Tag:Washington Wizards
Posted on: December 28, 2010 9:09 pm

Are the Wizards shopping McGee and Blatche?

Posted by Royce Young

Over the past two seasons, the Washington D.C. has been ground zero for weird NBA stories. That whole Gilbert Arenas thing happened -- something the Wizards are still recovering from -- but most recently JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche tried to punch each other's faces out in front of a night club.

The Wizards moved on from the Arenas incident recently by trading him. And the same fate may face either Blatche or McGee. Or maybe both.

According to HoopsWorld,
the Wizards are shopping McGee and Blatche to gauge how much interest there might be. This of course could be a result of the fight or it could just be something Ernie Grunfeld had planned on doing.

My guess is that it's all related. Under new owner Ted Leonsis, the Wizards have been completely committed to becoming more family-friendly and having a product on the court that the city can be proud of. I would assume that having two players that tried to rearrange each other's noses doesn't qualify there.

What's interesting is that the Wizards signed Blatche to a contract extension over the summer that runs through 2015. Obviously at the time, it seemed like the Wizards were entirely committed to Blatche as part of the future. But maybe not.

Then again, this might be a tactic by Leonsis and Grunfeld to try and get the attention of two of the entire league's biggest underachievers. Both Blatche and McGee have incredible talent. But neither have really been consistent. Blatche came into the season, well, fat and McGee just hasn't really developed his game outside of alley-oops, putbacks and trying to block every shot attempted ever.

I would assume that Grunfeld is going to find that not many folks are all that interested in trading much for either. Because of Blatche's extension, I doubt he'll garner much interest, but some enterprising general manager might be willing to take on McGee as a project. I remember before the 2009 draft there were a couple murmurs going around that Sam Presti was interested in McGee. A good system and a new culture could do wonders for a prospect like McGee.

More than likely, nothing comes of this rumor. By the deadline, I'd expect both McGee and Blatche to be in a Wizard uniform. But Grunfeld and Leonsis are focused on changing the Wizards' culture so any bad apples might be shown the door. Washington is in the middle of a complete flip and anyone not named John Wall is likely a candidate to be shipped off. Probably starting with the guys that try and beat up teammates.
Posted on: December 26, 2010 4:00 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:51 pm

Blatche, McGee suspended 1 game, apologize

The Washington Wizards suspended Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee for getting into a fight at a nightclub, and both players apologized.andray-blatche-javale-mcgee Posted by Ben Golliver  On Friday, we noted that Washington Wizards forward Andray Blatche and center JaVale McGee were reportedly involved in a fight at a DC-area nightclub that involved punches being thrown. While details of the Christmas Eve altercation weren't initially clear, the Washington Post reports that the Wizards investigated the incident and decided to suspend Blatche and McGee for one game for "conduct detrimental to the team." The players will serve their suspension during Sunday night's game against the San Antonio Spurs.  
Witnesses at the club have said that the Wizards' starting front line cursed at each other, while two sources added that Blatche and McGee exchanged punches before being restrained from each other. According to one source, Al Thornton attempted to break up the fight and was punched by a club bouncer. Police were called on the scene, but no arrests were made and there were no injuries.
Blatche, the Wizards' leading scorer, originally denied that he and McGee fought, claiming that the two had "only one push" while exiting the club in an effort to avoid other fights inside. The Wizards stated that it was "simply a disagreement between teammates" on Friday before investigating further and determining that punishment was in order.
Blatche also apologized via text message to the Washington Post.
"I'm very sorry for the incident. I had no intention of this ever happening. I apologize for my behavior, to my family, the whole Wizards organization, my fans, my teammates and coaches."
McGee similarly apologized on Twitter, where his username is "BigDaddyWookie."
I wanna apologize to the fans and the wizards organization for the immature acts that I was involved in.
Given the magnitude of a "nightclub fight" headline and the franchise's recent history with teammate-on-teammate threats of violence, completely letting this kind of incident slide would have been a public relations disaster. The suspension, although it amounts to a slap on the wrist, does send a message to fans that more is expected from Wizards players. That both Blatche and McGee apologized shows a level of professionalism that was absent on Christmas Eve. One hopes that the two young Washington big men take their late-night altercations to a practice gym, where they can push and shove and jostle for control of the paint all they like, without the need for police intervention. Entering Sunday's game, the Wizards remain 7-20, dead last in the Southest Division and the Eastern Conference.
Posted on: December 24, 2010 10:24 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:50 pm

