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Wiz: Serious, With a Side of Goof


There were conventional signs of abnormal Wiz seriousness at yesterday's practice. Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison and Gilbert Arenas did not address the media. Eddie Jordan looked like he had been sleeping on a bed of nails. Brendan Haywood went out of his way to praise his coach, saying Jordan had just delivered "one of his better speeches today; he really addressed some issues that have been lingering underneath the surface for a couple months about ball movement and what's gonna happen if there isn't ball movement."

And then there were more traditionally Wizardly signs of seriousness. Like the fact that DeShawn Stevenson practiced in a No. 52 jersey (Calvin Booth!!!!!!) but refused to discuss the incident after practice. Or the fact that Stevenson declined to address the possibility of Soulja Boy's attendance this week; "I'm just worried about the game man, all that off-the-court antics is done."

At the time, Stevenson was wearing a Jay-Z t-shirt, but he seemed genuinely surprised when reporters pointed that out, said it was completely unintentional and then returned to ask that reporters not make a big deal out of the shirt, repeating several times that he had not even realized the implications when choosing the shirt.

"I just wore it [randomly]," he said again and again. "I don't want TNT saying I wore a LeBron-Jay-Z shirt. I just wore it, I swear."

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that's DeShawn Stevenson, attempting to defuse diffuse a potential media moment that would have earned him face time. When DeShawn Stevenson is attempting to avoid getting his name out there, you know things are serious.

(Best moments yesterday? Bruce Boudreau walking through the hallway during Wiz interviews, Brendan Haywood reaching out to shake his hand and say "Good luck coach." Eddie Jordan discussing Wiz fans, saying "when we play a game like we did [Monday] night, heck, they might cheer for Cleveland. And DeShawn Stevenson refusing to address Damon Jones's hand waggle, saying "I don't know who Damon Jones is, so it doesn't matter.")

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 23, 2008; 11:08 AM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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