Did the Harrison Barnes branding project fail?


First and foremost, anyone that says that Harrison Barnes’ new logo isn’t awesome is crazy.

It’s awesome.

But it should also shed a little bit of light onto why Barnes has never quite lived up to the expectations that he had coming out of high school in Iowa.

Before I go any further, read this and then read this. They aren’t long, I promise, but they will give you an idea of just how much Barnes was concerned about the business side of basketball. Barnes has always been an intelligent kid, always been worried about his grades, but it seems like somewhere along the line, a switch was flipped. He went from being the high school basketball star that new about how much he was worth as an athlete to the businessman that was more worried about protecting a future investment than he was learning how to create his own shot off the dribble.

“In high school, I was the kid from Iowa, who no one knew about and who used to work hard,” Barnes to The Atlantic. “Now, in college, I’m more the business guy who plays basketball.”

The irony in all of this?

Barnes’ attention to the business side of his career may have hurt “the business”.

Part of the reason that he returned to school was because, as he put it, “The longer you stay in college, the better a brand you build.” It just so happens that his brand’s slogan may now be “cannot score without Kendall Marshall passing him the ball.”

I don’t mean to make light of Barnes, but the bottom line is that getting caught up in handling the next step in life ignores how important it is to thrive at the current step. The best way to becoming the best NBA player and, thus, the best business is to be the best collegiate player you can be. Thomas Robinson is the perfect example. He’s turned himself into an inspiration, a first-team all-american and a top five draft pick through his hard work and devotion to making a better life for his young sister.

That’s just a bit more marketable than the sophomore that underperformed while assuming his greatness.

There’s a lesson to be learned here, kids.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.