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Eight More Reasons to Love the Wiz

Local media stars talk with DeShawn Stevenson at media day. (By Jahi Chikwendiu - TWP)

Another Wiz season has arrived, with eight more reasons for bloggers to rejoice. And as always, I don't mean "love" in a ruining-our-objectivity manner; I mean "love" in a thanks-for-providing-easy-material manner. Starting with:

1) Oleksiy Pecherov, confirming Internet reports that he's a frequent customer at Shoppers Food Warehouse.

"It's right next to my house right now," he said. "I mean, I like food, and food in ze grocery store, and grocery store is like two mile avay from my house, so I don't need to drive anywhere."

So, you're wondering, does this mean he cooks for himself?

"No," he said, "I try to find ze people who cook for me. You know, Russian girls cook."

Russian girls cook what?

"Some Russian stuff," he said. "It's very delicious. I really miss [Russian food] last year, and hopefully zis year, I'm gonna be fine."

2) Dee Brown, showing that he passed the Wizards' you-must-be-a-character-to-join-this-team free agent test. Not even touching his musical career for the time being (and yes, he's friendly with Brandon Lloyd), today Brown revealed that, among other things, he keeps his qualifying offer from Utah in his dresser drawer and reads it daily, he regularly goes to poetry readings, and he wears a Superman wrist band when he gets to the gym. Why?

"Superman was a working man every day, he was a regular dude, right?" Brown explained. "But when he got into that booth, he changed into something else. When I come to the gym and put on this uniform, I change into a basketball player. I am six feet-- don't be saying I'm 5-11, 5-10, because y'all messing my inches up--but I'm six feet and I turn into something else."

And what happens to the Superman band when he leaves the gym?

"I just walk around regular," he said. "I put a little regular watch on."

Guess there's no market for Clark Kent wristbands.

Nick Young's hair.

3) Nick Young, curly thickets of hair sprouting all over his head, promising to keep this expansion going.

"Just growing it out all year," he promised. "It's my power. Like Samson. In the Bible."

"Like Varejao, little Varejao," Andray Blatche said, referencing the puffery on the head of Cleveland's Brazilian big man.

4) Blatche, refuting teammate Brendan Haywood's claim that his flat-top was stolen from DeShawn Stevenson.

"Listen, me and DeShawn both came up with the idea of getting flat-tops," Blatche said. "We decided to do it at the same time."

(Pecherov, incidentally, refused to join this flat-top train. "Problem is, I'm not Andray," he said. "I like my Ukrainian style of hair. Looking good. Girls like it.")

5) Etan Thomas, describing his own summer exploits, which included the recitation of his "Time For a Change" speech at several local voter-registration rallies, which drew the approval of DNC Chairman Howard Dean, who helped arrange for Thomas to travel to the Democratic National Convention in Denver. So maybe not everyone would see this as a reason to love the Wiz, but it's unique, anyhow.

"It was wonderful, it was absolutely wonderful," Thomas said of his first trip to a national party convention. "The political energy there at the time was on a whole different level. And then hearing all the different governors speak, talking to all of the different delegates, going to the functions, it was great. And of course, Obamas's speech the last night was amazing. I thought just the entire process was great."

6) Darius Songaila, laughing when told that Lithuanian basketball fans at the Olympics often professed their love for heavy metal.

"Rock yes, not heavy metal," he said of his own tastes. "I'll listen to Ozzy and Metallica, but not always, maybe a select few songs. I listen to everything, I listen to country. I like Toby Keith, I like Brad Paisley, I like Tim McGraw."

7) Caron Butler, discussing his first offseason of yoga. And yeah, the pro athlete doing yoga!!!! storyline is remarkably stale, but still, listening to Butler discuss the hardest yoga position he encountered was better than listening to "one game at a time."

"Downward Dog," he said. "I'm dead serious, though. That's a hard position."

8) And Dee Brown, saying that his teammates come to the gym three or four times a day and sometimes sleep there, but also pointing out what we already knew: this locker room trends toward the loose side.

"You know, I was in Utah," he said. "Ain't no loose in there. Ain't no talking in that locker room."

And in Washington?

"Of course it's loose," he said. "From the front office down, everyone's loose and having fun. And you're supposed to have fun at your job."

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 26, 2008; 5:49 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Actually, this is becoming more popular for pro athletes (yes, male pro atheletes), including nhl players. I saw a video about how the Calgary Flames incorporate yoga into their training.

Posted by: Lucas P | September 26, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for no Brendan Haywood in this post.

Posted by: | September 26, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

the Maryland Terps football team have been doing it also this past season.

yoga is great for everyone.

it's stress reducing, losens joints, and enhances flexibility.

i think it's great that the Wizs are doing yoga.

and by the way, those legs on Caron are looking mighty strong, as are Etan's biceps.


Posted by: smart1 | September 26, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Thank god for the return of Young's mini-fro. Maybe his dominance will return also.

Posted by: JDP | September 27, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

It (Yoga) also strengthens and tones your core muscle groups (abs, chest, back).

I'm ridiculously inflexible tho, so I've never been able to commit to a regular routine. I'm one of the faster, more fit players on my rugby team, but I can't bend over and touch my toes.

Posted by: AlecW81 | September 29, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

gosh I love this team....I am gettin real excited for the season

Posted by: LooseCannon | September 29, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Long live the Fro!!!

Posted by: G Diddy | September 30, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

God I love this team, in all their quirky glory.

Posted by: Brian G. | October 1, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Wow I really can't wait to see some ball games. All my friends hate basketball so I can't really talk basketball with anyone, so I've been counting down the days till November. I'm excited about this season. The team - Arenas has already proven itself so they should be fine, plus Etan is back, and Arenas should be back fairly soon. In December I think, right?
December always seems like the Wizards' best month.

Posted by: Daniel | October 1, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

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