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Etan Thomas on the Wiz, B. Haywood on Etan


No more Etan-vs.Brendan. The series ends at three. But they had dueling local media experiences over the past 24 hours, and one of them landed a few final shots, just for nostalgia purposes. That would be Haywood, talking to Comcast SportsyNet's Chris Miller, via Truth About It:

I'm definitely sad to see Darius Songaila go, because he did a lot for our team. He played out of position all year long, never complained...was a true warrior. So I think a lot of guys will be sad to see him go. But besides that, I think it's great for our team."

Jab. Haywood said the deal "pushes us over the top," and that the Wiz can now compete in the East, and that "I'm about to go in the gym and just shoot by myself, I'm so hyped about this trade," and that "this is a move, if you're a Wizards fan, you have to love." So he liked it. And then he blogged his guts out at Yardbarker, writing that "On a sad note, we're sad to see Darius Songaila leave our team." Uppercut. Also, jeez, what did Pech ever do to you?

Meantime, Etan Thomas dropped in on ESPN 980's John Thompson Show this afternoon, and he was everything that you'd expect: reflective, appreciative, guarded, and pretty earnest about the whole leaving D.C. thing. He described his trade to Minnesota as "a win-win for both teams," said his health is fine, said he told Ernie Grunfeld he understood why moves needed to be made and that he had no hard feelings, and he praised the heck out of this city.


(2005 photo by Mitchell Layton - NBAE via Getty.)

"It was a blessing" to play for the Wiz, he said. "Like I said, both of my kids were born here. I've been here for a while. I've seen when MJ was here. I've gone through a whole process. I've seen the team change and form and grow with different guys, I've seen guys come and leave. It's been a great process. I really like this city, and I'm not just saying that. I'm still deeply connected here, and I'm still gonna be doing a lot of the work that I've been doing here. None of that's gonna change. I'll just be playing for a different team."

When asked what he'd miss most about the Wiz locker room, Thomas said something about how many funny characters the team has, which is true, but not necessarily a ringing endorsement. (And Thomas, obviously, never figured much into the tomfoolery.) When asked if Gilbert's a leader, Thomas said he "tries to lead by example as far as his work ethic," and then stopped talking. But he did have two interesting answers to questions about Gil. First, concerning his health:

"He's working hard," Thomas said. "Every time you see him in the gym, he brags about how much weight he's lost and the workout he's doing, and he wants to put up his shirt and say, 'Look, my stomach's starting to look like yours.' I'm like, 'All right Gilbert, that's good.' He's excited. He can't wait. He has that itch, and I think he's gonna do fine. He's really pushing himself, and now he's pushing himself and he's healthy, he's not pushing himself and he's not healthy. He's past the rehab part, and he's pushing himself getting him back in playing form."

And even better, here's what he said when asked about playing with Gilbert.

"Oh, he was a good teammate," Thomas said. "He's interesting because he's also somebody that kind of changes with the people he's dealing with. You know, I'm sure he doesn't have the same approach to me that he has to some of the other guys, so I see him in different ways. He knows that I'm not so much as interested in certain things [videogamespracticaljokesblingphenomenalswagand14yearoldwhiteboys], so he'll have different types of conversations with me. You know, like during the election, he'd talk to me about the elections a lot. I mean, he doesn't' talk to the other guys too much about that. So it just kind of changes.

"But he's a guy that wants to be liked. That's one of the things that I've seen from him, he wants to be liked, and he wants everybody to work as hard as he works. That's pretty much the main things that I've seen from him. All the other stuff, that's just Gilbert being Gilbert."

And since this might be the final post of my career that involves Etan Thomas and Brendan Haywood, let's dip into the archives for one more quote, just for a little more pleasant nostalgia.

"Three fights, man, that's a lot for two guys huh?" Haywood said at the team's 2007 media day. "Ali and Frazier only fought three times, that's got to be the end for me and Etan. I think at the end of the day we both have mutual respect...and I think we realize at the end of the day we're embarrassing ourselves, our team and our family every time we go out there and act silly. You can always talk something out before you fight, you can't just get mad and try to fight somebody. He's a peace activist, he can't do that anyway."

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 24, 2009; 10:01 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Comments

Thanks for the reminder that the Wizards most important post player is the biggest sucker in the NBA.

Posted by: StetSportsBlog | June 24, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Awesome post, sooooo unbelievably glad Etan is gone. I can't express my excitement enough. I feel for Minnesota though...they undoubtedly don't know what their getting in that guy.

Posted by: Barno1 | June 24, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the reminder that the Wizards most important post player is the biggest sucker in the NBA.

Posted by: StetSportsBlog | June 24, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm not seeing the connection between this post and Haywood being a "sucker." I'm not even sure what you mean by "sucker" in this instance. Haywood came out looking much better in the whole Etan-Haywood ordeal, that much is obvious to even a casual fan.

Posted by: Barno1 | June 24, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

they undoubtedly don't know what their getting in that guy.

Posted by: Barno1 | June 24, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

should be what THEY'RE getting...

Posted by: Barno1 | June 24, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Barno is right, Etan Thomas is a chump. I was elated to see his name included in the trade deal.

Posted by: JDP_ | June 24, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Etan was never that good talent-wise . But he's a class guy and always played hard.

Posted by: Petey82 | June 24, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Good riddance. Etan is merely a poster child for NBA Cares...don't let the door hit you on your back-to-the-basket-one-dribble-go-up-and-get-stripped butt.

Posted by: funkydancinmonk | June 24, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Sad to see Thomas go, NOT for just his hard play, but for his good citizenship and concern for the community. Like Juwan Howard, Etan's not to be blamed for the size of his contract -- can't hate on him for that.

