Since puberty, Anthony Davis has rocked a unibrow. “It just makes me different," he says when anyone asks him why the best college basketball player in the world and consensus No. 1 NBA pick doesn't shave it off like the rest of the population.
Now the unusual fashion statement defines Davis’ image as much as his devastating defense and soft touch around the basket. He even trademarked the terms “Fear the Brow” and “Raise the Brow” to make sure no one else makes any money off his likeness.
And when the endorsements come rolling in -- right now his only endorsement is a draft-night deal with Sprint’s NBA Android app, which allows users to watch the NBA draft on their phones -- he promises he will shave it for nobody.
“It changes none whatsoever when I’m in the NBA,” Davis says.
Davis spoke with ESPN Playbook about what the ladies think about his unibrow, the craziest tribute from a fan he has ever received and what it was like to grow more than a foot during high school.
ESPN Playbook: Let's start with this: You have to be the only person in history to have a portrait made out of cereal.
Anthony Davis: Yeah, I’ve seen that. It was crazy fans made that out of a cereal. I’ve never seen nothing like that.
Was that the craziest fan tribute you’ve ever seen?
Yeah, it’s up there. But the craziest thing I’ve ever seen was someone took a dead wildcat off the side of the road. It had been hit by a car, I guess. They put a basketball on the paw, stuffed it, and then put it up like it was dunking on a rim.
They had Kentucky all over it. That was crazy.
You’ve received a lot of attention for your unibrow. Is that always going to be your thing?
Most definitely. I’m not going to change who I am. It’s me.
Why a unibrow and not, say, a beard or mustache or more common facial hair choice?
I don’t know. I guess it just makes me different.
What do the ladies think about it?
They really don’t care too much. I don’t even know. I guess they notice it. They’ve never said anything about it.
You famously went through a growth spurt in high school, which turned you from a guard into one of the best big-man prospects in the country. It helped you in basketball, but what about in life? What was it like becoming the tallest kid in your school out of nowhere?
It was kind of awkward. I had to get all new clothes, a new bed. I was growing every couple of weeks. It was pretty crazy. I towered over everybody and I’m not used to being a tall person, so it was really weird going through it my senior year of high school.
Did it hurt?
No. A lot of people ask me that. I didn’t have any growing pains or anything.
Did your twin sister or anyone else in your family ever go through something like that?
It was just me. No one else ever went through it.
What NBA player do you model your game after?
Kevin Garnett. He’s amazing defensively and plays hard even if they’re losing. I think that’s me. Offensively, he can really shoot the ball, attack the rim, and play in the post with his back to the basket or whatever. I tried to model my game after him.
Do you feel pressure being compared to such great players?
No one person is going to be someone else. You’re always going to be yourself. I don’t feel pressure. I just have to keep working.
What will you miss most about college?
No question, the NCAA tournament. It was a great, fun ride, and I think I’ll miss it the most because every game, if you lost you went home. So it was very competitive.
Did you and your Kentucky teammates talk about playing each other in the NBA?
We talk about it a lot. Like I’ll tell Michael [Kidd-Gilchrist] I’m going to dunk on him, or Marquis [Teague] said he’s going to make us fall over. We all just can’t wait to play each other.
Do you think playing college with those guys will help you shut them down in the NBA?
I don’t know. We all have our unique ways. Everybody is going to get a chance to showcase their skill, because we have a lot of talented guys. Don’t be surprised if some of our guys show stuff you’ve never seen before.