Tag:Washington Wizards
Posted on: November 10, 2010 12:50 pm

Arenas faked injury because he was scared of boos

Posted by Royce Young

Hey, Gilbert Arenas said something again everybody. Gather 'round.

Via Mike Prada of Bullets Forever , Arenas told Sports Illustated that he faked an injury in the preseason not to give Nick Young playing time. Nope. Actually, Arenas said he faked the injury because he was afraid to walk out on to the court that night.
Last Thursday, after practice in Washington, Arenas told SPORTS ILLUSTRATED that the real reason he sat out wasn't, as he originally told reporters, to rest his thrice-surgically-repaired knee, nor was it the excuse he gave the next day, that he wanted to give backup point guard Nick Young the chance to play. "I was really scared of getting booed," says Arenas. "It's a little crazy because I was here with Kwame Brown when Kwame was scared to go out there. I used to be like, Man, it's just boos. Now here I was six years later, and I was him. I was scared to go out there."
I don't even know what to say/think. The original story was weird enough, but kind of cool and teammate-y at the same time. Arenas gave up his spot so that a young guard could have an opportunity to show people what he could do. (And Young did, scoring 24 points and hitting six 3s.) Except now, Arenas has gone back on that story to reveal the real reason he didn't play was because he was scared of the boo-birds. This whole thing is so Gilbert Arenas.

Regardless of the fact that Wizards fans actually cheered him and have been generally supportive of him, this couldn't be stupider at this point. Yes, it was a preseason game and one would think Arenas wouldn't skip a regular season game. But who is scared of being booed? Who really can't handle walking out on the floor and hearing a little of that? Does that really devastate players? I thought the good ones channeled it and used that to play better. Guess not for Arenas.

Arenas closes the piece with this quote:
"I've disgraced my legacy here. For me to move over for John Wall is a no-brainer. What's the point of my fighting with him all day? It isn't going to make me look any better. It's not like I think I'm God's gift to the NBA and can't step aside for somebody else. I can move aside for John Wall. That's no problem for me."
See, now that's a stand-up quote. And it's stand-up that Arenas and Wall really seem to be getting along and that Arenas is helping mentor the young point guard shows.

But it really seems that Gilbert Arenas is entirely conflicted about who he is and what he's supposed to be. And not just within the dynamic of the Wizards. He's been strange since day one of training camp when he showed up with a beard and told people he was all serious and no joking from now on. But it appears that he's trying to re-evaluate himself and figure out what he's doing right now. It's honestly sort of fascinating.
Posted on: November 9, 2010 4:16 pm

Ted Leonsis sees the glass half full of something

Posted by Royce Young

When he's not Dougie-ing, Washington Wizards owner can often be found blogging, among other things. He's a refreshing owner that tries his best to communicate and interact with his fanbases (he owns the Washington Capitals too) while also being extremely likable and positive.

And on his blog Ted's Take where he tends to say outlandish things (like when he said he'd Dougie if the Wiz sell out a game this season), he made quite the glass half full statement.
Also had we won a close game at home on Saturday, we would be playing on Wednesday for a .500 record. If you look at the standings, a 2-3 record would qualify for the playoffs if the playoffs started today. No joke.

You hear that? No joking here people.

I'll give Leonsis the first statement. That's true. The Wizards lost 107-102 to the Cavs at home, basically by choking away a lead in the fourth quarter. So yeah, if the Wizards had won that game that would present them the opportunity to get to .500 against a struggling Houston squad. But at the same time Ted, had the Wizards won a close game against the Hawks, and then played better against the Knicks, and also come out of the gate with a better opener against the Magic, you could be going for 6-0 record against the Rockets!

But I really like the second statement. Mainly because I love "If the playoffs started today" statements. Those are fun. Especially when you aren't actually in the playoffs if they started today. Because the Wizards aren't 2-3. They're 1-4. So if the playoffs started today, they'd be in the lottery. But if they had won their five previous games, they'd be the No. 1 seed!

Did you know that if the playoffs started today, the Warriors would be the five-seed in the West, the Pacers would be the eight-seed in the East and still, the Wizards would not be in.

Leonsis does make a quality point in closing: "The difference between success and failure in professional sports is quite small. Hard work is the foundation to all success - in business, in sports and in life." Absolutely true. I remember in 2008 the Oklahoma City Thunder lost 20-something games by six or fewer points. Had they won all those, they would've been in the playoffs. And that's the thing, a year of growth and a year of evolution and the Thunder learned how to win, taking the total from 23 to 50.

