"Why does your face always look like that?" she inquired.
"How does it look?" I responded.
Then came the hammer. She paused for a few seconds before saying: "It looks ... like ... dirty."
I guess a six-day-old beard isn't the best look for me. Here's a sample of what I'm often working with:
I guess she had a valid point, huh?
Anyways, that little embarrassing story got me thinking about real men, ones who can actually grow beards. Men whose beards look like hair, not like dirt. So I logged onto my Internet machine and punched in nbabeards.com, because why wouldn't there be such a site? No dice. How about nflbeards.com? Same result. Maybe a Madison Bumgarner-themed site called mlbbeards.com? No, sir.
After 40 seconds of frustration -- a veritable eon in Internet years -- I finally found a Website called sportsbeards.com. Unfortunately, the only recent basketball beard featured on the site belongs to Brian Skinner, whom a blogger named roc called "mayor of pube city."
But Brian Skinner is nowhere close to the pinnacle of Bearded Mount Rushmore. With that being said, let's count down the best beards in basketball right now, with consideration to both the NBA and college ball:
10. Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls
9. Pat Connaughton, University of Notre Dame
8. Kevin Love
7. Brian Skinner
6. Jalen Billups, Northern Kentucky University
5. Nikola Mirotić, Chicago Bulls
4. Quincy Acy
3. Pero Antić
Good lord, that's an intimidating man. He reminds me of the psycho Russian from The Boondock Saints. I know I left off a bunch of solid beards (John Salmons, my Irish relative Kyle O'Quinn, etc.), but there was absolutely no chance I could omit Antić and his well-groomed facial hair.
2. James Harden
1. James Harden
Of course. When Chris Andersen wimped out and decided to shave, he became just another one of us normal guys. Well, at least the rest of us 6-10 lunatics who sport hundreds of tattoos. Anyways, R.I.P., Bird-Beard. Until Andersen grows it out again, the throne is Harden's. And the rest of us are just jealous losers looking longingly at The Beard.
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