Mavs confident .500 beards can go

DALLAS -- The Mavericks hope to give O.J. Mayo's barber a lot of work Thursday night.

The Mavs are finally a win away from shaving their .500 beards, which several players have been growing since they made a pact to put down the razors until their record reached the break-even point again.

Seven players -- Mayo, Dirk Nowitzki, Vince Carter, Chris Kaman, Elton Brand, Jae Crowder and Dahntay Jones -- were part of the pact.

Only Jones has shaved, and that happened a couple of weeks after he was traded to the Atlanta Hawks -- and his new teammates weren't too keen on him sporting a beard as a tribute to his former team.

The Mavs made the pact when they were seven games under .500. They're 35-36 after winning nine of their last 12 games, including Tuesday night's thrilling overtime victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Omar the barber is coming to Thursday night's home game against the Indiana Pacers.

"Man, everyone is going to have their clippers in their locker Thursday and hopefully you guys can watch us shave them off," said Mayo, who said he doesn't know his barber's last name. "The barber will be here. We're going to leave him tickets and give ourselves a chance to shave them off.

"I want to make sure to do it right. I don't want to leave no patches."

Nowitzki's beard, the bushiest of the bunch, has become kind of a cult figure.

The Mavs' creative team made a "Dirk Dynasty" video that occasionally plays during timeouts, tweaking the opening of the "Duck Dynasty" TV show. Other bearded Mavs have at least maintained a neat neckline, but Nowitzki's neck is covered by thick mats of hair.

The only facial hair Nowitzki has trimmed is the part of his mustache that dangles over his lips, which he says is the only difference between this beard and the only other time he let his facial hair go wild, which was during an extended Outback getaway to soul-search after the top-seeded Mavs lost to the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the 2007 playoffs.

Nowitzki said his wife of less than a year, Jessica, doesn't like the look but has been a good sport about it. Nowitzki's mother recently told him that he looks 45 years old.

"I don't really want to jinx it, but I'm ready to get this thing off," Nowitzki said. "That's a big outing for us Thursday against a very good, tough team from the Eastern Conference."