I definitely appreciate Leonsis' upbeat, positive attitude. It's a lot more fun to look at thing that way rather than, "We're 1-4, Andray Blatche is fat, we have to practice two times a day now and Gilbert Arenas is still on our team." I mean, they are almost 2-3, you know.

Posted on: November 9, 2010 2:24 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:38 pm

Wizards owner previews his John Wall Dougie dance

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis does The Dougie dance like Washington point guard John Wall. Posted by Ben Golliver
First, Washington Wizards point guard John Wall did "The Dougie" dance during pre-game introductions at the team's home opener, and the internet exploded with excitement.  Then, shrewd Wizards owner Ted Leonsis promised on his blog that he would Dougie if the team sold out a home game. Today, via the Washington Post, comes this video of Leonsis previewing that promise.  "It kind of went viral," Leonsis said of his blog post. "I guess I have to live up to that promise, so if we do sell out a game -- we haven't come close yet -- but if we do sell out a game I will live up to my commitment and do the 'Dougie." As Leonsis said the word "Dougie" he began sliding his hands through his hair, creeping everyone out. Have a look, courtesy of D.C. radio station WTOP. John Wall remains the Dougie King of D.C. But he's got a pretty cool boss.
Posted on: November 8, 2010 9:05 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:36 pm

Wiz coach Flip Saunders flips out at practice

Washington Wizards head coach Flip Saunders walked out of practice today, disgusted with the team's effort. Posted by Ben Golliverflip-saunders Washington Wizards head coach Flip Saunders has always had that "trying too hard" swag about him. Always a little too emotional -- too high or too low -- without much to show for the roller coaster ride.  Saunders was reportedly at it again on Monday, according to the Washington Post, stomping out of his team's morning practice after criticizing the group's effort and then demanding the team return for an afternoon practice.
With about 30 minutes still scheduled before practice ended, Saunders got up from his chair on the main court at Verizon Center and stormed to the locker room, shouting, "If you want to get better. Come back at 4."
Saunders forced his team to practice twice, something he said he has done once or twice a year with previous teams.
"It's frustration when you lost games that are winnable, and you're in a situation where you've been outrebounded over the last three, four games by 12 and you're averaging 20 turnovers a game," Saunders said. "You would think that you'd come into a practice - especially with a young team - with a sense of urgency. Come in to learn, to be very detail oriented, to get in, get out, get what you need to get done and get better. I didn't think we had the right frame of mind."

Flip's flip-out in this case is somewhat understandable, given how pathetic the Wizards' front line has been on the boards. For an NBA coach, watching your team give up second-chance points is as fun as making out with Dick Bavetta or jamming ice picks in your eyeball. 

But it's important for Saunders to see the bigger picture here, lest he wind up like P.J. Carlesimo. Carlesimo, a true screamer, got so caught up in short-term micromanaging during Kevin Durant's rookie season that he played KD out of position and wound up with nothing to show for it, getting canned in favor of the lower-key Scott Brooks, who promptly oversaw Durant's emergence and the evolution of the Oklahoma City Thunder into a playoff team.  The "serenity now" mantra for Saunders, assuming he wants to stick in Washington for the long haul, should be, "John Wall is your point guard. John Wall is your point guard. John Wall is your point guard." At this point, nothing else matters. No one expects big things from the talent-deficient Wizards this season, and the team would be best served trading off as many knuckleheads as possible -- Nick Young, I'm looking at you -- as quickly as possible. The sooner Wall has mature, talented teammates, the sooner Saunders will be able to really do some teaching in practice. Until then, it's all hot air and wasted breath, a media stunt that accomplishes nothing.
Posted on: November 5, 2010 8:57 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:31 pm

Wilson Chandler reverse dunk on JaVale McGee

New York Knicks wing Wilson Chandler elevates along the baseline for a wicked dunk over Washington Wizards center JaVale McGee.
Posted by Ben Golliver
Washington Wizards rookie point guard John Wall is far more accustomed to making ridiculous feats of athleticism and power than he is to witnessing them as an innocent bystander.  But when New York wing Wilson Chandler went baseline during the first half of Friday night's game between the Knicks and the Wizards, Wall could only watch, like everybody else, as Chandler finished a reverse dunk with authority over Washington big man JaVale McGee. Credit McGee's block attempt effort, but he had no chance.  Impressive stuff from the man some call "Will the Thrill." That poster was perturbing! Video courtesy of nikesneakers on YouTube .
Posted on: November 5, 2010 3:46 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2010 4:44 pm

Andray Blatche explains why he's a little tubby

Posted by Royce Young

If you've watch the Washington Wizards play so far this year, you've probably noticed a couple of things. John Wall is fast. John Wall is good. John Wall can dance.

