SPLITTING HAIRS Helmets tend to hide the hairstyles of professional athletes: football, baseball and hockey players all conceal their scalps from view. Not so basketball players, whose domes can rival their dunks for attention. Often an era's defining player sets the style du sport for his courtmates--and countless armchair-athlete imitators.
KEY PLAYER Kareem Abdul Jabbar (1)
ERA 1970s to early '80s
MOTIVATION the Shaft aesthetic
MAINTENANCE LOW. Requires occasional trim, some combing
HAIR APPARENT Julius ("Dr. J") Erving (2)
[KEY PLAYER] Michael Jordan (3)
[ERA] 1980s to mid '90s
[MOTIVATION] a receding hairline
[MAINTENANCE] MODERATE. Requires...