JENNI CARLSON Published: July 4, 2009
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Jenni Carlson: "The Q&A” is all about fun questions, and no subject is more fun than your beard. What’s the story with it?

James Harden: My whole freshman year of college, I didn’t have it. It didn’t start growing until maybe the summer going into my sophomore year. It was growing everywhere. And I didn’t feel like shaving. There were times throughout the season where I had to cut it because coach said it was getting too long, but ... it’s my new look.

JC: Some people go to school and gain "The Freshman 15,” but you went to school and gained ...

JH: "The Freshman Beard.” (Laughs.) I love it, too. I get a lot of compliments. A few people say I look like Abraham Lincoln, especially when it’s a lot bigger.

JC: So, have you had it long, Rip Van Winkle style?

JH: No, no, no. I won’t go that far.

JC: Put on a pair of suspenders, and you’d look Amish.

JH: Whoa, whoa, whoa. I don’t know about that. (Laughs.)

JC: What does your mom think about your newfound facial hair?

JH: To be honest, she wants me to cut it, but she doesn’t pressure me. I have my barber, and when he goes to cut it, she’ll be like, "Cut it off” or "Notch it a little bit, so you have to cut it.”

JC: She’s trying to sabotage your beard.

JH: I’m not going to cut it, though. Not any time sooner.

JC: There aren’t a lot of bearded NBA players.

JH: Baron Davis was. I can’t really think of any more.

JC: Maybe you’re establishing a trend.

JH: Maybe a news style. The Birdman, Chris Andersen, has his crazy hair and tattoos everywhere, so that’s a new trend.



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