Brian Lewis takes us on a tour of Jarrett Allen’s head, not what’s in it, but what adorns it, that throwback beauty of an Afro, how it started, how he maintains it, and how he intends to keep it. After all, as he jokes, he’s 7’5” with it.
As Lewis writes...
Allen is just 19 years old, but he’s added a mustache to the ’fro that would’ve fit right into the ABA and NBA two decades before he was born. And though his fast-improving play has endeared him to Nets fans who haven’t had much to smile about the past few years, his coiffure has sent his popularity next-level.
And while Allen would not be so arrogant to compare himself with James Harden, he thinks their hirsute accountrements are similar in their trademark value.
“All the time. I can’t look on Twitter or Reddit without people saying its Afro Thunder, or Black Dynamite,” Allen told The Post. “It’s like my identity now. It’s like James Harden’s beard; you can’t cut the beard.”
And there are no plans to cut the ‘Fro either. It’s not about branding either. It’s just him. Ask his mom. Lewis did.
“It’s something he’s done since grade school. It was twice as big,” Allen’s mother, Cheryl, said. “Jarrett’s not one trying to be like anybody else: That was just him. … He’s not emulating anyone, it’s just how he wears it: Always has.”
And it’s not a tribute even if a review of any New York Nets games from their ABA days would strike a chord.
“People think with the Afro I’m trying to throw it back; but it’s just how I wear it. It’s not a tribute,” Allen said. “It’s nice that people compare it. Older people say I like your hair, I like how you don’t do anything to it. I make their day. But that’s just how I go about my day wearing it.”
And it is cheap to maintain. Allen’s father, Leonard, is the only one he allows to trim it. He did so last week.
“My dad has been the one to cut it. Every now and then I went to a barber in Austin. But that was only twice in my whole life,” Allen said. “In college I had my dad cut it the whole time.”
There’s a lot more in Lewis’ profile of the ‘Fro, both the hair and the player. But there is one regret, his agent Derrick Powell notes. Afro Sheen is out of business. No endorsement deals there.
“That,” Powell told Lewis, “would’ve been perfect.”
- The origins of Jarrett Allen’s Afro, which isn’t going anywhere - Brian Lewis - New York Post