I’m not sure how I didn’t notice it until John Schuhmann alerted everyone to Alexey Shved’s FIBA profile picture, but there it is — Alexey Shved is a white George Hill with Adam Morrison’s 2010 hair, no tattoos and a not-at-all-weird cat fetish. I blame the goatee.
I’m not sure if this should make Timberwolves fans more or less excited, but I am sure they’re hoping that it’s just the hair that’s the same as Adam Morrison’s. “Exciting combo guard who is actually just a solid player” seems to fit Hill and Shved pretty well, but those flowing locks could be a horrifying omen.
Things we know about Alexey Shved so far:
That’s about it at this point. But thankfully, we can add another chapter to his growing legend. Thanks to Ian Thomsen’s Sports Illustrated profile of Russian coach David Blatt, we now know that Alexey Shved really enjoys having long hair.
Yet Blatt also possesses a well-chronicled ability to adapt, because how else would someone like him become coach of Russia? And then to succeed in marrying the two ends of the spectrum? His dynamic 23-year-old point guard, Alexey Shved, recently signed a three-year, $10 million contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves. “Two years ago he came to me with long hair,” Blatt said. “I said, ‘Cut your hair or you’re off the team.’ He cut his hair.
“This year he came with long hair, and [Sergey] Bykov got hurt — our other main guard — so I said, ‘Cut your hair.’ And he said, ‘No, coach, I’m not going to cut it.’ And I said OK, because he’s a great young player and I need the kid. I love the kid.”
You have to appreciate his shvedication to long hair. Even though he knows his national team’s coach hates it, he still keeps growing it out until he was finally able to stand up for himself and say “Я 23-летний мужчина. Я должен быть в состоянии иметь длинные волосы, если я хочу. Я должен также быть в состоянии иметь курицу бутерброд, если я хочу.” You only do that if you really want long hair or if you are a big-time Pavement fan.
Lucky for him, he’s headed to the States to play for a coach who is OK with his players having long hair. Between Ricky Rubio’s flop-top, Chase Budinger’s Asher Roth curls, Nikola Pekovic’s widow’s peak, Andrei Kirilenko’s Brian Jonestown Massacre and Shved’s ambiguous European villain hair, the Timberwolves might have the best hair in the league next year. If they can just convince Kevin Love to do something cool — maybe get a mohawk or regrow that mustache — then they’ll lock up that prestigious title for sure.