DALLAS – The Mavericks’ .500 beard pact was breaking news to Shawn Marion.
“Who the hell said that? When did they say it?” Marion asked after Friday’s practice. “Somebody told that (expletive) to me last night. I didn’t hear anything about it. I don’t know, are we? I could do it.”
OK, let’s try to answer one Matrix question at a time.
Dirk Nowitzki made the pact public when asked whether his wife, Jessica, approved of his new whiskers, saying he and several teammates wouldn’t shave until the Mavs were .500 again. This happened after Wednesday night’s win over the Portland Trail Blazers, and the pact was confirmed by Vince Carter, who credited O.J. Mayo for the idea.
The pact is optional, according to Carter, who said only players who has beard experience were originally approached.
“I don’t really see what’s the big deal, but everybody’s making a big deal out of it,” Carter said. “It was something that came out of the blue. (Mayo) said, ‘Hey, let’s grow our beards.’ That’s easy for me. And sometimes Dirk has one, (Chris) Kaman has one. We just asked people that grow beards mostly.”
PODCAST ESPN Insider Marc Stein joins Ben and Skin to talk about the Mavericks, the “500 beards,” trades possibilities and the Lakers.
Marion, who sports a thin, neatly trimmed mustache and goatee, said he’d consider conditionally participating in the pact.
“I could pull it off,” Marion said. “It’s going to be neat if I do it. I’m not going to let it just be rough, rough. But, no, I’m going to trim it up.
“I’ll do it if everybody is going to do it, but if everybody doesn’t do it, I ain’t going to do it. So everybody’s got to be on board.
“We’ve got a lot of these kids on this team that are baby faces. A lot of them can’t grow hair. They might glue on a beard or something.”
As far as coach Rick Carlisle concerned, the facial hair is fine by him.
“I’m all for it,” Carlisle said. “I’m in favor of anything that creates solidarity and focus on a certain mission. So I like it.
“No one’s approached me about it yet. I doubt they will.”
And if they do?
“I’m open-minded,” the cleanly shaven Carlisle said.