"Father Time comes for us all" intone grizzled sports pundits whenever a star athlete shows signs of decline. The same cliche can be applied to Shaquille O'Neal's newly revealed hairline, which he proudly presented to the world this week during an episode of NBA on TNT.
Like other balding kings, Shaq, 47, has wisely shaved his head on his head for quite a while—until he lost a basketball-related bet to co-host and good friend Dwyane Wade. The end result is, well, noticeable:
In Shaq's defense, he's taken the self-inflicted grooming disaster as well as one possibly could: He and co-host Candace Parker shouted out someone named Lauren— presumably a barber—who did an admirable job attempting to line him up without much to work with; Shaq also encouraged people on Twitter to roast him for the entirety of this week-long excursion, and the people have happily obliged. The most common response has involved Twitter threads of tic-tac-toe games that utilize Shaq's forehead.
This isn't the first hair-related bet Shaq has participated in, though his last endeavor went a little better. He and Orlando Magic big man Mo Bamba agreed to a friendly wager over an LSU-Texas game in 2019, which ended in an LSU victory. (Shaq's alma mater; Bamba went to Texas.) As a result, Bamba had to chop off his high-top.
And in case you were wondering what Shaq's hairline looked like back in the day, before Father Time caught up to him in more ways than one, see below.
Shaq, we love you with and without hair on your head.
There's a lot of mythology and misconception in the world of male vanity. So we're tracking down industry professionals to set the record straight.
Originally Appeared on GQ