Report: Wizards' Blatche, McGee exchange punches

Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee of the Washington Wizards reportedly exchanged punches at a Washington, D.C. nightclub on Christmas Eve. Posted by Ben Golliverandray-blatche-javale-mcgee Washington Wizards forward Andray Blatche and center JaVale McGee took a short break from underperforming on the court to engage in fisticuffs at a nightclub on Christmas Eve, reports the Washington Post
Multiple league sources have confirmed that teammates Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee were involved in an altercation outside an area club early Friday morning.
Witnesses have said that the players were screaming expletives at each other, but two league sources added that Blatche and McGee also exchanged several punches at the Shadow Room in Northwest Washington. A Wizards spokesman released a statement late Friday that read, "The team looked into the matter earlier today and determined it was simply a disagreement between teammates."
Well, on the bright side, it was fists and not firearms.  Friday morning's incident comes roughly one year after former Wizards guards Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton got into a disagreement that saw Arenas bring multiple guns into the team's locker room, and ended with Arenas suspended for the remainder of the season. Both players are young. Blatche is 24 years old and McGee is just 22, and  no one would confuse either player with a mature adult. But their altercation, with some details still remaining unclear, is another sign that there is still work to be done in changing the Wizards' culture.  Washington's new owner, Ted Leonsis, has said in recent interviews that a full rebuilding effort will take multiple years. Both Blatche, who is averaging 16.8 points and 7.7 rebounds, and McGee, who is averaging 9.2 points and 8.3 rebounds, are generally assumed to be in the team's longterm plans, which focus on building around franchise point guard John Wall, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft.  But with any headline-drawing incident like this, it's good to step back and ask a simple but tough question: Will these players help Wall achieve greatness, will they stand in the way, or will they be a distraction? Bottom line: if they're not helping, they're hurting.  The Wizards are currently 7-20 and in last place in the NBA's Southeast Division. With no meaningful games remaining in their 2010-2011 season, this is an excellent time for the Wizards to take a hard-line stance on player transgressions. Get through to them, or get them out of there. Wall's future is too bright to waste.
Posted on: December 22, 2010 7:05 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2010 7:06 pm

NBA Drive: Orlando's moves and on renting Melo

Posted by Royce Young

On this week's edition of NBA Drive, CBSSports.com's Ken Berger talks about Orlando's big moves, has some news on Carmelo Anthony (of course) and even rants a bit.

On the Magic's move, Berger says that it will take some time for Orlando to integrate in the new pieces, but mentions how this is really a victory for Washington in moving on from Gilbert Arenas' contract.

As for what's happening with Anthony, the Nuggets have placed negotiations on hold for the time being with Carmelo dealing with a death in the family. But Berger also talks in depth about how Dallas has entered in to the Melo talks and is potentially looking to "rent" Anthony.

That means the team wouldn't have to give up as much and would only happen if the Nuggets can't find a suitable deal with the Nets. It's not a likely scenario, but as Berger notes, Mark Cuban isn't afraid of taking risks so he might not be opposed to renting Carmelo for a championship run.

