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Andray Blatche disputes Flip Saunders's account


(By Jonathan Newton - TWP)


Andray Blatche discussed Flip Saunders's account of his benching during a Wednesday afternoon, and he did so without backing down an inch.

I mean, dude, came out firing, to use the word of the year. Traded barbs. Refused to be bought out. Wouldn't plead guilty. Asked listeners to blow things up and start from scratch.

"There's a lot of misunderstandings," Blatche said on 106.7 The Fan's Mike Wise Show. "I'd say out of 100 percent of the situation, I'd say blame me 25 percent. They took me out of the game, I heard [Flip Saunders] say something to me but I just sat down on the bench. I was frustrated, I didn't want to make things worse, so I just sat down. And after that he just sat me down for the rest of the game, and I didn't come back in."

So many questions, and so many great answers. A summary.

Does Blatche expect to be disciplined?

"I mean, there can't be any disciplinary [action] out of this because to me, I don't feel I did nothing wrong. I never said I don't want to play, so there can't be no discipline or nothing. This is just something we're going through right now. I'm looking at it as a misunderstanding. And the only reason it's frustrating to me right now is for what he said about me in the papers and after the game."

Did he hear Saunders's full comments?

"Right now I don't think is the proper time for me and him to talk because I was cool with it yesterday until this morning, until I seen that on Wizards.com. After I seen that, now I have a different look at it, because I don't see what the point is in going public with it when you don't know for sure what happened. Because he just threw stuff out there that's not even true."

Does he expect to play Wednesday evening against Indiana?

"They didn't tell me yes or no. If I don't, then, you know, I don't see how it's possible for me not to, because I did nothing wrong."

Did teammates say anything to him?

"No, because how can they? How can you say that when I never said I didn't want to play? If anything it's the total opposite. He's the one that didn't play me. I never said I didn't want to play."

Has he talked to his coaches?

"We had a meeting today at breakfast, and one of the coaches said I owe my teammates an apology. And I said, 'Actually, I don't, because I still don't feel that I'm wrong.' Because I never said I don't want to play....

"It was Randy Wittman, because Flip, he has a migraine, he didn't come to the meeting. So I guess he had randy speak for him, and when Randy said that I felt once again disrespected again, because I didn't say the word that they said I'm saying. And I'm not gonna just roll with the punches and be looked at as a bad person when I didn't do something wrong. If I do something wrong, I don't have a problem with saying I was wrong and I owe you an apology. But I don't, because I never said I don't want to play."

Did he hear Saunders say how coaches are never wrong?

"He said that in the meeting after the game. Coaches are never wrong. And that's the problem. That's the problem right there. I mean, as a man, everybody makes mistakes. But as a man, you have to learn how to apologize, and therefore he needs to apologize, because he was wrong, because I never said that."

Did he quit on his teammates?

"Honestly, I don't blame people for saying that, but if anybody was at the game that sits front row, that sits second or third row, they would see I was sitting on the bench, I had a heat pack, getting ready to play. I never said that. I mean, look, as a media job, how about the media do this, how baout the media get the three coaches that [supposedly] came to me and say something. Have the three coaches come out and say, 'Yeah, I was one of the coaches that said something to him.' And I would guarantee that you could not find three. You can't find one. Have the media do that....

"C'mon. That doesn't make sense to me to do something like that. I mean, I'm all at a loss....Everything I s going great, why would I risk it by saying I don't want to play? That doesn't make sense. Who would do something like that? What player in the NBA would tell their coaches I don't want to play?"

Does he want to stay in Washington?

"I mean, we have great management, Ernie Grunfeld, Tommy Sheppard, Milt [Newton], them all great guys. This situation, I wish it never occurred, but you know it's gonna blow over after a while. To me, I think this will all go away if I receive an apology, because to abuse my name like that, that's disrespectful and that's hurtful. And you want me to play for you after you made all these stories about me in the paper and after the game? That's crazy."

Does he realize how angry fans are?

"I can imagine. If I was a fan I would feel the same way if that's what I heard, but that's why you can never listen to one side of the story. I'm not out here to try to make my coach seem like he's a bad person. It all could be a misunderstanding, and that's probably what it is, but I never said those words. And I'm not gonna be accountable for my fans thinking I said the words, because I never said the words."

