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Andray Blatche picked No. 0 for a reason

By Royce Young | NBA writer
Andray Blatche has a reason for wearing No. 0. (Getty Images)

Andray Blatche is wearing No. 0, but not to honor his former teammate that pooped in his shoes.

He's wearing it for the haterz.

Blatche, who has emerged as a league-wide punchline and cautionary tale the past few seasons, had a motive in selecting his number for the Nets.

"Everybody thought I was going to be out of the league," Blatche told the New York Post. "Zero reminds me I didn't have any support system outside of my immediate family, nobody who thought I was going to bounce back and get on another team."

Blatche is on a nonguaranteed contract and while he seems to have a good shot at making the Nets, well it's not guaranteed.

After signing an extension with the Wizards following an impressive late season stretch a few years ago, Blatche has been out of shape, overweight and incredibly disappointing. So much so that the Wizards cut him and his remaining $23 million via the amnesty clause in July.

To which the 26-year-old forward, who averaged 17 ppg and 8 rpg in 2010-11, couldn't find a taker. Zero was almost the number of teams that wanted to give him a shot. And zero might be the amount of playing time he sees this season, too.

But he is trying to turn the page, trying to prove everyone wrong.

And while he didn't pick the number specifically to honor Gilbert Arenas, it does pay some homage to him, Blatche said.

"I kind of like this motto: 'From zero to hero,'" Blatche said. "Hopefully I can come from being nothing to something."

That's not entirely correct, at least chronologically. Blatche went from nothing to something to kind of something still, to absolutely nothing. He's spoiled and wasted his talent the past couple of seasons.

In one preseason game thus far, Blatche was productive, putting up 12 points and five rebounds in 22 minutes. Brooklyn has 19 guys on the roster though, so he's got to prove himself yet.

Like other players who get second chances, Blatche has skill. He's a versatile 6-foot-11 forward that by all appearances, should be making an NBA impact. But between his character issues, his motivation and all-around effort, he's produced exactly what his new number says: zilch.

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