Mavericks won't shave until they reach .500

02/08/2013 11:01 PM

03/14/2013 4:47 PM

DALLAS -- If the Dallas Mavericks don't start stringing together several wins real quickly, a lot of them are going to start looking like the bushy-bearded James Harden of the Houston Rockets.

Guard O.J. Mayo convinced several of his teammates to not shave until the Mavs' won-loss record climbs to .500.

If the Mavericks, who are 21-28, win their next seven games, they'll reach .500 in a Feb. 26 home game against Milwaukee.

If they don't go on a run, things could get, well, hairy.

"[Mayo] came out of the blue and said, 'Hey, let's grow our beards,''' forward Vince Carter said. "That's easy for me."

Coach Rick Carlisle said he's open to any suggestion.

"I've heard a little bit about it, and I'm all for it," Carlisle said. "I'm in favor of anything that creates solidarity and a focus on a certain mission, so I like it. No one's approached me about it yet, and I doubt they will."

Marion's demand

Shawn Marion said if the Mavs try to trade him to a non-contending team, he would consider retirement.

"The thing is right now when you come to a position like I am -- this is my 14th season -- if I'm going to get traded, they're going to tell me what's going on and where I'm going," Marion said. "Because if I'm going to a [bad] situation, I'm not going.

"I'm too old to be trying to go through and not having a chance to do anything. I'm at a point where I want to be playing for something right now."

Marion has one year remaining on his contract that pays him $9.3 million next season. That contract also includes a 15 percent trade kicker.

The trade deadline is Feb. 21, and Marion said the only way he's leaving Dallas is if it's to a team contending for the championship.

"That's the only way I'm going," Marion, 34, said. "That's the only positive that can come out of that."

Carlisle praises Jackson

Rick Carlisle had nothing but praise for his former teammate Mark Jackson, who coaches tonight's foe, the Golden State Warriors.

"He's done a great job of taking that team and really changing the culture," Carlisle said. "They really had been a run-and-gun, high-speed, a lot of gambling on defense [team], to now they're a real solid team playing a playoff style.

"It's no accident that they're right in the middle of the playoff mix in the West."

Jackson and Carlisle were New York Knicks teammates during Jackson's rookie season in 1987-'88.

"At that time I could tell that he had a great intellectual curiosity for the game, a very high basketball IQ," Carlisle said. "It made sense that he would end up in coaching down the line."

Kaman improving

Center Chris Kaman hasn't been able to practice since suffering a concussion during a nasty spill in practice on Jan. 28.

"He's doing better," Rick Carlisle said. "He's doing a little better each day."

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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