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Wizards Get Ready For Vegas

When I saw John Feinstein at the Tiger Tourney last week, he wondered why I was at a sporting event not featuring the Wizards or the Mystics. Hater. I'll just ignore that and move on to this: The Wizards finalized their Summer League roster today, releasing Shagari Alleyne, Leon Rodgers and Derrick Zimmerman.

The bad news is, we lost one of our triumvirate of D.C. athletic Zimmermans, although we still have Ryan and Nats minor league pitcher Jordan [Zimmermann]. The good news is, we can now get ready to meet the remaining dozen Summer Leaguers, like Jared Homan, a 6-10 big man out of Iowa State who's been playing professionally in Greece, and whose parents are farmers.


Nick Young, dunking, not in Vegas. (By John Mccoy -- Associated Press)

What do they farm, you ask? Corn, beans and cattle. Dairy cows. So of course you, like me, are immediately wondering: do these dairy cows produce cheese? Well, the milk goes to Wells' Dairy and is turned into Blue Bunny ice cream and, yes, cottage cheese, which is close enough. I wasn't sure whether cottage cheese is actually a cheese; fellow Summer Leaguer Kyle Visser said it's "like, old milk," which is about as good a description as I could come up with.

Visser and Homan, it should be noted, recently took in the Faith Hill and Tim McGraw show at the Verizon Center, which I guess is one of the perks of playing for the Wizards.

"I don't know who wears tighter clothes, Tim or Faith, but they've both got it going on," Visser said.

"I've always listened to Tim McGraw's music, and Faith Hill's pretty good," Homan said. "Pretty good looking, too."

Speaking of tickets, there's Lee Humphrey, the Florida shooter who was bombing again today, hitting two long-range threes in a row shortly after the media was allowed into the intrasquad scrimmage. (And speaking of actual basketball, you should see Oleksiy Pecherov's deft outside touch--for my money, easily the most notable thing about today's action--but I'll let the basketball writers handle that.) Anyhow, Humphrey got tickets to a Cubs-Nats game the other day, courtesy of The Wiz, and took the Metro over. They don't have much public transportation in Maryville, Tenn., and he intends to take advantage; he even rode the BART when he worked out for Golden State. Back in D.C., he's also been to the Washington Monument for fireworks, and to Arlington Cemetery and Pentagon City and the Smithsonian, via the trains.

"It's great: it beats driving," he said. "And it's cheap; like, $1.45." I guess everyone likes it when they first move here. And then eventually, they're like the rest of us, stranded in West Hyattsville for a few hours and chanting "Down With Metro."

Since the Wiz will be arriving in Vegas smack in the middle of the World Series of Poker, I also figured I should gauge the Summer Leaguers' poker interest, but it was fairly muted.

"I didn't play never; I never gambled in my life," said Pecherov, who'll be making his second trip to Vegas. "It's a great city, but not for basketball. People don't sleep zhere. Everybody gambling, everybody party, go out. It's nice to vacation. But I think maybe we go zhere and play basketball, and it's going to be like five hard days for us. We need to stay focused and play hard to win some games."

That's the spirit. Speaking of returning to Vegas, there's second-round pick Dominic McGuire, who actually watched himself get drafted while in a suite on the Strip, he thinks at the Excalibur. McGuire's from California, and he called Vegas "my second home," and so he figured it would be a good place to dial back and gamble a little (blackjack, "I Declare War") and then watch the proceedings in peace with about 20 family and friends, plus his fiance, with whom he's been since the 10th grade. (Their wedding date is temporarily scheduled for next July 5, if you were wondering.)

McGuire, you'll recall, went on the record saying he believed he was a first rounder before the draft, and so I asked whether it was a disappointing night.

"I definitely thought I should have been a first rounder, but it didn't happen, I ain't mad at it," he told me. "It's an honor just to be drafted. You've got to look at it from that standpoint."

Anyhow, he's been hanging around D.C. with first round pick Nick Young and former GW guy Danilo Pinnock, whose teammates still call him J.R. Nick Young is supposed to be quite the character, and McGuire was raving about his humor, but he politely declined to provide examples.

"I ain't gonna put him out there in the papers just yet," McGuire said. "You've got to watch him, though."

Pinnock, like Brian Chase and Eddie Jordan's son Jackson, is wearing Gil Zeros; he said Gilbert "hooked me up." And Mike Hall continues to wear the Caron Butler 3D Nikes.

"That's my guy," said Hall, who appears to be the vocal on-court leader of the Summer Leaguers. "I'm a poor man's version."

By Dan Steinberg  |  July 9, 2007; 4:59 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Comments

I heard Nick Young was at Berry Farms recently, did i miss your blog on this? If he was, how'd it go? I heard he missed a dunk....

Nick Young = Gill Jr?

Posted by: WizFan4007 | July 10, 2007 1:04 AM | Report abuse

I would like to know why leon rodgers was given a chance? I currently live in the netherlands and i got to watch leon play quite a bit. I really think he is nba really only if given a fair shake. Think about it.

Posted by: Netherlands | July 10, 2007 3:33 AM | Report abuse

I would like to know why leon rodgers was given a chance? I currently live in the netherlands and i got to watch leon play quite a bit. I really think he is nba really only if given a fair shake. Think about it.

Posted by: Netherlands | July 10, 2007 3:33 AM | Report abuse

I would like to know why leon rodgers was not given a chance? I currently live in the netherlands and i got to watch leon play quite a bit. I really think he is nba really only if given a fair shake. Think about it.

Posted by: Netherlands | July 10, 2007 3:35 AM | Report abuse

You guys should check out my new Washington Wizards mix

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmSFFk-ZM7I

Posted by: Will | July 10, 2007 8:15 AM | Report abuse

"I don't know who wears tighter clothes, Tim or Faith, but they've both got it going on," Visser said.

Kyle Visser, most bicurious of the summer leaguers?

Posted by: CreditZard | July 10, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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