And maybe one other thing - Andray Blatche is looking kind of, well, fat.

Blatche is working himself back into shape after breaking his foot last June and therefore missing some of training camp. People expected big things out of Blatche who was nothing short of brilliant for the Wizards the last few months after Antwan Jamison was traded last season. But so far this year, he's been sort of average - 15.7 points and 5.7 rebounds a game on 35.6 percent shooting.

The issue is, he's out of shape. He knows it and his coach knows it.

"He does not have the same explosiveness that he had last year," Coach Flip Saunders told The Washington Post. "As he continues to get in shape that explosiveness will come."

The battle Blatche is losing is coming against greasy fast food he says. He told The Post that he sometimes has a hard time sleeping at night and rarely gets to sleep before 1:30 a.m. So naturally, he gets the cracving for some snackums. "I eat late, that's how I gain weight," Blatche said.

Because of his exceptional play down the stretch last season, Blatche earned a three-year extension worth $28 million. He knows he has to get it going and knows that a lot of that starts with him getting into better game shape. And it can be tough when your point guard is John Wall and he flies up the court 200 miles per hour.

The Wizards are in rebuilding mode and they placed a lot of trust in the continuing development of Blatche. By all accounts he's a hard worker and a guy that can be counted on. He's incredibly talented and with him, Wall and some of the other young guys on the roster, the Wizards definitely have a future. They've just got to get him out of the pantry after bedtime.
Posted on: November 5, 2010 9:37 am
Edited on: November 5, 2010 9:38 am

Shootaround 11.5.10: Like That

Posted by Matt Moore

  • The Sonics mascot showed up with a sign that said "Homeless" last night. Which is adorable. I do wonder where the sign is that reads "Homeless because people didn't think it was a good idea to build me a new home" but I'm a stickler for accuracy like that.
  • Mikael Pietrus and Stan Van Gundy got into a shouting match over Pietrus being yanked in the third quarter against the Wolves. One would think in a 40 point annihilation that everyone would be happy. It's also bizarre that SVG continues to have trouble with Pietrus considering that he's been a big part of the team's success and I don't see any yelling or screaming at Vince Carter, but I'm a stickler for fairness like that.
  • Twitter has not been kind to the Celtics. Twitter is a remarkably easy interface to control, you just have to be sure to think about what you're posting before you post it. Then, if you do post something that isn't great, you need to be prepared to take responsibility for it. Or blame it on hackers. You know, either one.
Posted on: November 4, 2010 3:59 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:29 pm

Wizards owner will "Dougie" if team sells out

Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis promises to dance the "Dougie" if the Wizards sell out a home game. Posted by Ben Golliver In the unlikely event that you missed it earlier this week , Wizards rookie point guard John Wall made headlines by dancing the "Dougie" during pre-game introductions before Washington's home opener against the Philadelphia 76ersjohn-wall-dougie Wall has drawn plenty of applause for his nimble feet and genuine smile, not to mention his outstanding early season play, but he has his share of detractors too , including radio host Colin Cowherd, who somehow concluded that Wall will never win an NBA title because the dance proves he loves the spotlight too much. Huh. As for Wall's boss, Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, who recently purchased the Wizards from the Pollin family? Leonsis has Wall's back completely.  So much so that he is attempting to capitalize on the good buzz surrounding Wall's boogie down by promising to get in on the action. Writing on his blog, Ted's Take , Leonsis salutes Wall's play and says he will "Dougie" if the Wizards can sell out a home game.
History is being made at Verizon Center again. A rebuild is taking shape. A wonderful star is in the making. So far - so good.
We need your help. We play this Saturday night. We need and want you to be in attendance. The team plays better in front of a sold out building. Come support the team. Click here. Off of soap box now. When we have a total paid sellout this season, I will do the “Dougie” - I promise.
Now this is a Mark Cuban-esque 21st century NBA owner at his best. In one simple blog post, Leonsis sells tickets, connects directly with fans and potential fans, hypes up his team, and provides cover for his young superstar in the face of some unnecessary criticism. In a league where so many ownership groups are anonymous and/or out-of-touch, Leonsis is the opposite, bringing creative, fan-friendly ideas like Midnight Madness and 3-D video introductions to the table in just his first few months of ownership.  After a 2009-2010 season that was a public relations disaster for the Wizards, Leonsis is instilling the right energy when and where it is needed most.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com