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2014 NBA Playoff Investigations: LeBron and the Black Ice

“LeBron, you’re the best player in the NBA,” Charles Barkley said, facing the camera during the NBA on TNT Tip-Off Show. “But it’s time for you to come on home bruh. Shave your head!”

It’s no secret – LeBron James’ hairline is receding. Every year the headband gets bigger and the angle gets higher. The jokes are continuous and the memes are plentiful.

Even we had some fun with it back in 2012.

When you’re the best in your field, critics are going to magnify your smallest flaw. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for LeBron, he doesn’t do much on the court that can be criticized. So, what ammunition do people have against the best player in the NBA?

His hairline.

Bron Bron can go lights out and drop 45 points in a game, and the reaction on Twitter will always be something like this:

Yes, it’s petty. And mean. And superficial. But also, sometimes hilarious.

Perhaps in an effort to avoid even more ridicule, King James has done the worst thing possible, and tried to take matters into his own hands.

It appears as though he went the Black Ice route.

As a black guy, there aren’t many variations I can do to my hair. It’s slim pickings when it comes to hair options: leave it short, fade it, or grow it out to an afro.

“The hairline is the hairstyle,” my barber used to say. With limits to our hairstyles, the hairline (also known as a lineup, or a taper) makes a huge difference in our appearance. It’s part of your ensemble – if you’re going to wear a nice outfit, you better have a nice lineup.

Getting a lineup is usually as follows:

Those who don’t have enough hair to form a respectable hairline turn to a product called Black Ice.

A description from

Black Ice spray "the original touch up spray" is a temporary color hair spray that is developed with the newest technology of today's cosmetics. It has a unique formula that does not run or wipe off and looks natural when applied to the hair because of its non-running formula. It’s perfect for athletic or active individuals, restores fading hairlines.

You can see it in the video below. Take some cardstock, angle it accordingly, spray, and BOOM! Instant hair!

The Black Ice movement is extremely frowned upon by those that spend the time and effort crafting a proper hairline from the traditional methods (straight razor, outliner hair trimmer).

In 2012, Chicago Bulls power forward Carlos Boozer started using Black Ice, and received a deserved measure of ridicule on Twitter.

While LeBron’s use of the hair product isn’t as extreme, it’s still safe to ask… why? And why now? Here are some examples from this year’s postseason, compared to playoffs of old:

When he was confronted about it in 2012 from the TNT desk, he didn’t seem to be too concerned about the issue, deflecting back to the “three stooges”:

As usual, LeBron James can do no right, attracting even more attention to his domepiece through social media:

(Alright, that one was by me, but you get the point.)

Perhaps the only thing LeBron is better at than playing basketball, is letting criticism — and even mockery — roll right off him. So, make as much fun of King James and his Black Ice covered hairline as you want, he’ll be too busy attempting to win his third NBA Championship in a row.

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