Bald guys rule the sports world, especially the NBA. Some of the best basketball players to ever play the game did it without any hair on their head. Here are, in my opinion, the best bald basketball players to ever lace them up.
Before we dive into the list, I wanted to talk a little bit about some honorable mentions. Magic Johnson, though rocking a shaved head now, went through his playing days with a full head of hair, thus accounting for his exclusion from this list. Lebron James’ hairline has gone and come back more times than he’s changed teams, but this all-time great has yet to embrace the look and shave his head completely for an extended period. There are numerous other greats with pretty short hair, but I decided to only list guys that rocked the completely bald look during their playing days.
10.) Vince Carter
Vince Carter is the first bald baller on our list and is known for throwing down some insane dunks. At 41, “Vinsanity” is still in the league and somehow still dunking away. This 8x All-Star is one of six players in NBA history to average at least 20 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists per game in 10 straight seasons. He put up some Hall-of-Fame level numbers but is going to be remembered for dominating the dunk contest and jumping over a 7 footer in game during the Olympics.
9.) Gary Payton
“The Glove”, Gary Payton is an iconic baldie who is remembered for his time on the Seattle Supersonics. He is one of the best defenders ever and was one of few people who could give Michael Jordan some trouble on that end. He’s an NBA Champion, 9x All-Star, former Defensive Player of the Year, and a Hall of Famer. He rocked a bald head during his playing career and continues to sport it as a coach in Ice Cube’s BIG3 League.
8.) Jason Kidd
Vince Carter’s former teammate Jason Kidd is the next bald head to grace this list. He’s a 10x All-Star and an NBA Champion who was always a triple-double threat. While he didn’t do so well as a coach, Kidd’s playing days make him a guaranteed Hall-of-Famer. Although, I’m honestly not sure if he would’ve gotten there if he had kept this hairstyle.
7.) Charles Barkley
The fact that this NBA legend is this far back on the list should tell you how many great bald NBA players there have been. Chuck is a former 76er, Sun, and Rocket and is currently making bad takes as an analyst on Inside the NBA. He’s an 11x All-Star and was a dominant rebounder despite being short for a power forward. This famous bald personality was inducted into the Hall-of-Fame in 2006, was a member of the famous “Dream Team”, and was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History during the leagues 50th anniversary in 1996.
6.) Kevin Garnett
Like Charles, Kevin Garnett is another bald baller with a big personality but even bigger numbers. The “Big Ticket” is a 15x All-Star, former MVP, former Defensive Player of the Year, and NBA Champion. He was able to lead a perpetually struggling Minnesota Timberwolves franchise to their first ever playoff wins and kept them relevant for most of his time there. He was eventually traded to the Celtics, where he won his NBA title with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. After a short stop in Brooklyn, he was able to return to the Timberwolves and retire with the team he did so much for.
5.) Karl Malone
“The Mailman” is considered one of, if not the best power forward to ever play the game. This 14x All-Star and 2x MVP accumulated too many accolades to count, however, was never able to capture that elusive championship (thanks, in part, due to #1. on our list). His most impressive stat has to be his place on the all-time scoring list. He has the second most points in NBA history and is only out-scored by another famous baldie later on in this list. He and John Stockton made a nearly unstoppable duo on the Jazz for almost 18 years. Not only is Malone on of the best bald players ever, but he is also one of the greatest in general (and he’s only number 5 on this list!).
4.) Shaquille O’Neal
Shaq is an all-time great who was one of the most dominant players of all-time. This giant is a 15x All-Star, 4x NBA Champion, and former MVP who is likely a top 10 player in NBA history. “The Big Diesel” won three straight rings on the Lakers before his famed feud with the next bald guy on our list led him to Miami, where he eventually won his 4th ring. This recently inducted Hall-of-Famer now rocks the bald look along with Chuck, Kenny Smith, and (the nearly bald) Ernie Johnson on Inside the NBA.
3.) Kobe Bryant
Ok, this one is a bit of a stretch, but the “Black Mamba” definitely shaves his head and can be considered bald for all intents and purposes. This Laker legend spent his entire 20-year career in Los Angeles and is one of the greatest scorers to ever play the game. He is known for his insane work ethic and intense “Mamba mentality” that led him to hit countless game winners and clutch shots over the years. He’s an 18x All-Star, 5x NBA Champion, and former MVP, among numerous other accolades. He is also just behind Malone on the all-time scoring list, coming in at third. This guaranteed Hall-of-Famer seems to be enjoying retired life and even got himself an Oscar.
2.) Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Like Kobe, this legend had a fro early on in his career but is remembered for his time with a Laker jersey and a bald head. Kareem’s insane accolades in both college and the NBA put him in the conversation for the greatest basketball player of all time. He won the NCAA championship and the National College Player of the Year each of his 3 years on varsity at UCLA under legendary coach John Wooden. He then promptly dominated the NBA, winning 6 championships, 6 MVPs, and making 19 All-Star teams. He is also the all-time NBA leading scorer, in part thanks to his unstoppable skyhook.
1.) Michael Jordan
I’m sure everybody saw this coming. Michael Jordan is likely the greatest basketball player of all-time and definitely the best of the bald ballers. He is the 4th leading scorer in NBA history, a 6x champion, 5x MVP, and 14x All-Star while only playing 15 years in NBA. His killer instinct in the clutch was undeniable and MJ always showed up in the big moments, as shown by his undefeated record in the finals. There wasn’t much that Jordan couldn’t do and his sheer will and determination led him to be the GOAT. This will is embodied by the famed “Flu Game”, where he was extremely sick buts still dropped 38 points and a clutch jumper to lead the Bulls to a crucial Game 5 victory against the Jazz in the 1997 NBA Finals. The current Charlotte Hornets owner is a basketball and bald icon who’s appearance at the top of this list should surprise no one.
It’s no surprise to us that some of the greatest ballers of all time were bald for most of their playing days. Bald guys dominate the league from top to bottom and this is proven by the fact that the top 4 leading scorers in NBA history are all bald guys.
We showed you that some of the top surfers and basketball players ever are bald, leading us to think there’s a correlation between being bald and dominating sports!