Crowning the NBL's All-Hair Starting Five

This weekend saw the NBL's best and brightest suited and booted as they crowned their award winners for the 2019/20 season. With so many talented players vying for recognition, it can be hard to stand out, and many will no doubt feel disappointed and unappreciated. That’s why we’ve presented you with a distinctly different — yet clearly no less prestigious — award of our own.

We wanted to anoint the starting five for NBL players with the best locks atop their cranium. It’s no small feat, and many have fallen just a hair short. Our apologies to runner-up Nathan Jawai.

But without further a(hair)do, let’s get an eyefullicle of follicles. Yes, even I think that last one was a reach.

Jarrod Kenny

For most people, the only way you could successfully pull off a mullet is in the literal sense, yanking it out by the roots and flinging it to the ground in a violent display of disapproval.

But for Taipans point guard Jarrod Kenny, his wily wig is a defiant statement of courage, evoking memories of Billy Ray Cyrus, Eddie Guerrero or David Spade in Joe Dirt. That’s distinguished company right there.

Kenny understands the most important aspect of the mullet; that if somebody only ever looked at you from straight on, there’s a sizeable chance they’d never even notice something was amiss. He has nailed the ‘business up front’ aspect, but his ‘party at the back’ isn’t just raucous, it’s the hottest invite this side of Aotearoa.

(Note to self: next time you want to reference New Zealand, don’t choose such a difficult word to spell.)

Depending on how he styles it, it can take on a myriad of appearances, and at times, he even looks vaguely similar to a medieval friar, and that’s definitely worth acknowledging.

As someone who loves the 80s, Kenny’s fuzzy fleece puts me at ease. He would look right at place on the court next to Larry Bird in his prime, just without the distressingly short shorts.

Mitch Creek

Now, Mitch Creek — there’s a haircut you could set your watch to!

The South East Melbourne wing is a striking visage on the hardwood with his rippling physique and determined glare. Last year as he plied his trade in Minnesota, he topped off this look with a tidy barnet up top that was as no-nonsense as his game.

He had the air of a model, or perhaps a hipster of some kind. A bolder man would photoshop an overpriced chai latte into his hand to illustrate the point, but alas, I have neither the gumption nor the resources to make this dream come true.

This ultra-slick hairstyle would have been a fringe qualifier for this list — and yes, that is the best pun you’ll see all year — but upon his return to Australian shores, something most marvellous happened.

His hair just kind of gave up on him, morphing into a sentient being perched on his noggin with no regard for its fellow man. It initially grew fairly unkempt, periodically resembling Bert from Sesame Street, but before long, it had snaked its way down the back, becoming something between a mullet and a mohawk, reminiscent of his earlier days in the NBL.

This isn’t even its final form, and we can only sit back to see what it does next, our hearts filled with anticipation and terror in equal parts.

Kian Dennis

This young gun looks like literally every kid you ever knew in high school who was really good at sports. I say that with nothing but admiration, and I earnestly hope he enjoys the year 12 formal.

His luscious mop of hair gives an air of danger, a wild man to whom the rules don’t apply, with a devil may care attitude and whatever other tired analogies you’d like to reel off in one sentence.

With the shaved sides belying a truly glorious field of wheat at the top, he evokes memories of a young Andre Agassi, and yes, like the other names on this list, it’s kind of growing into a mullet, as well.

Apparently Australian basketball is a mullet hub. Who knew? Be sure to tell your friends and rellies.

With a long, fruitful future in the sport ahead of him, his hair, much like his talents, is still a work in progress, maturing over time. Five years from now, who knows what kind of look he’ll brandish? Perhaps he’ll go full Dennis Rodman, with a rainbow on his head and a song in his heart?

Terry Armstrong

What’s this? A yank has infiltrated our rankings?! It seems that the situation has gotten hairy, but we’d be remiss to exclude Flint, Michigan’s fourth favourite son (after Terry Crews, Javale McGee and the dude who played Pinky in Pinky and the Brain).

The talented shooting guard of the South East Melbourne Phoenix stands out from his contemporaries with his blonde locks atop his head. Versatility is important in a hair-related ranking, and we’re pleased to say that Armstrong — aka Hairstrong — is among the league leaders.

Sometimes, they’re sorted into tidy dreads, perhaps in an effort to strike dread in the heart of his opponents. Other times, it’s fluffy and delightful, like a 6’6” Chia pet. Then there’s the occasions where the dude just straight up looks like Beetlejuice, and those are the best times of all.

Though he unfortunately saw a dearth of game time with the Phoenix, I’m still resolute that the sky is the limit for where this electrifying talent can go. Perhaps the sky is also the limit for where his hair could go, too? Not literally, of course, because that would be impractical and probably unhygienic, to boot, frequently getting caught in tree branches and the turbines of low-flying airplanes.

Craig Moller

We finally arrive at our mane attraction, the man who has clearly made hair his life’s ambition.

The former AFL star-turned baller is unmistakable out there on the court, with dreadlocks that seem to grow six centimetres longer with every passing second, and a shaggy beard to match. He’s the kind of guy you’d expect to see sitting barefoot banging on a djembe at a music festival, shortly before scabbing a cig.

Moller’s Kings stood supreme at the top of the NBL ladder with 20 wins, and it’s safe to assume that at least three of those wins wouldn’t have been possible without that impressive pelt. It’s the kind of thing people would write songs about, with inspiring lyrics such as ‘I’m as free as my hair, I am my hair’ or ‘I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth’.

In hindsight, all songs about hair are absolutely dreadful. But that’s not Craig Moller’s fault, obviously.

With that, we have officially named the roster for The Pick and Roll's first (and likely last) NBL hair starting five. Congratulations to the gentlemen who have captured this esteemed honour, we hope they never for a moment forget how special a day this is. After all, as they say ⁠— hair today, gone tomorrow!