Posted on: December 20, 2010 6:45 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:42 pm

Wizards guard John Wall has knee bone bruise

Washington Wizards point guard John Wall is battling knee pain caused by a bone bruise. Posted by Ben Golliverjohn-wall-knees

Last week, we took note of comments made by Washington Wizards coach Flip Saunders, who expressed some concern over the state of Wizards point guard John Wall's knees. Saunders said that he didn't believe Wall would ever be "pain free" and that it was leading the Wizards to take a careful approach in managing his return to the court. On Sunday, the Washington Post reported that Wall's knees may be worse than originally thought. Previously, everyone was under the assumption that Wall was dealing with tendinitis, but Wall told the paper he received a more serious diagnosis. 
"I had a feeling it wasn't just tendinitis," said Wall, who was distraught when he heard the diagnosis and believes the injury is the result of compensating on earlier foot and knee injuries on the left side of his body. "I was like, 'If it's tendinitis, I would've played through it.' Tendinitis is very painful, but I played through it summer league, I play through it now. I couldn't do no squats or I couldn't really run or I couldn't cut, so I knew it had to be something more than that."
Wall said he failed in his attempts to run on Saturday. He added that he is looking into soon working with a personal trainer to help him overcome his ailments. The pain in his knee might not allow him to play this week. "Not right now. Not the way it's feeling," Wall said. "It's not really a timetable. "It might be day by day and it might end up being a week or two. I really don't know right now.
"It's pretty tough," Wall said. "I've probably missed five, six games out of my whole life playing basketball. This is the most I've missed. So it's frustrating, trying to rehab, and seeing my team out there and can't be out there and can't make plays. I think my team is doing a great job of fighting and doing as much as they can. I just can't wait to get back out there with them."
Wall, the 2010 NBA Draft's No. 1 overall pick, has missed 10 of his team's 25 games so far this season and has had his Rookie of the Year campaign derailed, thanks to Los Angeles Clippers rookie Blake Griffin's sensational, all star caliber start. Wall has also shown spectacular flashes, but the time away from the court has turned him, temporarily, into an afterthought rather than a main attraction. Young guys will always want to play through this type of pain, especially competitors looking to make a name for themselves like Wall.  On paper, the Wizards look like a worst-case scenario for a player in this position. They have an owner who has made it clear he wants to greatly increase ticket sales, they have an embattled GM who has placed Wall as the franchise centerpiece from day one after spinning in circles for years, they have a desperate coach who knows he should probably be fired, and they have a roster without enough depth to reasonably compensate for Wall's absence. If ever there was a situation in which a player would be rushed back too quickly, this would seem to be it. Yet, it hasn't happened. The Wizards have done the right thing: take their lumps, exercise maximum caution, and let Wall's health, and not any outside factors or motivations, dictate his recovery timeline. The list of cautionary tales in the NBA is a mile long; a player who relies as heavily as Wall does on his athleticism won't be nearly as effective in years to come if he doesn't take care of his body, and especially his knees, at a young age. The highlights will have to wait in Washington, but for now that's a good thing.
Posted on: December 20, 2010 10:48 am

Gilbert Arenas says farewell to Washington

Posted by Royce Young

The Gilbert Arenas era in Washington was something. I don't really know the right word to put there, so I'm going with "something." Because that's what it was. Turmoil, then greatness, then turmoil, then controversy, then greatness and then a LOT of turmoil.

But it's all over and despite there being some heavy ups and downs, Arenas wanted to express his thanks to the fans, organization and people that he had dealt with over the past eight years. In a text to CSN Washington, Arenas said farewell:
"I know it didn't end like I would have liked. I had a great time playing in Washington - They made me feel like a rock star while I was there. I wish I could have took them further than the second round.

I wanna thank Mr. and Mrs. Pollin, Ernie, Eddie, every teammate I went to war with on the basketball court. Thanks for believing in me.

I wanna thank Mr. Leonsis for giving me a chance to regain some basketball respect back in me career, and I hope nothing but the best for him and the Wizards. Last but not least I want to thank the great fans of Washington. It was an honor playing for you guys for 8 years.

I hope when it's all said and done, I entertained you when you entered those doors at the MCI/Verizon Center and can forgive me as a man for the mistakes I've made."

