Make Pecherov's Without Ice
Oleksiy Pecherov is from the Ukraine, home of various styles of sub-zero precipitation. He was born in December, a month which is synonymous with scenes of frozen bliss. Pecherov likes to shoot the ball as often as possible, regardless of past results, a trait sometimes described as "cold-blooded." His uniform number, 14, was used in the title of a novel whose tagline is "cold enough to freeze the soul."
And yet this child of the snow, I learned via a hot tip, doesn't like to drink the Wizards' stock of refrigerated Gatorade. Too cold. His bottles are removed from the fridge and placed in his locker, so that they can, you know, warm up.
"I drink everything without ice," he explained. "No ice. Back at home, we drink a lot of hot tea. And we don't drink it wis ice, it's just like 'ooh,' " he said, grimacing. "So I came here, it was kind of new for me and I start drink wis ice and I feel sick, I feel like my throat get, you know, bad. So I just start drinking without ice. I drink everything without ice."
His restaurant order?
"Just give me a ginger ale with no ice, fresh orange juice no ice, Sprite no ice," he rattled off.
And team-issued Gatorade?
"Same," he said. "I'm trying ask for warm Gatorade, not cold. It's not warm, you know, but it's just normal, normal room temperature. It's just not cold. And I like it zat way, so everybody knows zis. Like guys who help us out, they just give it to me. It's just how I drink. I don't know. Everybody's different, right? Somebody drink ice, somebody EAT ice. In America I saw a lot of times, they just eating ice. I was like, 'how you can eat ice?' And you know," and here he demonstrated some odd Yank shoveling ice into his mouth. "For me, it's somezing new. So everybody different, everybody got his own routine."
Speaking of routine, Pecherov recently got his second haircut since he came stateside. The results were unsatisfying. He described the haircut with a word not fit for a family blog.
"It vas my second time in American barber shop and it vas crazy, you know, he just cut it off, so I just looking at him and I can't do anything about it," he told a small group that included two Wiz PR staffers.
I asked where his hair had been cut, wondering if he shared Alex Ovechkin's predeliction toward mall-based cutteries.
"I don't know, it's some barber shop, I don't know vat it's name," he said.
Wiz PR whiz Zack Bolno advised Pesh to request a lesser trim in the future, and then make modifications if necessary.
"I'm try to tell him, usually, you know, usually keep it longer, keep it longer," Pesh agreed. "But it vas too late, he vas cutting cutting cutting, and zen I look in the mirror, 'Oh, it's too short!'
"But it's growing. It's gonna be fine. Couple veeks, it's gonna be fine. Now it's ok. Like 2 weeks ago, it was bald naked. Right now it's fine. Now I like. Now it's fine. I like zis haircut. Zis one is normal."
Out of curiosity, remembering Ovechkin's $14 trim, I asked how much this unsatisfying cutting had cost. Thirty-five dollars, he told us. Which seemed like kind of a lot.
"I know," Pecherov said. "He robbed me. He see poor Ukrainian guy on the street, valking, valking, he say, 'Come on, come over here, give me your zhirty-five dollars.' "
Not that an NBA player particularly needs my help getting free stuff, but if anyone from the Hair Cuttery is reading this and fails to offer Pecherov a year of free trims, to be concluded with an ad campaign starring two of the District's biggest Eastern Bloc sports stars, that person should be fired.
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