See also: Blatche tells Mike Jones that Saunders's account was "a bold-faced lie." Blatche tells Grant Paulsen "It's not true, and that's what hurts."

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 24, 2010; 2:42 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Comments

Just throwing this out there but is it at all possible that the problem is and has been Flip?? Didn't the Pistons turn a deaf ear to him when he became coach of the Pistons and they then began to lose. I mean what is it about his communication that he rubs players the wrong way. He didn't have any success with Butler,Haywood and Jamison. And now he doesn't seem to be doing a great job with the players he has left. I hate the fact that he talks bad about his players to the media and then wonders why they have a bad attitude or disposition. When or if Leonsis takes ownership of the Wiz, I truly hope he REALLY takes a look at EVERYONE including coaches. Something is just not right with this and Flip is getting on my last nerve dissing his players in the media as he does.

Posted by: ivyleague | March 24, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

If any one of us acted the way Andray Blatche does at our jobs, we would be fired. No one would be blaming our boss for "not reaching us properly" or whatever.

These people are professional athletes, they should act like professionals. You don't get a pass because you are genetically gifted enough to excel at a game.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 24, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Blatche is a joke. If he cared at all he could be an all-star. I say get rid of him. He'll leave the Wiz and be a 5 time all-star but I'm tired of head cases.

Posted by: skinsnatscapsterps | March 24, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"Blatche is a joke. If he cared at all he could be an all-star. I say get rid of him. He'll leave the Wiz and be a 5 time all-star but I'm tired of head cases."

---

I'd love to see him go somewhere else. If anything just to see how exactly one coaches a player who refuses to be coached.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 24, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"He said that in the meeting after the game. Coaches are never wrong. And that's the problem. That's the problem right there. I mean, as a man, everybody makes mistakes. But as a man, you have to learn how to apologize, and therefore he needs to apologize, because he was wrong, because I never said that."

-----

Oh, God. Is Blatche a psychologist or a power forward? How is it a good idea to respond to your coach in this way?

Posted by: mkremnitzer0 | March 24, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to see him go somewhere else. If anything just to see how exactly one coaches a player who refuses to be coached.

I'd like to see how Larry Brown or Popovich would react to this. Blatch may never see the court again under those guys.

Posted by: skinsnatscapsterps | March 24, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game. Blatche's comments reflect EXACTLY what I witnessed, sitting center court, five rows back, with a perfect view of the court, the bench and the coaches. NO ONE, let alone THREE coaches approached Blatche during the game to talk to him. Blatche, from bench, cheered his teammates; had a heat pack to keep himself warm, and DID join the huddle during timeouts. It was obvious Flip was freezing Blatche out; how enthusiastic would you like him to be?

This is not the first time Flip has called out Blatche on TV. It's inappropriate, juvenile, and it's getting old. You're the coach, Flip. Stop acting like a baby and start acting like a man. Settle internal differences privately. Is there any good reason for the entire blogosphere to know about this situation? What could have been handled as a simple misunderstanding has been turned into a cataclysmic event.

Am I the only one who finds it strange that Flip had a migraine this morning and couldn't attend the team meeting? If I KNEW I held the moral high ground about something, wild horses couldn't keep me away.

Move on. Apologize to each other for trying to resolve an issue in the press; sing Kumbaya and play basketball -- with Blatche in the lineup.

The season's been a nightmare, but Flip has contributed to the horror.

Posted by: Fief1 | March 24, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

98% chance that this is all Blatche's fault, but the comment that the coach is never wrong seems to stick with me. Why would he say that, especially when the team is on a 12 game losing streak?

Obviously, he has been wrong a bunch this year, just look at the record. At some point, Flip does have to take at least some part of the blame for this calamity of a season. Not a large part mind you, but 10-20% or so.

Posted by: S2DU | March 24, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Blatche is trying to set up a trade. You don't even respond when spoken to by the coach?

"I heard [Flip Saunders] say something to me but I just sat down on the bench. I was frustrated, I didn't want to make things worse, so I just sat down."

I'd accomodate the spoiled brat if I could get something for him.

