The 2015 NBA Playoffs is fast approaching and the competition is starting to heat up with just a couple of weeks away from the first round. It seems as if the Golden State Warriors will be leading the way for the Western Division while the Atlanta Hawks are clearly on top in the East. There is no telling however which team is going to take it all as the reigning championship team, San Antonio Spurs are still in the running. Other basketball squads are just as formidable with the Cleveland Cavaliers having this year’s version of the Big Three.

All these great teams have its own set of star players in them. The San Antonio Spurs for example have Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Cleveland has Lebron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. The Warriors have the Splash Brothers also known as Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. There are other notable players on squads headed for the playoffs. A few of these stars as well as those already mentioned are also vying for league Most Valuable Player honors. One of the frontrunners for the award might incontestably be James Harden of the Houston Rockets.

The star shooting guard of the Western Conference is certainly the clear favorite to take the reigns from the legendary Kobe Bryant. It is not even far-fetched to think that he will soon become or if he is not already is the best player at this position. Forty to fifty point explosions are nothing new to him. He is able to pile it up due to his three point shooting accuracy, side-step open jumpers, finishing ability at the rim and most importantly his craftiness at drawing fouls. Getting to the free throw line is perhaps one of the best facets of his game. He also has respectable stats in rebounding and assists as well, actually taking over as the team’s facilitator when lead point-guard Patrick Beverly went down with an injury. His contribution to his team does not end there as he is not only a great ball snatcher but is also able to block occasional shots of unsuspecting players.

James Harden without a beard

James Harden in his younger years without a beard

Harden’s ability to play basketball is unquestionable. He is fast establishing himself among the elite to have ever stepped unto the hardwood floor. There is only one more thing that would rival the popularity of his well-rounded game. This is not about another player who is competing for the MVP crown. That would probably be announced sometime during the second round of the playoffs. It is something closer to him than that. This has actually been growing with him since he left Arizona State in 2009. The thing that is either contesting or aiding his fame is none other than his prominent beard.

James must have had numerous advertisements that center on his lengthy facial hair. He has even paired this with a wide mohawk, cementing his image as one of the most stylish men in basketball. Harden has been constantly asked whether he would consider shaving his beard. During one ambush interview he even scoffed at the proposition of eighty thousand dollars just to take it off. He would not even consider doing it for one million dollars. James did however admit that he would think about it if he were offered ten times this amount.

For now, fans of The Beard would have to content their curiosity with past photos of him when he was playing in college. Those are the most recent images of him without facial hair. He looks quite different back then, nothing like the superstar persona that he is now. It seems however that those times are the closest that anyone could check out James Harden without a beard.

James Harden with a beard

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