CHICAGO -- Anyone take a good look at John Wall or Bradley Beal lately? Of all the questions they've faced in their first playoff series with the Chicago Bulls -- about jitters, experience, deep-dish pizza -- the most obvious one was overlooked. And no, it wasn't about the leopard-pattern sneakers Beal wore after Game 2 though that should've been addressed. What's up with the scruffy look?
It turns out that the Wizards' starting backcourt has made a pact to remain unkempt until the playoffs end. Wall is allowing his hair to grow out, including on his face. He looks a little bit older than 23. So does Beal, 20. When the duo sat together at the podium after a 101-99 overtime victory vs. the Bulls on Tuesday, they had the look of seasoned vets rather than image-conscious young guns.
"Nah," Wall said when asked if he planned on shaving before Game 2. "Probably summertime."
Here's how it came about: Wall and Beal, who have had "summit" meetings between themselves since both were in New Orleans to participate in All-Star weekend, initially decided do this to close out the regular season. Garrett Temple, a backup guard, was supposed to participate, too. His vanity, however, wouldn't allow him to stick to the plan.
The Wizards won eight of their last 10 games, including the playoffs, secured the No. 5 seed and are in the postseason for the first time in six years. Not that Wall believes in rituals or luck.
"I’m not superstitious like that. You see Brad is growing his hair out, too," Wall said. "Temp was supposed to do it with us but he didn’t want to do it with us so he cut his hair."
So Wall sat alone at the practice facility and repeated himself loudly to make sure Temple, who was warming up, could hear him. "So, yes, you can talk to Temple about why he didn't grow his hair out.
"We were going to do till the end of the regular season to make a push for the playoffs. Then we just said we’ll keep it."
One thing Wall promises is that his facial hair, which is more pronounced than Beal's, won't reach James Harden proportions. He'll Euro-step his way to a mirror for a trim.
"I’m not going to have it that wide. I just want to have it grow out a little bit. I don’t want mine that big," he said. "It won’t get that nappy. I don’t want it like that."
Bradley Beal's unique shoes: