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The Story of the Pelicans' Barber, Fat Cal

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Meet Anthony Davis' friend and the Pelicans' personal barber, Fat Cal.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There's a hidden gem on Instagram of Pelican's star Anthony Davis dancing to a Michael Jackson video game.

Before the crash

A video posted by Fat Cal 504-496-8986 (@fatcal12) on

Put aside the fact Davis spends his nights dancing to Michael Jackson video games for a moment, and focus on the the man dancing next to him. His name is Calvin Doherty, or as most know him as, Fat Cal, the Pelicans' personal barber.

He's been cutting hair since 1992, when he was 12 years old. Cal, with his perfectly maintained goatee, says he’s cut a majority of NBA players’ hair throughout the years, including the likes of Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, but Davis’ relationship with Cal is stronger than most people have with their hairstylist.

"This past year was really the first time I started [consistently] cutting his hair, and now we talk almost every day, you know, he’s a great friend," Cal said.

Cal calls Davis family, and spends a lot of his time with the Davis family. Their relationship grew naturally, as Cal had been the Pelicans' barber well before Davis ever joined the team.

Fat Cal now runs Kreative Designs, what he says is "without a doubt" the most popular barbershop in his area, but years ago, Cal and his fellow hairstylists had been bouncing around the West Bank until Hurricane Katrina knocked them out of town.

"I lost everything, and our whole business went down with Katrina. We came back and were gutting houses, and that wasn’t working for me," Cal said. "Within that week's time, I found a barber shop. I just bought all the tools and got started. It was actually the only barber shop in the city that was open. It was like a club Monday through Sunday."

The barber shop was advertised on the radio, and everyone in the city seemed to roll through. Word got around fast, and about six or seven months later, then-Hornets guard Chris Paul gave Fat Cal a call.

"I thought it was a friend messing with my phone," Cal said. "When I finally met him, that was it. He opened all kind of doors in my life. The day I met him was best day of my life."

For Cal, a native of the Lower Ninth Ward who hadn’t owned a house before Katrina, this was the ultimate blessing. Sooner or later, Cal had been invited to join Team Jordan, and he signed with the Jordan Brand. Now, for every NBA All Star Weekend, Team Jordan will fly him to wherever the festivities are so he can cut every players’ hair.

Cal seemed destined to cut hair from the start. In high school, Cal didn’t play football or basketball; he was cutting his peers' hair. Cal said starting Kreative Design with his fellow barbers was extremely emotional.

"It was a big jump." Cal said. "We had so many memories of before, you know, Katrina, my high school, my elementary school, it was something."

Paul, who is now in Los Angeles with the Clippers, talks to Cal frequently, and the two are always texting and checking up on each other. After Paul left, Cal had been with the team for a few years, and Davis’ famous unibrow soon started seeing the barber.

"When I first met Anthony, I guess he just liked the kind of character I was, and he loved the way I cut his hair," Cal said. "Our relationship mostly grew when were together in New York City for the [2015 NBA All Star Weekend.] He took me out to a few spots, and he was just a real cool dude. When I’d get off, he’d take me out to eat with his family."

He said Davis would take Cal out to appearances, and Cal was welcomed into Davis’ crew.

Aside from the All Star Weekends, Cal lives a simple lifestyle. He prides himself on giving the freshest cuts to youngsters in the area.

Cal chiseled a fade onto the left side of a boy's head. The fade design was unique, with two circular loops, one loop smaller than the other. The boy hopped out of his chair after his cut was complete, then checked out his new 'do in the reflection of a vending machine in the shop, snagged a smartphone and continued to marvel at his fresh hairstyle in different angles as the barber touched up the rest of his family.

Everyone feels good after a hair cut from Fat Cal. He says he feels no pressure when cutting Davis’ hair, and says its easy to cut, and he would never dare get rid of The Brow’s unibrow.

"It just fits his face," Cal said. "If he cuts it off, he’ll get weak. That’s his signature. That’s his strength; his strength is in the brow. [The Brow] is his own patented thing."

One of Davis' latest cuts got featured on the cover of NBA 2K16, and Cal joked on Instagram that his hair cuts make Davis play better.

Fat Cal will come into the Pelican's facility two or three times a week to get the players squared away. He's the fade master who gives Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans their cuts and is responsible for maintaining Norris Cole's cut, that oddly looks like Gerald's from popular children's show, "Hey Arnold."

"All of the guys are cool," Cal said. "Everybody shows love when I come." 

But no other Pelican has a relationship with Cal like Davis does.

"I've watched him help all kinds of people," Cal said. "He loves to do things with the kids. He loves the people's character [in New Orleans]. He loves New Orleans culture. Just real humble, he ain't gonna say too much. He's just a big ole kid."

As for the nick name, "Fat Cal," he's been called that ever since high school.

"I was a little bit chubby in high school," Cal joked. "So that's how it started. They called me Cal, and then people started calling me Fat Cal, and that was cool with me."

Major S/O to my homie for showing me so much love @antdavis_23 NEW ORLEANS BIG DOG yall go follow him

A photo posted by Fat Cal 504-496-8986 (@fatcal12) on