Nothing shakes the core of a team, a franchise, heck, a community quite like at 21 year old who temporarily dyes his hair. Yes, our wayward son Kyrylo Fesenko did what all bored kids do over the summer -- experiment. This wasn't drugs, or casual sex, or with being a Marxist or anything . . . this was dying his hair blonde. How big is this? This is so big that both major media outlets for news in Salt Lake City have articles on their webpage that discuss this: Deseret News, Salt Lake Tribune.
Obviously, this type of free expression and short term amusement evokes emotions in all onlookers. An important man in Kyrylo's life is Utah Jazz Head Coach Jerry Sloan. Jerry Sloan has a reputation (fair or not) that suggests that he is quite old school -- he doesn't even allow his players to wear personally identifying/individualistic things like headbands. Teammate Morris Almond -- wise in the ways of Coach Sloan -- was even quoted saying:
"The first thing I asked (Fesenko): 'Have you seen Coach Sloan since you've been back?"' Almond said. "He was like, 'No.' ... And I was like, 'Make sure I'm not around (when you do).'" (Almond as quoted by Buckley, 2008, p.2)
Two questions exist:
- Will blonde hair ultimately prevent Fess from being a good basketball player?
- If not, then who cares?
I don't think anyone can decisively answer question 1. We can assume that his desire to dye his hair on a lark is evocative of larger problems which may ultimately distract him from his immediate goals of becoming a better basketball player. But really, is hair dye a 'gateway' activity? Especially if it's a one time thing? Mehmet Okur, our starting center and former All-Star, dyed his hair as a younger player in Detroit. It led him towards settling down and having a family, LHM be praised! Where does one draw the line though . . . will there be some imposed issue in the future regarding tattoos -- or is this a non-issue because Deron Williams has them already? Rafael Araujo had a huge tattoo on his back, and as a scrub, he had no problems. I didn't see the Trib write an article about his 'ink', why is it imperative to fuss about something that will eventually wash out over time?
|Blonde Memo plays D!||'Hoffa is inked up!||Blonde Memo drives!||'Hoffa scares the kids with his carnival show body, not unlike a clown, eh Jer?|
"I'm not worried about his hair," grumbled Sloan, whose two-decade coaching career with the Jazz has lasted nearly as long as still 21-year-old Fesenko has been alive. "I'm worried about what he does on the floor." (Sloan as quoted by Siler, 2008)
Essentially this is all we should be worried about, instead of going over ourselves to write articles about this, or, uh, blog about other people writing articles about this. That said, Sloan did allude to the point that he links what Fesenko did with the behavior of a clown.
Is this a fair assessment? Hopefully Big Fess lets his game, and not his hair, do his talking for him. If anything, it would shut Sloan up for a bit . . . personally, I don't expect my 21 year olds to be oozing with maturity. After all, they all can't have Rudy Gay hair.