Archive for Friday, July 17, 2009

Self should have Taylor earn his headband

Danielle McCray, left, smiles as she and Tyshawn Taylor display their gold medals from this year's World Championships. McCray and Taylor spoke about the titles at a news conference on Wednesday at Hadl Auditorium.

Danielle McCray, left, smiles as she and Tyshawn Taylor display their gold medals from this year's World Championships. McCray and Taylor spoke about the titles at a news conference on Wednesday at Hadl Auditorium.

July 17, 2009


In July, you take your basketball controversies where you can get them, which brings us to the Headband Hulabaloo.

Guard Tyshawn Taylor wants to wear a headband when he slips back into a Kansas uniform. He wore one when helping Team USA to win a gold medal in the World University Games and he wore it at the press conference to discuss his New Zealand experience. His high school coach, Bob Hurley of St. Anthony in Jersey City, N.J., wouldn’t let Taylor wear one. Ditto for his college coach, Bill Self.

Here’s the problem: Once you’ve seen Taylor wearing a headband, he just won’t look right not wearing one. It suits him the way a mole fits Cindy Crawford. Sorry, Cindy baby, even in my single days, had you knocked on my door and showed that you had the mole removed, I would have told you to get lost. (You think it was easy typing that sentence with my fingers crossed? Try it sometime.)

Taylor without a headband is like Kareem without the sky hook, Johnny Carson without Ed McMahon’s laugh, Simon without Garfunkel, Bonnie without Clyde, Gov. Mark Sanford without a passport, a list of all-time great KU athletes that excludes Al Oerter and Glenn Cunningham.

Taylor’s point that Aaron Miles wore a headband while playing for Self lacks relevancy. Miles’ headband was grandfathered in. Self inherited Miles from Roy Williams and didn’t recruit him. Big difference. (By the way, was anybody else impressed that Taylor knew Miles wore a headband at Kansas?)

A little headband history lesson: Ultra-quick Seattle SuperSonics guard Slick Watts made it popular and wore one because he gushed sweat at Dwight Gooden-like proportions. Now, headbands generally serve as fashion statements. So what? They aren’t obnoxious fashion statements along the lines of teenagers wearing baggy pants that crawl halfway down their cans or middle-aged men wearing baseball caps backwards, equally bad looks.

Nobody is suggesting here, however, that Self merely caves and lets Taylor make his fashion statement. No point in the coach bypassing a motivational opportunity this golden. Think about it, Self could tell Taylor he can earn the privilege of wearing the head ornament when and only when he meets a specific challenge from his coach. Naturally, Self is the one and only judge and jury who determines when that challenge has been met.

For example, Self could tell Taylor that as soon as he maximizes the defensive potential of his body to the extent Brady Morningstar did a year ago, he can decorate his head. Morningstar conditions his body so well he’s able to stay in a defensive stance longer than most, but his ability to become a defensive stopper last season involved far more than conditioning. Attitude played a big role. He subtly became a relentless pest, always letting his man know he was there, often by using his hands in a way that bugged the scorer but didn’t draw whistles. If Taylor could get as much out of his body as Morningstar does, no guard would want to be checked by him. It could be just the solution to the Headband Hulabaloo, a raging (by July standards) controversy.


puddleglum 8 years, 10 months ago

I want to see Keagan wear a headband on his TV show...that would be hot

The_Professor 8 years, 10 months ago

I have an idea. How about he can wear a headband when he can actually pass his classes instead of dropping them to remain eligible. He is a college student, and the fact that he will likely go on to make millions of dollars without being able to balance his own checkbook is disgusting. Congratulations for having a marketable skill, now try earning respect. Then try earning a headband.

jaywalker 8 years, 10 months ago

Check me if I'm wrong, but didn't some of the guys wear headbands a coupla games last year?

Satirical 8 years, 10 months ago

Taylor making millions? Hahaha. Maybe overseas. In order to play guard in the NBA you have to be able to shoot, which Taylor can't do. He can occasionally put it on the floor and make a shot 2 feet from the basket; but he never has been and never will be a scorer. His best asset to KU is that he is athletic and is an above average defender.

FriendsOfTheHeartland 8 years, 10 months ago

What's the negative against the Headband? When we played basketball in the '70s, our coaches let us wear "sweatbands" as it kept burning sweat from rolling into the eyeballs and thus impacting our sight and performance on the court. Headbands are functional. What's the beef?

KURocks 8 years, 10 months ago

How about you write an article that someone actually cares about. This article was almost as worthless as the one about Sherron being overweight. Brady did a good job for KU, but when he's playing 37 min a game, we are in trouble and not going to be in a final four. I think this year will be alot different..

Hop2It 8 years, 10 months ago

He can wear a little Danille McCray's... to start out with until he earns a big one.

FriendsOfTheHeartland 8 years, 10 months ago

We know "You don't want sweat in the eyes when you're out there playing on the court." Fact. Headbands "Sweatbands" are cool.

Bamastreet 8 years, 10 months ago

He should wear a headband that says: "Ride the T." That would make everyone happy.

Jüstin Mössman 8 years, 10 months ago

I'm sorry, someone help me out here. Why does Bill Self care about headbands at all? I don't think headbands have ever determined the outcome of a game. I'm lost on this ridiculous issue, why does it matter?

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