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Gilbert Rips the Cavs

Wizards land another shot on the face of the Cavs. (By Terry Gilliam - AP. Really)

If it's NBA season opener time, then it must be "attempt to rile up Cleveland fans" time, both for the Wizards and the bloggers who cling to them. And work for them.

I previously posted about Gilbert's cover-story interview with Dime magazine, but the online version was edited, and they took out the juiciest stuff.

Over the weekend, I finally read the full story, and the edited parts contained Gilbert's praise for DeShawn Stevenson and his broadside at the Cavs. It feels like I've read this before, so I'm sure he's said something similar in the past. When you do nothing but write and talk for 18 months, you're gonna occasionally repeat yourself. But still. Here's what he said about the Cavs beating up on the injured Wiz during the playoffs.

You can't do anything. We played them last year in Washington and LeBron was injured. We were beating them by 30-something points. I told them, "You guys look like a bad NCAA team." I was like, "Yeah, it ain't easy when LeBron ain't out there. You guys are [bleep]. You guys are garbage. You look like our practice team." They've got one megastar who's carrying them, but you take him off the team and they're the Cleveland NBDL team.

Don't let me speak for Wizards fans, but if I were speaking for Wiz fans, I'd say at this point please just keep battering Cleveland. It's great fun. If you accept the fact that Washington will never ever win on the court, at least against that particular team, you might as well enjoy Washington scoring repeated verbal knockouts off it.

Gil was also asked whether DeShawn stupidly riled up LeBron by making that series into the most wildly entertaining first rounder of the year. Gil's response:

No. LeBron's scoring 30 because LeBron always scores 30. It's not like he's scoring 30 because he's mad; that's what he does....People like Charles Barkley saying DeShawn's an idiot for getting LeBron riled up; you didn't need stuff to get riled up when you were playing against Michael Jordan and those guys? Everyone talked so much trash, but that was the No. 1 watched series in the first round. We had Jay-Z making diss tapes. We had Soulja Boy. We made money for the NBA. It was an exciting series. What more do you want? People are saying DeShawn is stupid--he can't be that stupid if he made one comment and now we're playing [Cleveland] on Christmas Day. I've been in the League seven years and never played on Christmas. That one comment got us a Christmas game. That's called marketing to me.

Of course, DeShawn has now promised no more antics until Gilbert returned, so apparently the marketing department has been put on hold for a few months. That's ok. We'll wait.

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 28, 2008; 10:14 AM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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So I guess this means the Blatche-Varejao I Quit match is postponed until further notice?

Posted by: StetSportsBlog | October 28, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Gil needs to shut his yap and focus on rehabbing his knee. Until they beat Cleveland and get to the Conference Finals, the Wiz will be a joke.

Posted by: CYork1 | October 28, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Further evidence that Gimpert is far more concerned about money and marketing than winning basketball games. I'll beat this horse until it's dead.

This was the worst signing in DC sports history, forget Deon, Bruce Smith, Spurrier, etc. This team has ot beaten the Cavs in 3 years, and yet Gilbert seems to think that the fact that it was a highly publicized series it was a success. He should have been signed to be the teams director of marketing. Amazing any Wizard fan can support this guy.

Way to go Ernie, 111 mill for a guy who talks more than he plays! Keep up the good work Grunfeld!!!

Posted by: cj658 | October 28, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Worst signing? Do you remember how bad the Wizards were before? Better yet, do you remember how boringly bad they were? You may be right; maybe Arenas is more about marketing than winning. I don't necessarily believe that, but maybe. Still, sports is an entertainment business -- I follow sports to be entertained. Arenas entertains.

He also happens to win a little along the way, b/c he's good at what he does. Just happens, he's not (close to) as good as LeBron...

Posted by: SSFSCoWA | October 28, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I guess it doesn't matter if they get Lebron and the rest of the Traveliers fans all riled up this year - the odds of the Wiz making the playoffs with Etan Thomas at center are pretty long.

Posted by: tha_prophet | October 28, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: SSFSCoWA | October 28, 2008 12:03 PM

SSFSCoWA: Yeah, i remember how bad they were. And if you follow sports to be entertained so be it, but I follow my home teams to see them win. The game is about winning pal, not about marketing. Just ask Herm Edwards. Perhaps you should go watch the Circus when it comes to the Verizon center, or maybe catch a WWE event! Are you an Undertaker fan, haha!

ME personally I want to see my team win, and could careless how much marketing and publicity they get.

And FYI, Gil did not "make them good". They also got Eddie Jordan, AJ, and Larry when they started to win. They still amde the playoffs last year and lost in the first round without Gil, just like every other year when he was healthy.

You need a healthy dose of reality.

Posted by: cj658 | October 28, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I usually hate the "shut up and play" cliche "fans" throw at athletes when ever an athlete says something the "fan" doesn't like, but it actually applies in this case. I don't think I'd be saying anything about anybody on a team that's beaten my team three straight times in the playoffs on my home floor. Regardless of the circumstances of those beatings, that's not really a position of strength.

Oh well, that's just Gilbert being Gilbert. Hopefully he'll be able to start backing up these words again in January.

Posted by: lupin_iv | October 28, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Does anybody remember the Cavs-Wiz game from last February, after the Cavs made that massive trade, but before the new players arrived?

The Cavs fielded basically a D-League team and still won.

It's going to take more than talk to win this match up, but the jabber sure does add to the excitement and drama.

Posted by: truaxmj | October 28, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm really tired of Arenas talking about how bad OTHER teams are. That same D- League team kicked your arse three years in a row. We really don't care anymore Gil - we want results in DC - how about you shut up, get your knee better and give back some of the $110 million you are stealing from the Wizards. Get us out of the first round of the playoffs Gil, because right now you're the leader of the pack for the title of "big name who can't win squat".

Posted by: ericfontana | October 28, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert is awesome. We didn't make the playoffs until he came here. No we make the playoffs every year, no problem.

Who cares if he says silly stuff? It's wildly entertaining.

Beats the hell out of Juwan Howard. That's for sure.

Posted by: MCarr1919 | October 29, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

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