Shaq came on the scene, he had hair but started balding, then decided to shave. Over the years, his hairline has been the subject of ridicule and banter across many fans, with the latest one being in 2020 when he lost a bet and had to show his hairline, and let's say it was a sight to behold.
3. Kobe Bryant
Even though there were short moments when he had hair throughout his career, they were overshadowed by those when he was fully bald. Just like our previous player on the list, he fully embraced baldness when his hairline started thining.
Hairless or not, Kobe was a beast of a player who is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He spent his entire 20-year career with the LA Lakers, where: he won five championships, was an 18-time NBA all-star, was a two-time NBA finals MVP, was the 2008 NBA MVP, and led the scoring list twice.
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Though he is gone and his legacy leaves on, Kobe's hairline remains one of the most interesting talking points topics amongst basketball fans.
2. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Earlier in his rookie year and formative years in the league, he used to spot an Afro, but somewhere along the early 1980s, he started losing hair, and just like two of our previous players on the list, he embraced it entirely by going bald.
In the court, he was a legend and still is to date. He is a six-time Champion, two-time NBA finals MVP, six-time NBA MVP, and a 19-time NBA all-star, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. He is also often named as a top 3 player in NBA history.
1. Micheal Jordan
ssss It doesn't help in the case of who are the best players in the league, bald players or the ones with hair if the league's biggest franchise player is bald and has built an image around being bald. Jordan is somewhat of a cultural and fashion icon with his bald looks.
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In 1989 faced with a receding hairline, he decided to shave fully and has become known for his bald look ever since. He is also known to turn down lucrative endorsement deals from haircare brands. Micheal Jordan needs no introduction when it comes to how great he was. He is considered the greatest of all time, even according to the website of the NBA.
That concludes our list of the best bald players in NBA history and to ever have played basketball. Which player did you think deserved to be on our list but was not featured? And why do you think he deserved to be featured? Let us know in the comment section.
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