Adjusting to the NBA is hard for all rookies, let alone a guy like Alexey Shved who has to learn a new language in addition to figuring out how to play basketball a bunch of super tall, super fast guys. That’s why he’s lucky to have great veterans who have traveled that same path like Nikola Pekovic and Andrei Kirlenko around to advise him on important things like cutting his ponytail.

From Fox Sports North:

“You think because of that we win?” Pekovic asked. “Me and AK, we make him to cut his hair. Now he look like a man.”

To be fair, the Timberwolves were 1-1 while Alexey Shved was doing his best Lou Amundson impression. So Shved looking like some random dude who probably drives a Camaro (read: “a man”) but could be from anywhere isn’t the only reason they won. But the young Russian did have the best game of his NBA career last night, pouring in all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter of Minnesota’s comeback win, so his hair advisory committee may be on to something. At the very least, he has to be more aerodynamic with less hair.

There’s one glaring problem with this plan though. Now that some of the Timberwolves’ foreign contingent has forced their newest member to cut his locks this early in the season, where do they go from here? It seems like they already used their greatest motivational tactic just a week in to the season, since there’s no way that Shved trimming his boring hair when it grows out won’t have nearly the same effect on his game. Maybe convincing him to shave his goatee is the next step. It’s not much hair, but people grow so attached to their facial hair, I can see it having a positive effect. Just wait until after the All-Star break to give it a shot.

Just be warned, Timberwolves, that people have made Alexey Shved cut his hair before, only to renege on such a request when they realize that his hair gives him his basketball powers. Tricky stuff, forcing another man to cut his hair. Be careful what you wish for.

(via Tee Wolves)