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Basketball

They're making mane connections

August 18, 2008
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BEIJING - Mali's female basketball team lost all of their games at the Olympics but earned top style marks for their "electric shock" Don King-style hairdos.

Yao Ming and the clean-cut China players, in contrast, are unlikely to trouble the barbers of Beijing for more than a short back and sides, scoring poorly for "artistic impression."

The Olympic basketball venue is the place to be seen and Chinese fashionistas looking for hairstyling tips from the cream of the world's basketballers have myriad options.

The world-champion Spaniards are sending female fans weak at the knees with their designer stubble and tousled long locks.

Still stubble-free, the team's 17-year-old sensation Ricky Rubio, who has been dubbed the "Spanish Magic Johnson," looks as if he has walked out of a boyband and is a firm fan favorite.

The Olympic-champion Argentines, meanwhile, are more Red Hot Chilli Peppers, opting for even more facial growth and even longer hair.

The gold medal favorite Americans have arguably the most boring haircuts at the basketball, Carmelo Anthony's cornrows the honorable exception.

While the blow-dried Lithuanians and Russians are dead ringers for Dolph Lundgren's Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, Germany made a strong claim for zaniest hairdos of the Games.

Dirk Nowitzki and his teammates were given huge cheers after trotting out for their opening game with the Olympic rings shaved into their close-cropped skulls.

The women's competition has featured few hairstyles to set the scissors flying with most players sporting ponytails - leaving the coast clear for Mali to clean up stylistically.

Several of the Mali players sported frizzy dreadlock-style hairdos set off by a shock of midnight blue or lime green that Don King would have been proud of. (Reuters)

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