Posted by: shanks1 | March 24, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Just throwing this out there but is it at all possible that the problem is and has been Flip??

Are you serious. Dray is gettin the shot of a lifetime because of Flip.
He's been made the number one option on an NBA team at age 23, and look at how he handles it.
He quits on his team and refuses to take coaching or responsibility for his actions. how the hell is that Flips fault. Flip walked into a landmine of a team that was rotten from the core.

This organizations culture starting from when the decision was made to pay Gil 111 mil(i.e. : enabling and rewarding his questionable character)was and is the problem. It has affected players all the way down the bench.

Flip didn't cause this problem, and I don't think he can fix it.

Posted by: Predator48 | March 24, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Are you serious. Dray is gettin the shot of a lifetime because of Flip.

OK if not Blatche , then who? Flip is still getting paid to win games....right? So if he did nit run 60% of the plays through Blatche , wouldn't TL, look at him for not even trying to win games by epoloiting his best player? Flip is a joke!

Posted by: bossclifnpooh2 | March 24, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Ah, refreshing to see the other side of this. First and foremost, regardless of what you believe occurred or who's account you believe, Flip Saunders continued his disruptive pattern of throwing players under the bus and airing out the team's dirty laundry to the media. He has been doing this all season. I understand coaches may have as big and sometimes even bigger egos than players. But if Flip's ego got any bigger he wouldn't fit on the team bus much less the plane.

Hey Blatche, just know some fans are behind you. Even if Flip's version is 100% accurate, he still shouldn't have put this out there in the media. He's really got to stop doing that to his players.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 24, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

If any one of us acted the way Andray Blatche does at our jobs, we would be fired. No one would be blaming our boss for "not reaching us properly" or whatever.

These people are professional athletes, they should act like professionals. You don't get a pass because you are genetically gifted enough to excel at a game.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 24, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Second of all, you gotta love Vtduffbeerman--the blog guy who is ALWAYS, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, WRONG--completely disregarding Blatche's side of the story and demanding he be shipped out of town. And he makes up comments from Blatche, to boot. Blatche never said his coach wasn't "reaching" him "properly." In fact, he said nothing like that. But these are the kinds of comments we have come to expect from VTduffbeerman, who spends his days making up lies on the Internet.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 24, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

It was obvious Flip was freezing Blatche out; how enthusiastic would you like him to be?

Because if wants to be a real pro he can man up and go to his coach and fix the problem and say I wanna to lead this team coach.
Flip's an established coach in the league whether you like his methods or not, he aint there to be a nice guy, hes paid to get these guys to play.
What the hell has Dray done in five years in the NBA to excuse this kind of insubordination, not a damn thing.

AB doesn't yet ppreciate the fact that by dumb luck he is now (well was) the center of the offense and every minute hes out there he's raising the value of his next deal.
And who is giving AB this golden opportunity you ask, oh yeah Flip Saunders!

So why shouldn't Flip be pissed when Dray acts like a 13 year old playing in a rec league.

Posted by: Predator48 | March 24, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game. Blatche's comments reflect EXACTLY what I witnessed, sitting center court, five rows back, with a perfect view of the court, the bench and the coaches. NO ONE, let alone THREE coaches approached Blatche during the game to talk to him. Blatche, from bench, cheered his teammates; had a heat pack to keep himself warm, and DID join the huddle during timeouts. It was obvious Flip was freezing Blatche out; how enthusiastic would you like him to be?

This is not the first time Flip has called out Blatche on TV. It's inappropriate, juvenile, and it's getting old. You're the coach, Flip. Stop acting like a baby and start acting like a man. Settle internal differences privately. Is there any good reason for the entire blogosphere to know about this situation? What could have been handled as a simple misunderstanding has been turned into a cataclysmic event.

Am I the only one who finds it strange that Flip had a migraine this morning and couldn't attend the team meeting? If I KNEW I held the moral high ground about something, wild horses couldn't keep me away.

Move on. Apologize to each other for trying to resolve an issue in the press; sing Kumbaya and play basketball -- with Blatche in the lineup.

The season's been a nightmare, but Flip has contributed to the horror.