Here's a guy who dares to be different... without apology. The truth hurts sometimes. For his sake, I hope his heart remains healthy and that he finds enjoyment in playing for Minnesota.

Big Up, E!

Posted by: ntlekt | June 25, 2009 4:00 AM | Report abuse

Barno & JDP - You two are a bunch of chumps. You got it all wron. Etan is nothing but class and Haywood is a thug.

Posted by: Loggie1 | June 25, 2009 6:58 AM | Report abuse

I hate to see Etan leave but it was a move that the Wiz HAD to make. And neither one of them are chumps are anything derogatory. They are both class acts who let their zest for wanting to play hard for the Wiz get in the way. I still believe and will always believe that the thing between the two was handled very badly by Eddie Jordan. I think they were pitted against one another at times and that was unfortunate. I wish Etan the best and I am glad Haywood is still with the team. He is going to bring it this season. Just wait and watch.

Saynora Etan, I wish you well.

Posted by: ivyleague | June 25, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

they're never getting over the top with brendan haywood in the middle. he might be a solid bench player. he's not a starter (neither is thomas). i'd rather play without a center if haywood is the starter. at least the team could run. haywood obviously has no defensive presence since the wizards defense has stunk with or without him so if you think 5 points, 3 rebounds a night combined with those two new guys will get you over the top, good luck.

Posted by: trufe | June 25, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

First of all, why wasn't Haywood packaged also? He's the biggest waste of 7 feet in Washington history including Bol and Muresan! What has he done since N.C.( or for that matter, at N.C.?) JaVale has developed into more of a threat after ONE year! It's time for Brendan to beat it!

Secondly, I don't like the trade. They still haven't addressed what they've always needed since C. Webb was shown the door, A BIG MAN!!! Now with Shaq, a healthy Garnett, Bosh, and Orlando's frontline how can they do anything in the East? Small-ball is a proven LOSER(Ask Phoenix)! The Wizards problem has never been outside scoring, its down low scoring and defense! Jamison is undersized and Haywood is poster bait for Shaq! Who are they going to stop with that lineup? And on the other end, who do they have that's going to put a drop step on Howard and at least try to dunk on him? What they need is a grown man down low who can open the floor up for the 10 guards and small forwards the Wizards are stocking up. I just hope Ernie isn't done yet or it maybe another low rating season for Comcast!

Posted by: DrayDay | June 25, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Etan was never that good talent-wise . But he's a class guy and always played hard.

Posted by: Petey82 | June 24, 2009 11:33 PM |

Etan is nothing but class and Haywood is a thug.

Posted by: Loggie1 | June 25, 2009 6:58 AM

So I suppose referring to policemen as "pigs" is nothing but class?

So I suppose referring to blacks who do who dare not to conform to liberal ideology are "Uncle Toms," "Sellouts," and "Benedict Arnolds" is nothing but class?

So I suppose telling young, black children that "Republicans don't like you" is nothing but class?

Etan Thomas was an utter disgrace to the community and it's a shame that more people aren't aware of the hate he went around spreading to our kids.

I'm not even going to touch the whole Etan vs Brendan thing except to say that Etan shamefully mocked Haywood's middle name (Todd) for its whiteness.

Etan Thomas is a deeply disturbed human being and unfortunately got away with saying a lot of things that most people would lose careers over saying publicly.

Posted by: Barno1 | June 25, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

That sentence should have been:

So I suppose Etan Thomas referring to blacks who dare not to conform to liberal ideology as "Uncle Toms," "Sellouts," and "Benedict Arnolds" is nothing but class?

Again, class is not a word anyone should use to describe a man who went around spreading hate, not to mention punched his teammate on 3 separate occasions.

Posted by: Barno1 | June 25, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Republicans don't like young black kids. They like South American hotties, young white Congressional pages and of course playing homosexual morse code games in airport restrooms.

What a party!

Posted by: elfreako | June 26, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

elfreako, that was pretty funny---but the first sentence was unnecessary (and again, untrue).

Posted by: Barno1 | June 26, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I'll admit that if Etan's money weren't guaranteed he may have to mind his manners a bit more. Craig Hodges tried to make a political statement one year and the Bulls replaced him with Steve Kerr.

Your comment that Etan is spreading hate however is completely out of bounds. I'm sure if you spoke to all of his white teammates from high school to now none of them would call him a bigot.

I'd venture to say no athlete in the history of DC sports used the city's political backdrop more effectively than Thomas did. His work in the community will be missed and if nothing else he showed kids that they can play sports, read books, write poetry and still be cool.

Posted by: elfreako | June 26, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Your comment that Etan is spreading hate however is completely out of bounds. I'm sure if you spoke to all of his white teammates from high school to now none of them would call him a bigot.

Posted by: elfreako | June 26, 2009 9:35 PM

Look, Etan's comments about "uncle toms," "sellouts," "benedict arnolds" "republicans don't like black people" calling cops "pigs" etc spoke for itself. He did spread hate, and calling it what it is not out of bounds.

As for you being "sure" that none of the white people in Etan's life would call him a bigot, I don't know how you deduced--but that's quite an assumption. I believe one player, Andrew Bogut, would probably disagree with your statement.

Posted by: Barno1 | June 27, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

New York cops who shoot an unarmed man 42 times and sodomize another with a plunger are pigs.

Michael Steele is a sellout for not calling out Rusty DePasse for de-humanizing the first lady.

Clarence Thomas is an uncle tom for not acknowledging the "affirmative action" he received in his elite catholic school education.

Facts are facts Barno.

Posted by: elfreako | June 28, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

BTW, Bogut never played with Etan Thomas so his opinion bears no merit.

Posted by: elfreako | June 28, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Etan Thomas was overpaid trash and the Wiz are much better off without him.

Posted by: dcsportsdude | June 29, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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