The street goes two ways and the Wizards family will miss Arenas too. It's Gilbert Arenas Tribute Day at Bullets Forever, so be sure to read Mike Prada's outstanding post on what Arenas meant to him and Wizard fans everywhere.
Posted on: December 20, 2010 8:40 am

Shootaround 12.20.10: Trades, injuries and LeBron

Posted by Royce Young
  • Andrew Bynum says he's still feeling pain in his knee: "It's not going to change. It's nothing to be nervous about. I have to expect that that's going to happen. I can't wait to start working with my trainer (Sean Zarzana) again, so I can get some explosion back. I feel like I can't really jump right now."
  • Rashard Lewis doesn't seem like enough back for Gilbert Arenas. But Michael Lee of the Washington Post says that should've been expected: “The Wizards weren’t going to get “equal value” — or whatever that may be — at this time. And, unless they were willing to take back Baron Davis — which they weren’t — the Wizards couldn’t find another comparable point guard in the deal. So they had to settle on adding another forward to a team that is now overwhelmed at the position, with the return of Josh Howard."
  • Jermaine O'Neal wants to retire a Pacer: "Just because I'm not there anymore doesn't mean all the memories are forgotten ... If it wasn't for the Pacers, the organization and the community nobody would have probably known who I was. Anywhere in the world I go, they know me because of my Pacers days."
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel : “Blame LeBron, Magic fans, if it helps. He’s been catching Heat (and that wasn’t even a forced pun) since he left the Cavs. Folks everywhere said he was at fault for everything from the Obama tax cuts to Sal Alosi to Miley Cyrus. Those are just coincidences. Not this. Sign up for our new Varsity Sports newsletter and get high school sports updates delivered right to your inbox. He’s a serial home-wrecker, fracturing franchises like Godzilla in an old sci-fi movie. He not only laid waste to the city of Cleveland, but he’s the supernatural force that eventually doomed Orlando, leading to the Magic’s break-up. Blame LeBron. If he stays in Cleveland or goes anywhere else but Miami, F-L-A, the Magic’s pre-trade woes aren’t quite as magnified or exposed. They wouldn’t look as if they were going backward so fast."
  • LeBron gets why Orlando brought back Hedo: “I’ve thought that it was surprising when Turk (Hedo Turkoglu) wasn’t brought back  the year after they beat us [Cleveland Cavaliers]. I just thought what Turk created for their team, that point-four created everything. He always created a mismatch and that was part of the reason why they beat us. There were times I would switch off onto Turk and they would go to Rashard (Lewis). Sometimes I would go on Rashard and they would go to Turk.  We were too small on the perimeter during those years … I know they’re happy to have him back. It’s gonna be different, it’s going to be a different transition because I know when you break up a team and bring guys in it takes a while. We’ll see what happens.”
Posted on: December 19, 2010 1:46 pm

Video: Gilbert Arenas talks on the trade to Magic

Posted by Royce Young

If the Orlando media learned anything today when they spoke with Gilbert Arenas for the first time as a member of the Magic, it's that media availability is going to be a little more fun than usual now.

Arenas was his usual candid self talking about why he didn't feel like he fit in with the Wizards, how this is a new beginning for him and how he's fine coming off the bench.

"I think it was more of a confidence thing with me in that I knew I wasn't the man there any more," Arenas told reporters. "So I guess I was just docile. But now that Otis says you're going to be a main role and just play and be you, I was like OK. So I came out here working out and I feel good."

As far as how he felt like he was the odd man out, he put in a subtle dig at the Wizards.

"I sensed something when I was coming off the bench and the excuse was they needed scoring off the bench and I was like 'where's the scoring from the starting five'?", he said. "But from there I figured they were probably shipping me out because I was playing well and somebody was going to have an interest in me.

"This is a new beginning for me. This is a true new beginning. Going back and changing my number was a new beginning, this is a real new beginning. New city, new people, new team... I get to start fresh."

One thing that was interesting was that Arenas said he complained to Orlando general manager Otis Smith about "coming to get him." Arenas has spent a lot of time in Orlando and even said he grew up a Magic fan, mainly because of Penny Hardaway. And Arenas is going to wear No. 1 because of that.

Despite there apparently being no more Agent Zero because of the number change, Arenas seemed to be a little of his old self in the first interview.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com