Posted by: Fief1 | March 24, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Excellent comments. Refreshing to hear an account from someone who was an actual witness rather than those rushing to judgement like our pal VTduffliar.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 24, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I think that the crazy things that the Wizards have been going through this year have detracted from the fact that Saunders is a fraud and a jerk. The Wiz weren't playing well BEFORE the whole gun incident, the substitution patterns were ridiculous and the Wizards looked just as poorly coached as they have most of the past 20 years or so.

Get rid of both of them, they're both jerks. And one of them is also a liar, we're just not sure which one.

Poor wittle Fwip had a headache...

Posted by: mike8 | March 24, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"Second of all, you gotta love Vtduffbeerman--the blog guy who is ALWAYS, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, WRONG--completely disregarding Blatche's side of the story and demanding he be shipped out of town."

Oh Christ, you didn't take your meds today, did you.

1) I never demanded that Blatche "Be shipped out of town." Please cite where I said otherwise.

"And he makes up comments from Blatche, to boot. Blatche never said his coach wasn't "reaching" him "properly." In fact, he said nothing like that."

2) I never said that Blatche said that, please cite where I said otherwise. The "Reaching out" comment was a refernce to another commenter in a separate thread who said something to this effect.

"But these are the kinds of comments we have come to expect from VTduffbeerman, who spends his days making up lies on the Internet."

3) Do you know what the word "irony" means?

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 24, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

So, Fief1, you obviously never took your eyes off of Blatche the whole game? I don't know or care whose story is more accurate and agree that Flip should have kept it in-house, but Blatche needs to grow up and accept criticism, especially from those who are only trying to make him better.

Posted by: truke | March 24, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

We're overthinking this one, guys... this is a grown man who chooses to go by the name "Flip." Given that critical, inarguable fact, none of his behavior should be a surprise.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 24, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"Excellent comments. Refreshing to hear an account from someone who was an actual witness rather than those rushing to judgement like our pal VTduffliar."

Where's the rush to judgement? I made a statement that if any of us acted the way Andray acted at his job, at our jobs, we would be fired.

I don't know where you work, but this is the case where I work. It's not a lie. Where I work, you have a boss. Your boss tells you to do things, and you do them. Again, where you work this might be difference.

As a professional athlete, it is my opinion that your job is to listen to your boss, the coach. If you have a different opinion of how professional athletes ought to conduct themselves, that's fine too - we disagree.

Finally, if this were something new for Andray, I might be able to cut him some slack, but this isn't the first time he's been called out for this kind of behavior. He is slowly, but surely, earning the dreaded "uncoachable" label, which results in career death. Eddie couldn't reach him, Flip can't reach him...etc. At somep oint, the old adage "the only constant in all your failed relationships is you" comes true.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 24, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

just based on what i have seen (from the earlier blog) and heard about his behavior...he didn't need to come out and say "i don't want to play" for the entire team to get the message.

dray: i'll bring it down to your logic. actions speak louder than words.

Posted by: bacaje | March 24, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Flip needs an escape goat and Andray Blache has been tagged. First he could say he didn't have Gil. Then he lost the other players but now it's Blache. Not inpressed with Flip and he can leave town also!

Posted by: wizardman | March 24, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Jesus, 24 hours ago Andray Blatche was being talked about all over the NBA world as one of the biggest pleasant surprises of this season with a shot at the Most Improved Player award. The NBA-Ticket channels had a long segment running the last few days, titled "Who is the next Andray Blatche" and it listed about a dozen guys who could "break out" into stars, like Andray.

24 hours later, he's being talked about by at least one commenter on here this way:

"He is slowly, but surely, earning the dreaded "uncoachable" label, which results in career death. Eddie couldn't reach him, Flip can't reach him...etc."

It's amazing, isn't it?

Posted by: Barno1 | March 24, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

We're overthinking this one, guys... this is a grown man who chooses to go by the name "Flip." Given that critical, inarguable fact, none of his behavior should be a surprise.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 24, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Hah! Great point

Posted by: Barno1 | March 24, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Nice subject change.

You re-read my posts, and realized I didn't actually say anything you accused me of saying, eh? In literally the exact same post where you accuse me of being a liar?

