Varejao’s mop-top is not the only wild hair-do in Cleveland now

HAMAMATSU, Japan – Anderson Varejao wants to pass along a message to his new – and similarly hair-obsessed – Cavaliers teammate, Scot Pollard: In Cleveland, Varejao is the hair guy.

The mop-topped Varejao, starring for Brazil at the world championships in Japan, is looking forward to playing alongside Pollard next year. The two big men are expected to muscle in on Cleveland’s opponents, and perhaps scare a few hairstylists along the way.

Pollard, known for his ever-changing ‘dos and length of sideburns, joined the Cavaliers last week after signing a one-year contract.

“I guess I’ve got some competition now,” Varejao said with a chuckle, before practicing Monday with the Brazilians ahead of their game yesterday against unbeaten Turkey.

Varejao, 23, is already known in Cleveland for his hair. In February, the Cavaliers had a Wig Night promotion at Quicken Loans Arena.

“It was, like, 23,000 people with wigs, very strange,” Varejao said. “I felt like I was looking in the mirror – many times.”

The extra attention must have done him some good. Coming off surgery last year – to correct a damaged ligament in his right shoulder – Varejao wasn’t sure what to expect when he came back on a regular basis to the lineup.

He played well during the NBA playoffs, particularly in Cleveland’s second-round loss in seven games to the Detroit Pistons. He had a career-best 16 points in the third game and led the team in shooting from the field for the first three games, going 14-for-20.

“It was good for me to help the team,” Varejao said. “I finally had the opportunity, and it was good to help Cleveland have a very good season.”

Varejao is getting plenty of court time with Brazil here, and the shoulder is behaving itself.

He tussled several times with Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut in Brazil’s opening loss to Australia. He also had a solid performance in Brazil’s win over Qatar, scoring 13 points and generally running the play whenever he was on the floor.

“I am still doing a lot of exercis”, stretching, and trying to keep it loose,” Varejao said of his shoulder. “It is very good, no pain.”

The 6-foot-11, 265-pound Pollard will give the Cavaliers more inside defensive strength alongside Varejao, who is 6-10 and weighs 240 pounds.

Pollard is known across the NBA for his various hairstyles, including a mohawk, single and double pony tails, a bald head and a variety of hair colors.

Varejao, well, just has that full head of long curly hair.

“I guess I’ve had it for seven or eight years,” Varejao said. “I never curl it. It’s natural. I hardly ever get it cut.”

Cleveland coach Mike Brown once paid Varejao a compliment, but couldn’t resist taking a shot at his mop.”

“He has about the quickest feet of any guy I know that is 7 feet, or 6-10 and some hair,” Brown said this year.

Varejao laughed when he was reminded of Brown’s comments.

“I guess I’ll tell Scot Pollard that he can do whatever he likes with his hair this season,” Varejao said. “But the Wig Night is mine.”