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Seeing a somber Iman Shumpert somberly get his flat top cut off is somber (video)


(for total emotional effect, please queue up “The Way We Were”

Like most folks, I remember the exact place I was and exactly what I was doing when I heard that New York Knicks shooting guard Iman Shumpert had his trademark flat top shaved off. It was an emotional moment for all, but no one was affected as much as Shumpert himself.

It was such a tumultuous and emotional affair that Shumpert documented it in a video that is both somber and artsy, kind of like if Fellini did a movie about a barber shop. Or something.

The video, entitled “New Beginnings” (Dana Carvey-“Chopping Broccoli” skit reference — some of you may get that), as briefly explained on Shumpert’s official website:

Accomplishments aren’t always your starting points. Sometimes failure is the best place to start. This video shows New York Knicks Iman Shumpert cutting his hair off as he embarks on a new beginning on and off the court. Iman explains what made him cut his trademarked high top and why winning a ring makes his very existence make sense.

Accomplishments, embarks on a new beginning and mentions of “his very existence.” Was this a haircut or some kind of existential crisis? Forget the Fellini mention, this is “I Heart Huckabees” territory here.

Here’s how Shumpert explains the radical makeover (via For the Win):

“My hair right now is my thing. It’s part of my brand, everyone knows me for it. They just put on 2K14, they did a whole layout so I could have my hightop. The other day we played Boston — for the first time since I could remember playing basketball I let so much stuff in (from) the outside world: Things that are going on in my life affect me so much I wasn’t playing that game to win, I was trying to beat my problems. I wasn’t even talking trash to the other team, I wasn’t talking to my team, I wasn’t getting people hyped, I really just gave in and I think the perfect way to punish myself is to take my hair just to end that whole separation of trying to be cool or trying to separate myself so that I look different. I need to remind myself that no matter how big anything gets in this world my one goal is to get my ring and that’s to play hard and to play to win and to play amongst my teammates, play within my team, within my coaches, within my organization, within the city I play in (and) never ever ever put myself outside the circle ever again. My new beginning is just to be me.”

Profound stuff. A trip to Great Clips will never be the same for me.

[H/T Deadspin]