Keep up the good work.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 24, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Not to blame Flip for the Wizards's state, but he obviously was not a good fit for the veterans on the roster. Jamison, Butler, and Haywood are all very coachable and have been successful both here AND since they've been traded elsewhere. The fact that Flip wasn't able to get the most out of a talented veteran roster even before the Arenas gun incident showed that he wasn't a good fit for the job. Unlike the Pistons who were a strong, self-disciplined team before he arrived, the Wizards were a weak defensive team that always relied on outscoring teams. Trying to fit round pegs into square holes is an example of a coach who was trying to make players fit a system rather than vice-versa.

It's also clear that Flip is very poor at developing and communicating with young players as evidenced by his repeated calling out of both Blatche and NY in the media. I'm sure both of them would be glad to be traded or hope that Flip is gone after the season. The Wizards need a bright, young energetic coach like Spoelestra with Miami who can relate to the young players and develop their skills.

Flip is simply rigid and old school. His style has chafed with both the veterans and young players. He's Ernie's guy and both need to be gone when the rebuilding starts earnest after the season. I'd expect Leonsis to finish the house cleaning and rid the Wizards of the management team left over from the Pollin regime.

Posted by: wizfan89 | March 24, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

From the days of Goebbels, it is true: if you're going to tell a lie, tell a big lie.

Flip has told a big lie, he's put it all on Blatche, and no matter what, that's the story that got out. I now have zero respect for this retread. I wonder if he wants to get fired so he can keep on getting checks without working.

And as for all of you saying you do what the boss tells you -- you work on Wall Street, make $25 million in trading profits, you ABSOLUTELY do not have to jump when the boss tells you to jump. Managers of professionals exhibit a certain amount of discretion, it's not the Army. Maybe at BK or McD's, but not in the professional world.

Posted by: gbooksdc | March 24, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Even this guys quotes come across as lazy. 6 and a half day Dray....love it!

Posted by: yampaco | March 24, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

People are being too literal. When Saunders said "coaches are never wrong" he didn't mean that they always have the right answer or never make mistakes. He meant it the same way managers in customer service mean it when they say "the customer is always right." Anyone who's ever worked in customer service knows full well that not only is the customer frequently wrong but that he's also an insufferable tool who needs to have his ass kicked. But as long as you're working in customer service, it's part of your job to act like the customer is right, even if you know better. Same with coaches and players.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 24, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I'd bench him just for not making any sense when he speaks.

Posted by: RIP-21 | March 24, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

One other thing -- every third post is about how much athletes make, yadda yadda yadda. Well, Flip is being paid $19 MILLION to coach this team -- implicitly, in a successful fashion -- and he is not doing the job.

Posted by: gbooksdc | March 24, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Whether or not to follow your bosses requests is largely based on the reasonableness of the request. I personally don't think that "get back quicker and play defense" is an unreasonable request.

I'd also argue that any well-run sports team is a lot more like the army than it isn't.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 24, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

"Whether or not to follow your bosses requests is largely based on the reasonableness of the request. "

Depends on where you work, what your job is, and whether you want to keep it. in most work places, following the bosses orders isn't really optional. You have free will of course, and can decline to do as asked. But you also have to fully expect consequences to arise from doing so.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 24, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

3 coaches in 2 years...when does the blame fall on the players instead of the coaches? Some players just aren't coachable. Unfortunately for us, the key players we have are uncoachable. Blatche wants Flip to man up and apologize. Why doesn't Blatche man up and start balling! You're the player, he's the coach. You do what he says, period.

Posted by: covertops26 | March 24, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Let's face the truth.

1. Flip Saunders came here to coach a 50 win team that had Gilbert, Antawn, and Caron Butler on it. Now he is coaching an expansion team. He's frustrated about it and is probably not in a frame of mind to be a mentor to younger players in the first place.

2. That said, Andray Blatche is the ultimate crybaby. He has been inconsistent during his entire career in the league. Jamison said he always thought Blatche was nearing the corner on being an impact player in the NBA but it never happened. Why not? He's simply not mentally tough enough to deal with the day in - day out competition in the NBA. He would be the ultimate player if as in the NFL they only played once a week. But Blatche is just never going to be a guy that rolls for 80 games playing at a high level. He is as many valleys as peaks.

