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Why Gil Didn't Throw His Jersey

Jeff Green, Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley.

Brief rays of light on a gloomy morning....

* Gilbert did his post-game interviews in the locker room while wearing his Wiz jersey. A jersey that, in normal circumstances, would be in the grubby mitts of some happy kid in the crowd. This was highly unusual. What happened?

"You know what, I didn't realize that until I set down here, until I sat here and looked and said, 'Oh [drat] I've got my jersey on,' " Gilbert said. "I was distracted by that last-second [Delonte West] shot. You know, I did the gameplan. We decided we were gonna load up on the elbows, and I was at the elbow and the second-tier man wasn't there so I had to go in there, but at the end of the day it's still my man. And I was so flustered by that, that...."

That he forgot to throw his jersey, apparently. So what happens to the jersey now? "[Bleep]," Gilbert said, then looked around the room. "Hey Adam," he said, throwing his jersey to some ballboy kid. "YEAHHHHH!" Adam said.

Previously, Gilbert had attempted to describe what was supposed to happen during the defensive rotation on that West shot. "The game plan was...," he said.

"Don't do it," Antonio Daniels said.

Gilbert tried again, and again A.D. interrupted: "Don't say what we were supposed to do," Daniels said.

"Ok, nevermind," Gilbert said.

Other than that, the fun came only before tip. Like when Gilbert came out of the training room and slapped Nick Young in the face. Young made like he was gonna throw a basketball at Gil's head, but he stopped himself.

"You gonna let him slap you like a little [girl]?" Dominic McGuire asked.

"Stop trying to instigate," Young said.

Then Caron Butler entered, only to see Oleksiy Pecherov sitting in his chair. "Don't sit in my seat," Butler said. "Get over there." He wasn't smiling.

The rookies were watching tape of Game 3; soon came the moment when Pecherov attempted to drive and score from half court. They rewound it three times.

"He tried to hit 'em with an in-and-out!" Young said between guffaws.

"Hesitation or something," McGuire said.

"That was smooth," Pecherov argued.

Stevenson, meantime, was drinking a bright-green energy beverage.

"It makes you stay up allllll night," he said. "You can't go to sleep. It's addictive. I drink it to keep myself energized. Tastes good, too."

Players apparently have nicknamed the drink after an illicit drug, but maybe I won't go there.

I will note that as players were walking off the court, heads down, Antonio Daniels immediately motored out onto the floor to shake hands and offer words of encouragement. He was the only person in white I saw trying to find the positive, and that included the thousands of fans walking out, heads also down.

"We gave a good effort," Daniels said. "We had nothing to be ashamed of. You don't put your head down. We just have to go into Cleveland and win a game. As disappointing as this is, you don't sulk on this game right here, because the important thing now is Game 5. We have to take care of business. And walking off this floor, the important thing is that guys feel good about themselves, they feel good about us as a team, and our chances going into Cleveland."

Lastly, here's Gilbert, on why he wasn't shooting in the first quarter: "I mean, this is not my team," he said. "This is Caron and Antawn's team, and A.D.'s team. They held this boat together for the last four, five months. What is my [place] to come out here and take 24 shots? They've been moving by their boat, so I've got to get those guys the ball. If I see an open shot, I'm gonna take it, if I don't, I'm not gonna force anything."

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 28, 2008; 10:33 AM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Next: D.C. United is the New Wiz


Dan, was Gil being facetious when he made that last statement. I don't get it. Is he upset the team led by Butler,AD and AJ pulled through the season and now he HAS to defer to them? I'm a little confused by his last statement. Or is this Gilbertology? I guess I am just trying to figure out if he feels left out and not part of the Wiz anymore because if that is the way he feels, I am not getting a good feeling that he will be back. Contrary to what some people are saying, Gil is an integral part of this team and when he is 100% we need him back here. Please tell me, he is not thinking of leaving!!??

Posted by: Anonymous | April 28, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

That sounds like Gil-speak to me, maybe. From what I saw, the guy had almost nothing in the tank yesterday, couldn't hit shots (that left wrist sprain still giving him trouble maybe?), couldn't drive most of the time, saw and attempted some nice passes but his targets were unable to catch them at least two or three times. I think what he's really saying is, I can't shoot, so I have to get the ball to people who can.

That said, it seemed to me that it really hurt the team for him to be out there in that condition. When he's at least reasonably healthy, he makes the floor so much more open for his teammates by forcing the opposition to guard him closely, since he can pull up and drain a shot from 35 feet and in. Yesterday he couldn't do that, and it seemed like it really made it harder for them to convert (at least after the first quarter). Really a heartbreaker of a game.

Posted by: Josh | April 28, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Come next season, should Gil stay healthy through the off-season, it'll be just as much his team as Caron, Antawn, and A.D.'s. Don't worry, he just needs to be integrated from the beginning. That's why the team isn't playing up to par with him in the starting lineup right now.

Posted by: Mike | April 28, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the reply to my earlier email. My girlfriends and I who are all avid Wiz fans, all felt that Gil was hurting the team by being on the floor. His passes were not crisp, a couple of times you could see him walking back up court while everyone else ran and he was not making it rain with his shots. I know he really wanted to contribute but I also think he inadvertantly hurt the team by being on the floor. And for that I fault EJ. No way should Gil have been on the floor the last 6 minutes or so of the 4th quarter. Not blaming Gil at all for the losss because the loss came as the result of various factors. I think we would have had a better chance with either AJ or Mason. Lastly, don't be too surprised if we somehow pull it out on Wednesday. Stranger things have happened with this team.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 28, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

How do you play 32 mins and only take 8 Shots Gil? WTF

Posted by: G20 Fdacowboys | April 28, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

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