Bye Bye Beard

The fashion statement "was a preseason look”

By John Wist
|  Tuesday, Oct 12, 2010  |  Updated 8:41 AM EDT
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Bye Bye Beard

NBCWashington.com

Gilbert Arenas at media day 2010.

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Maybe he’s been trying to distract us. Instead of talking about Gilbert Arenas returning from a 50-game suspension and gun charges last season, all the hype has been over some gangly facial hair. Who does he look like more, a ‘70s-era Bill Cosby or Grady from “Sanford and Son?”

It was the perfect ploy, really. If there isn’t basketball to talk about, give them something to talk about, like an unkempt face, so they don’t talk about the bad stuff. But it may finally be time that he faces the music. That’s right: Emo Gil’s cutting the beard off.

According to the Washington Post’s Wizard Insider Michael Lee, Arenas announced the shave during an encounter with Wizards owner Ted Leonsis. Lee said that Arenas was greeted after practice Monday by Leonsis, who made a comment about the beard to which Arenas responded, “I’m cutting it. I’m cutting it.”

Goatee-laden Leonsis then tried to convince Arenas to at least keep a little of the scruff. But Arenas told the team owner that it “was a preseason look.”

It’s not only Arenas’ facial hair that drew media attention. The former team captain’s serious demeanor and new number got reporters talking at Wizards media day in September.

“In the past, I used to show happiness on the outside, and there’s no need to do that anymore,” Arenas said. “Now I can just play the game the right way and play with my passion, and that’s what we need to focus on.”

Arenas hasn’t formally announced when he’ll break out the razor, but we’re sure we’ll hear all about it.

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