HEAD COACH:FLIP SAUNDERS
I wanna do a “year in the life of” book abut this team. Matter of fact, I’ve wanted to for years. Say what you will, but any team Gilbert Arenas is on is going to be interesting, and that has been the case long before he and Javaris Crittenton were drawing loaded pistols on each other over gambling debts.
From the famous shooting contest in practice where Gil bet DeShawn Stevenson he could beat him shooting three-pointers WITH HIS LEFT HAND to the ridiculous soap opera that played out in their 1st round Play-off series against Cleveland years ago that included a rap feud, Stephenson’s stupid dance and LeBron almost being decapitated by Brendan Haywood, this team has never been anything but exciting.
Now, they hope to be anything but. Well, off the court, anyway.
With the arrival of #1 overall pick and future franchise savior John Wall, former franchise player Arenas is saying all the right things in attempt to revive his career and image after last years’ gun fiasco. The Wizard front office would like nothing more than Arenas’ reputation to be sufficently repaired to the point that they could unload his monstrous contract (3 more years at 60 Mil.) on a team willing to take a chance on a ultra-talented but injury-prone and SUPER flaky (in a league with Delonte West AND Ron Artest, Gilbert mike take the prize) superstar with a criminal record.
And in true Gilbert fashion, he has already been fined and reprimanded by the team in pre-season for faking a knee injury so teammate Nick Young could get more playing time.
I mean, how can you not love a guy like that?
Regardless of when they find a new home for Gilbert ,(and trust me, they are thinking when, not if) it’s pretty clear the team has moved on from him and set their sights on a future that revolves around the blindingly fast Wall and a pair of intriguing young big men.
As far as Andray Blatche goes, the Wizard front office is still trying to figure out if a guy who averaged over 21 points and 8 rebounds over the second half of the season is worth keeping if he’s gonna pull stunts like this one.
It’s a tough call for sure, especially when the guy is 24 years old and loaded with talent. Regardless, the $28 million extension they gave him this summer was a smart move, signing a player with obvious star potential to a reasonable (i.e., moveable) contract.
The same day, Washington also picked up the option on 22 year old Javale Mcgee, who showed some promise after being chained to the bench for a year and a half.
Honestly, some pretty good teams were built on a less solid foundation than an end-to-end speed demon like Wall and two impressive, athletic bigs. Question is, will Washington’s front office fuck this up?
Sadly, signs point to yes.
As track record’s go, Washington’s is dismal. 17 of the last 22 seasons under .500. A draft record so bad it should wear a mask to protect it’s identity. Quick, name the last Wizards’ draft pick who went on to star for them and not after they were traded somewhere else. Give up? The answer is Rip Hamilton, who they drafted ELEVEN YEARS AGO (and traded just as he was coming into his own). If you are wondering about trades and free-agency pick-ups, don’t worry, they’ve sucked at that too. The again, the Bulls lucked into Derrick Rose and have become contenders despite the bumbling incomeptence of their GM, so I guess crazier things have happened.
In the meantime, The Wiz have experimented with a three guard line-up in pre-season (though perhaps it changes when Josh Howard gets healthy) as they’ve been using a Wall-Arenas-Hinrich-Yi-Blatche starting 5 in attempt to play up-tempo.
Honestly, this team is gonna take a pounding this year. I mean, their inexperienced, pretty thin up-front, and not exactly boasting a roster full of guys that know what it takes to win in the NBA. On the bright side, they do seem to be gathering the building blocks of a good team for the future, so all hope is not lost.
Then again, as long as Gilbert is on the team, they’ll still be worth keeping an eye on, even if it’s not in the actual basketball sense.
IF THEY GET LUCKY: Can you imagine how devastating the 2006 Arenas and the 2010 Wall would be in the same back court? Sure, I wouldn’t hold my breath for this, but this is the “if they get lucky” section, right? Fuck, I would love to play NBA 2k11 with those guards and just DESTROY PEOPLE, just running and hitting threes and getting steals and throwing lobs and talking shit it would be so amaz…
Sorry, I got off track there.
Seriously though, this team could get off to a hot start like the Bucks did last year and get the front office excited enough to make moves to improve the team for right now as opposed to three years from now. Also, A healthy Josh Howard would make this team pretty tough, especially offensively. I could see this team getting the 8th seed if all this happened, but it’s certainly a wild dream.
IF THEY DONT: Oh geez, with Arenas on board the possibilities are endless. I’d say something in the neighborhood of a lifetime suspension. Of course, Wall picking up bad habits or outright insanity from Agent Zero is the worst case scenario here, and the Wizards would be wise to sever ties with Arenas altogether if it becomes a real possibiity.
REALITY: 30 wins or so, with some flashes of brilliance now and then and a little hope for the future. There is little doubt that John Wall will be a star in the NBA sooner or later. The trick will be putting the right guys around him.
(WIZ BONUS) WHEN THEY WERE BULLETS
The ugly side of political correctness. I mean, the Washington Bullets was the GREATEST FUCKING NAME since the ABA days (San Diego Conquistadors, San Antonio Gunslingers, Baltimore Hustlers) and the crybabies had to go and ruin it.
Besides, is there a large Wizard community in Washington that I don’t know about? Nothing I hate more than random names that don’t tie into the geography of a team. It’s just lazy.
ot only a great name, but among my favorite uniforms in NBA history. I miss them so.