Pelicans’ Alvin Gentry jokes, credits Gillette for Nikola Mirotic’s offensive explosion
Whether it’s LeBron James taking off his headband to jump start a rally against the Spurs several years ago or the Warriors fanbase paying homage to a toaster that Klay Thompson signed as the reason for their undefeated streak, the NBA always seem to find ways to credit something for a player’s (or in the case of the aforementioned toaster – team’s) sudden success.
For the New Orleans Pelican’s starting forward Nikola Mirotic’ case, it’s his beard – and it kind of makes sense. Back with the Chicago Bulls, the team soured, at times, on his consistently inconsistent play and they have been practically dangling his name on the trading block after drafting the sweet shooting 7-footer Lauri Markkanen and with his sparring partner, Bobby Portis, gobbling up the rest of the frontline minutes, there just isn’t any room for the young Serbian. Just before the trade deadline, the Pelicans swooped in (no pun intended) and swapped back center Omer Asik to Chi-town and throwing in their 2018 first round selection for him.
The acquisition seemed ill-advised at first as the combo forward produced numbers that fluctuated between good and bad (mostly the latter) that was atypical of his career. But a dramatic shaving early this month is exactly what the doctor ordered for the once-scraggly European, scoring 25 points on a blistering 10/12 shooting the first day he sported a clean shaven mug.
Since then, Mirotic has been on a tear and is arguably one of the major reasons as to why the Pelicans are now holding a surprising 3-0 lead over the higher seeded Portland Trailblazers. Social media was quick to pounce on the significance of the beard and head coach Alvin Gentry couldn’t help but poke a little fun on it too.
Alvin Gentry joked that the Gillette shaving company is behind Nikola Mirotic (30 pts) being on a tear since he got rid of his beard: "Gillette should take all the credit. And I’m giving them a plug so Niko maybe got a sponsorship out of this."
— Jim Eichenhofer (@Jim_Eichenhofer) April 20, 2018
Who knows if Gillette will reach out and become a sponsor of Mirotic’s. It would make for an intriguing one, however.