Dirk Nowitzki Shaves James Harden-Esque Beard After Dallas Mavericks Reach 40-40

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Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks don't need the playoffs. They had something much bigger to play for.

Like the ability to appear clean-shaven again.

At 21-28, Dirk and crew revealed a pact not to shave until the team reached .500. Two-plus months and 31 games later, the Mavericks reached 40-40 following an 18-point thrashing of the New Orleans Hornets.

As you can tell (h/t Larry Brown Sports), Nowitzki wasted little time in relieving himself of the forest growing on his face. He can be seen smirking as he gives his face a cursory buzz.

Though undoubtedly ecstatic that Dallas hit the .500 mark, Dirk had waited to escape the responsibilities that come with being James Harden's doppelganger for quite some time. He and the Mavs had a barber at the ready when the team was 35-36.

Much like Harden's beard, Nowitzki's facial hair had become something of a novelty. His face resembled that of a blond grizzly bear, and people loved it.

After watching him sport a jungle's worth of mutton chops for nearly half the season, it's almost unsettling to see his face naked again. He looks a good 10 years younger.

His untamed facial art will be missed by everyone except Dirk himself.

Oh, and probably his wife as well.

"I might get a kiss tonight," Nowitzki said (via Mike Fisher of Fox Sports Southwest). "My wife stopped kissing me sometime in February."

Congratulations, Dirk. In one night, your Mavs reached .500 again, and you shaved your beard, regained the right to smooch your spouse and eclipsed 25,000 points for your career.

Talk about memorable victories.

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