Hoop Dreams

The new "ugly" Chandler Parsons gives the Rockets passion, purpose: Playing for more than basketball

The new "ugly" Chandler Parsons gives the Rockets passion, purpose

Chandler Parsons Texas Children's Hospital Prayers for Patrick
Chandler Parsons during a recent visit to Texas Children's Hospital to support his friend Patrick Hobbs-DeClaire. Courtesy of Prayers for Patrick

A less hairy Chandler Parsons is turning out to be very good for the Houston Rockets. The Rockets are 3-0 since Parsons shaved his head, including Saturday night's 107-98 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

While the fourth quarter scoring of James Harden (11 points in the final stanza) and Jeremy Lin (all 10 of his points in the fourth, including two critical threes) received much of the attention, Parsons had his own big Saturday night moments. His drive, miss and put back of his own miss kick started the team in the fourth and he finished with 19 points and seven rebounds.

It turns out playing — or at least shaving — for a cause is its own reward.

As most NBA fans know by now, Parsons shaved his impressive locks to show solidarity with a 10-year-old boy who's receiving treatment at Texas Children's Hospital for terminal stage four neuroblastoma, a malignant tumor that grows from nerve tissue. Parsons met Patrick Hobbs-DeClaire more than a year ago while the boy was undergoing several rounds of chemotherapy. The child's father, Christopher DeClaire, contacted Rockets CEO Tad Brown recently to ask for a morale boost for his son.

So it's no more Beverly Hills 90201 meets Jersey Shore sculpted hair for pretty boy Parsons, the 25-year-old small forward whose name itself nods to passe sitcoms and modern furniture. 

The 6-foot, 9-inch hottie plus his perfect hair and abs have expanded his calling into modeling, recently appearing in a Buffalo David Bitton's ad campaign that targets fitness-minded dudes who love when buxom gals in swimsuits sit on their laps . . . and stuff.

Parsons shaved off his do down to the stubble, a cut that gives him an uncanny resemblance to Grey's Anatomy hunk Jesse Williams, aka Dr. Jackson Avery. But the new haircut has little to do with fashion, style or vanity.

"The kid is so strong and so brave," Parsons said. "Here I am going to see a podiatrist for an ingrown toenail and this kid is battling for his life. How he handles it is incredible. To go through what he's going through and to be so positive, it's an inspiration."

 "To go through what he's going through and to be so positive, it's an inspiration."

Patrick Hobbs-DeClaire's baldness is a side effect from a bone marrow transplant procedure a month ago, the latest attempt at eradicating his disease.

In a recent Tumblr entry on the website Prayers for Patrick, Patrick Hobbs-DeClaire is shown with Parsons spending time together before the haircut. A photo is accompanied by a message that reads, "Thank you for visiting me Chandler you are my hero!"

Parsons didn't tell his little friend of his plans. Parsons did, however, tell the boy's parents to watch for him on the court during the nationally-televised Christmas night game against San Antonio in which Parsons debuted his new haircut. He shaved it last Monday night after a loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

Other players who have spent time with the Hobbs-DeClaire include Lin, Harden and Dwight Howard.

Check out the Instagram photo below for another look at Parsons' new look: