When you think of athletes and beards, you always think about football or hockey players. However, there are a decent amount of basketball players that rock some amazing facial hair.
With the NBA Finals in full-swing, we decided to pick our favorite basketball players that are still in the running for the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy. We’re only picking from teams that have made it into the Finals, so sorry LeBron James fans, the star of the new “Space Jam” movie won’t be on this list.
Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks)
Giannis Antetokounmpo may be the face of the Bucks, but Khris Middleton’s got the facial hair. The Greek Freak’s subtle, but well-groomed chinstrap beard is no match for Middleton’s thicker facial hair, which also happens to be a chinstrap.
There are times when this small forward’s beard goes ungroomed or looks wild, but often times than naught, he’s got his facial hair under control.
But the guy’s got a lot on his plate and beard care might not be a priority for him at the moment. With Antetokounmpo’s health questionable after hyperextending his left knee in Game 4 against the Atlanta Hawks, Middleton is going to need to step it up if he and his team want to win the title.
Middleton is averaging 23.4 points, 8 boards and 5.1 assists so far this postseason.
Bobby Portis (Milwaukee Bucks)
While Giannis’ chinstrap beard is clean and attractive, we like his teammate Bobby Portis’ goatee better. The sixth-year center may have crazy eyes when he’s focused on the court, but there’s nothing crazy about his beard game.
Throughout the playoffs, Portis has managed to keep his facial hair in check, which usually can’t be said for his other teammates. Not a lot of athletes rock the goatee, but we think this Bucks center pulls off the look.
Portis has come up clutch for his team during the Eastern Conference Finals, and he’s going to need to keep his momentum going if he wants to earn himself a ring.
He averaged 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1 steal per game during the Eastern Conference Finals against the Hawks.
Jae Crowder (Phoenix Suns)
The Phoenix Suns are making a hell of a run at the NBA title this season, taking down the Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers to make it to the Finals.
So you would think that we’re picking one of Suns’ star players — Chris Paul or Devin Booker — for this list, but we believe their teammates have better-looking beards.
Suns forward Jae Crowder has one of the best beards out of all the players playing in this year’s NBA Finals and he’s managed to keep it well-maintained throughout the postseason.
It was heart breaking to see Crowder and his former team the Miami Heat lose during last season’s NBA Bubble playoffs. However, this forward, now with the Phoenix Suns, will be looking to redeem himself as he and his team face the Bucks in the Finals.
Crowder has been averaging 10.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game throughout these playoffs so far, so here’s hoping that he’s still got enough left in the tank to bring the Larry O’Brien trophy home to Phoenix.
Deandre Ayton (Phoenix Suns)
We’re ending this list with a great pick in Deandre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns, whose thick beard bests the likes of his teammates Chris Paul or Devin Booker.
This 6-foot-11-inch-tall center from the Bahamas has played really well in his first NBA playoffs appearance, averaging 16.2 points and 11.8 rebounds per game so far. He’s going to need to keep his production up if he wants to bring home the title.
Ayton could do a better job at keeping his beard tidy, but with a championship on the line, he’s definitely got more important priorities.
I have the Suns as my favorite to win the NBA championship, but stranger things have happened during this postseason so I’m not completely ruling out the Bucks just yet.