By Mark Strotman
Jamail Jones will enter the 2011-2012 season with a new mindset and work ethic as he looks to build on a freshman season he called a learning experience.
He’ll also have a brand new haircut to go with it.
The idea for the new cut this summer came about while Jones was watching the movie “Juice” with sophomore guard Vander Blue. It first entered his mind that maybe one day he would sport a flattop, the same haircut many of the main characters had, including Tupac Shakur. Growing up in Atlanta, Jones also rooted for the Atlanta Hawks and Dominique Wilkins, owner of one of the most famous flattops back in the day.
When it came time for a haircut, Jones said the decision was last-minute.
“I went to the barber shop, I was kind of mid-afro, and didn’t know what I was doing with it,” he said. “And I was texting (Dwight) Buycks, I was like I don’t know what to do with my hair, and he said, ‘I know you were thinking about getting a box, so why not just try it out?’”
The haircut took 35 minutes and Jones said the upkeep is a daily effort, full of picking and brushing when he wakes up every morning.
Jones plans on keeping the flattop all season long, much to the dismay of a joking Tony Benford, who said Jones needed to get rid of it by tomorrow’s practice. He also plans to switch up its design, mainly the angle of the flattop to “keep the fans on their toes.”
Jones said response to the new cut has been positive from family and friends.
“My friends love it. They liked the idea of me having a box. My mom and dad, they really don’t pay as much attention to fashion, but my brothers like it,” Jones said. “They thought it was funny that I was getting it until I actually got it, and it turned out good. They didn’t think I would actually get it.”
In honor of the new look and inspiration, Jones said the team has given him the nickname “Juice,” to go along with last year’s “Mellow.”
Fans have responded to the new hairdo on Twitter, and Jones has jumped on board with recent hashtags such as, “#BelieveInThePowerOfTheFlattop” and “TeamFlattop.”
The new haircut has also sported friendly competition from fellow Georgia native, Jae Crowder, on whose haircut trumps whose.
Crowder’s long dreadlocks put into a ponytail are now being put to the test, but he said he likes Jones’ new look. However, when asked who had the best cut on the team, his answer was short and sweet.
“Oh, of course me.”