KEY POINTS

  • Barnes tries to fire self up by not cutting his hair or shaving this season
  • Barnes wants Kings to reach .500
  • Barnes will observe right grooming after the current NBA season

Beards, hairstyles, and tattoos are normally something athletes get to make them stand out. But for some players like Harrison Barnes, doing so is for something else like perhaps a challenge to themselves to perform better.

The 27-year-old forward has made a vow not to shave unless his team, the Sacramento Kings, are able to attain a certain goal - that of which is to reach .500. If they are unable to do so, the one-time NBA champion will only cut his hair or shave by the end of the season, Tim McMahon of ESPN reported. Based on how things are going on right now in Sacramento, it appears Barnes will look pretty rugged by season's end.

Looking at the NBA standings, the Kings are 21-33 in the Western Conference. They are unlikely to make it to the next round unless they get a winning streak going. As of this writing, they are on a two-game losing streak. There are 28 games to go so racking up 12 wins to even their standings is doable.

Regardless if the Kings are able to achieve that target or not, the season has not entirely been a good one for Sacramento. They have had internal trust issues, something that has led other players to request for a trade. Dewayne Dedmon had his qualms with first-year head coach Luke Walton and is now with the Atlanta Hawks. The last player to air his grievances in public is Buddy Hield but the guard has since apologized for doing so.

Critics are not that convinced that Barnes will achieve his goal this NBA season, Yahoo Sports reported. Hence, that promise could be more of an individual boost for him to play at a higher level. But even if he does, it does not follow that his teammates will follow his lead. In 53 games this season, the seventh overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft has averaged 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per Basketball-Reference.com. From his performance alone, these are notable jumps from his career-highs.

Barnes is just in his first year of a four-year $85 million deal. There are no rumors tying him up to a potential trade, meaning he will likely remain with the Kings for some time. However, Walton needs to find him decent help and whip Sacramento in shape. Unable to do so could see Barnes getting fed up and requesting for a trade as well at some point moving forward.

Harrison Barnes Harrison Barnes was traded to the Sacramento Kings for Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph. In this picture, Barnes #40 of the Dallas Mavericks during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, Dec. 13, 2018. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images