12 More Zany Wizards Facts
The Wizards have won 10 of their last 15. That's just one game behind what Detroit and Orlando have done over their past 15, and better than every other team in the East besides Boston. And that's mostly without Gil. Which means the zany facts are gonna keep on coming.
1) Nick Young reiterated yesterday that his nickname is "Bean Burrito." Really, Bean Burrito?
"Terrible," Brendan Haywood said of the nickname. I asked Nick where it came from.
"It was passed on from generation to generation," Young said. "Only the great legends were named Burrito. They used call Michael Jordan 'Black Bean Burrito,' because he was dark, and his head was like a bean. Kobe was called guacamole."
"Guacamole?" I wondered. "Why 'Guacamole?' "
"Um, I don't know," he said. "I forgot."
2) Is any of that true? I have no idea. But at practice today, a practice in which only nine players were healthy, I heard people shouting out "Ocho." I figured that referred to Roger Mason Jr., No. 8. But nope. "Ocho" is Caron Butler.
"Cause he act like Kobe Bryant," DeShawn Stevenson explained.
"He's got all Kobe mannerisms," said Haywood, who coined that one.
"Brendan's crazy, man," Butler said.
3) Speaking of Caron, he was telling us how the team managed to hold practice today with only those nine guys, since Darius Songaila was out with a sprained ankle.
"A lot of three-on-three-on-three stuff," he said. "One squad at one end, one squad at the other end and one squad in the middle."
4) Speaking of practice, the Wiz also went through a five-on-four shooting contest today. The players were divided up into two teams. Shirts and skins, you're thinking? Ha. Try "Big Money" vs. "Little Money." "Big Money" included Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood and Antonio Daniels. "Little Money" was everybody else.
"This is discrimination," complained Dominic McGuire, who is decidedly Little Money. I was somewhat surprised that DeShawn Stevenson's new deal did not qualify him for Big Money.
"I don't like being over there with too much money," he said later. "I can stunt on all the Small Money guys."
5) Speaking of DeShawn Stevenson, have you noticed that he wears the same gold-striped Adidas that Jamison wears? (pictured)
"I don't know, I just do whatever 'Twan do," Stevenson said. "Whatever shoe 'Twan wears, for some reason I'm superstitious, I play good in 'em. So if he switches to blue tomorrow, I'm going to blue."
I relayed this information to Jamison.
"I didn't know that," he said. "So what's the question?"
It's amazing that people don't say that to me more often.
6) Speaking of Jamison, on Sunday night he went crashing into those super fancy next-to-the-players seats. And whose lap did he plow into? Why, none other than the lap of Tod Castleberry, the Redskins Radio impresario.
"Unbelievably, he was apologizing profusely, making sure we were all right," Castleberry said, when I requested comment. "And while he crushed my toe, I told him we didn't spill a drop of our adult beverages!"
7) Speaking of celebrity attendees at that game, how about Ryan Zimmerman sitting courtside with Ken Griffey Jr., Demetric Evans behind one basket, and Dominique Dawes somewhere about. Plus Gheorghe Muresan (pictured). Griffey posed for about 4,000 photos with awkward young men who queued up during the halftime show, which featured the Columbia Union Acro-Airs, who offer a "unique blend of traditional gymnastics, European acro-gymnastics, and cheerleading" and who "travel to promote their drug-free lifestyle in arenas that range from NBA halftime shows to elementary school assemblies."
8) Speaking of the Nets game, my second-favorite moment was when New Jersey's Bostjan Nachbar was called for several fouls in quick succession and taken out, at which point he decided to kick a Nachbar hole in the Southwest Airlines signage hanging underneath the scorer's table (pictured). Someone get out the duct tape before Tuesday night.
9) Speaking of Europeans, did you know that Darius Songaila is a big outdoorsman? I'm scooping myself here, but I asked him whether he's ever killed big animals.
"Yes, very big," he said.
"Like what?" I asked.
"A horse with horns," he said.
Wait, Songaila has killed a unicorn? No, it turns out it was a Kudu, a woodland antelope, but I prefer to believe that Songaila has killed a unicorn. Also, he likes to fish.
10) Speaking of fishing, I noticed Haywood and Andray Blatche making fishing motions while on the bench Sunday night. Not something you necessarily expect to see NBA players doing on the bench.
"That was for Nick," Blatche told me later. "You know how rookies, when they come in and they mess up, and the coaches take them right back out? [Eddie Jordan] threw the bait in, caught him and threw him right back out."
"He came in and got the hook real quick," Haywood agreed. "Coach put him in, he still had the hook in his back, and he reeled him right back in."
11) Speaking of Blatche, remember the F3, aka the "Future 3," Blatche, Young and McGuire's answer to the Big 3? Well, it is no more.
"F3 broke up," Blatche said. "We broke up. 'Cause they don't know how to act. Ain't no loyalty in the F3. We had to kick Nick out. We ain't messing."
"I've been out of there," Young confirmed. "We're beefing right now. I'm by myself."
"You know how The Roc broke up?" McGuire added. "You know what I'm saying, we're just having a little problem. We're gonna get back together."
"I'm Jay-Z, he's Damon Dash," Young said. "I'm Kobe, he's Shaq."
I asked Blatche whether he and McGuire had instead formed the F2.
"We just canceled the whole thing," Blatche said. "We went back to the original Bench Mob."
12) Ah yes, how could I forget the Bench Mob, the Haywood-inspired term for the super subs from last year's playoffs, who provided at least 46 percent of Bog content last spring. How is the Bench Mob faring now that Haywood is no longer a sub?
"I'm still in the Bench Mob," he insisted. "Aw, Bench Mob is always there, man. It's a mentality. It's a state of mind."
And what does Haywood think of the F3?
"What the heck is that?" he asked. "I never heard about that. I don't think anybody else heard of it, either."
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