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The Wizards still have swag


Let's take a brief breather from the Redskins, Drama City and the Burgundy Revolution to check in with the Wizards, who open their season Tuesday night. I'm thinking maybe it's good to have another team to distract us right now.

So I checked in last week to ask a few players what this team's defining characteristic, in a non-basketball sense, might be. If you don't feel like watching the above video, here's an executive summary.

In the past, I might have mentioned the sense of humor, but the funny stuff is mostly in storage, with one player after another proclaiming that you can't be funny when you've got 19 wins.

A seething distrust of all things LeBron also used to be part of the deal. But I watched with my own eyes as Nick Young bought some of LeBron's Nikes in Las Vegas this summer, and Mike Miller actually wears them onto the court without suffering ex-communication. So that's out, too.

General weirdness also used to be a staple, at least in the Arenas corner. Now, when he deigns to speak with the media, it's with the sort of electric flavor-burst usually associated with sawdust-and-cardboard-sprinkled oatmeal.

And so, what's left? If one of the team's newcomers asked a longtime vet what he needs to know about being a member of this franchise, what key piece of franchise DNA would the veteran identify?

"Lot of swag," DeShawn Stevenson said. "Just go out there and play with heart. We've got a good team, a good, focused team. A lot of people have good characters on our team, [so] just go out there and work hard."

Wait, still with the swag? A team coming off 19 wins can still have swag? Well, several key members of this team have repeatedly said their only goal is to compete for a championship. The Detroit Lions don't do that; that requires swag.

"We've got enough talent and enough firepower," said Mike Miller, who's already on message. "But now it's on us to go out there and really make it legit, make people understand why we DO have swag."

Stevenson defines swag in both on- and off-the-court ways, with the latter including wearing sunglasses indoors, swag here being a synonym for blindness. But Butler has a broader view.

"I mean, everybody got swag in their own right," he said.. "Some people don't boast about it, some people do, but just come and just be prepared to win games. And that's the swag that I'm talking about. Just win games, go out there and play hard on both ends of the court, and help us win games. That's all it's about."

Wait, everybody's got swag? Like, everybody?

"Everybody's got their own interpretation," Brendan Haywood said. "D-Steve is all about swag and doing all that other stuff. That's not my style. I'm low-key. I've got a quiet swag. Those are the people with the most swag."

(Only by not having swag can you actually have swag. Think about that for a few minutes.)

"I've had swag since I came out," Miller said. "You've got to."

"Could be," Fabricio Oberto said with a broad grin. "I don't know about swag."

Maybe it doesn't translate.

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 27, 2009; 9:02 AM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Next: Behavior Change: Skins Tees at MNF

Comments

I hear Babe Laufenberg said something bad about Snyder. Where's THAT interview transcript?

Posted by: Section117 | October 27, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

"swagger," "swag," etc. jumped the shark.

Posted by: dpkennedy | October 27, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Thank God tonight's finally here. Should be able to see two solid periods of Caps hockey before the Wiz tip off.

Posted by: Hobes | October 27, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU! After maybe two dozen consecutive posts about the Redskins at last a post there's about another topic.

And on yet another topic touching on a different local sports team, did anybody else this side of Nationals Journal see that remarkably Nationals-centric Web Gem Awards show ESPN's Baseball Tonight did earlier this week? Co-hosted by Ryan "Face of the Franchise" Zimmerman, no less.

Posted by: greggwiggins | October 27, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"I've had swag since I came out," Miller said.

Hmmm, the combination of the hair and this sentence just about seal the deal on him.

Posted by: fushezzi | October 27, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

My swag is debatable!

Posted by: bryc3 | October 27, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I've moved onto other blogs for Wiz news. While none really bring in the comments www.truthaboutit.net has some good stories and photos in the same mold the Bog used to have. Still looking around though so if anyone has any suggestions it would be appreciated. (Caps blogs too)

Posted by: fushezzi | October 27, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

What a wonderful post! A little parity. We have two of the most interesting teams in sports playing at the Verizon Center, with plenty of "Bog worthy" stuff. I've been reading every Redskins post as well, even though I hate all of the negativity, but that's what losing brings. Can't wait til tonight only 3 hours left til the Wizards season, mixed in with some caps. Glad that I don't have to dwell on that game yesterday for long. Keep more non-Redskins hate stuff coming!!!

Posted by: SkinsWizStangs | October 27, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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