3. The Wizards management has allowed this void to develop on the team so that the final weeks of the season are nothing more than a race to see how high of a draft pick Washington can garner. And while in the long-run that is the best thing for the team, in the short-run you are seeing controlled chaos out on the court. There is nothing holding these players together except the thought of a contract somewhere else in 2010-2011.

Posted by: leopard09 | March 24, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

More drama than 'Young and the Restless'

Steady Teddy gotta bring some order to this chaos...lop off about 4 heads (EG, Flip, Blatche, Young) and start from there. Get some trade value for the 2 knuckleheads and keep it moving

Posted by: kahlua87 | March 24, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe people pay (a lot) of $ to see these jokers play.

College Basketball is 100 times better.

Posted by: kevinb2000 | March 24, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Flip Saunders is a punk.

First of all, he complains that Dre takes bad shots, yet the dude has been shooting over 50% since he became the #1 option. I never heard Flip say anything about Jamison's shots when he was shooting barely over 40%. GARBAGE.

Second of all, the guy should not be calling out his players in the media. PERIOD. He does it all the time especially with the younger players. This is not how you develop your young players or keep the respect of veterans. You just don't do it. Handle it internally with COACHING not with back handed remarks in press conferences. WEAK.

Third, why isn't anyone considering the fact that all of a sudden Dre is putting up crazy numbers now that they are calling his number? The guy can't get a single play called for him when Jamison and Butler are getting all the looks yet shooting at a dismal percentage but he's immature for letting that frustrate him? Obviously Dre knew something all along and that was that HE'S GOOD! He's a better scorer than Butler or Jamison and the numbers are proving it in both scoring average and more importantly, shooting percentage. For Flip to not realize this until more than half way through the season shows the dude has no clue. AWFUL!

Finally, the argument that "oh if this happened in any other job, the dude would get fired" holds ZERO weight. Anyone who has worked in sales knows this first hand. I have seen plenty of MANAGERS get fired for ticking off the TOP PRODUCER in a sales organization. Basketball is no different than sales. You aren't out there to be a kiss up hoping for a pat on the back from your boss. You are out there to put up numbers and make money. PERIOD! Sure there is a line that can't be crossed but a coach is no different than a manager and if the manager or coach can't LEAD his team properly and loses their respect, it's the MANAGER that gets the pink slip NOT THE TOP PRODUCER! Dude doesn't work at a grocery store stocking shelves where he just has to show up on time, smile, and stay somewhat busy during his shift to keep his job. He is paid to produce and Dre is doing that more than anyone else on this horrible team.

I'm a Wizards FAN and I'm with you Dre. Get this bum FLIP out of here.

Posted by: N07H4NX | March 24, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Blatche has been the scapegoat since he joined the team and the Big 3 era. They blamed him for all sorts of crap and created an impression. Jamison would play bad defense and say they lost because the young players were immature. He'd take all the shots and say the young guys aren't taking the game seriously.

Flip has taken up that campaign he's found a target to place the teams woes on.

we'd be fools to trade Blatche he's on his way to becoming a star player. He has been outstanding since Jamison got shipped out. He's a legit 20 ppg scorer when given the chance. He's very underpaid.Has a manageable salary. He's going nowhere.

Flip isn't a big deal as coach barely credible. He's not achieved crap when he's had talent. He's a classic retread.

His approach with this team is ridiculous he ruined chemistry when we had everyone by bringing in Boykins off the street and playing him most of the 4th quarter of games when the current players were fighting for pt.

He couldn't even get vets to buy into his program at all something he admits. You'd think an experienced 1st year coach would be able to convince experienced vets that his program was a winning one but he couldn't and he created the environment that allowed the team to fly off into Arenas Gate.

Posted by: jrwalkerivory | March 24, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game on the floor and my coworker was sitting right next to the coaches. Flip tried to coach him, Blatche completely ignored Flip, Flip asked him again to come over, then Blatche said F&*k you, and after being stunned momentarily, Flip ordered him to sit at the end of the bench.

Again, this comes from the closest person to the situation who is not on the team. It's the true and only story about this incident.

Posted by: Wildcat4 | March 24, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

"we'd be fools to trade Blatche he's on his way to becoming a star player."

---

On his way? He's been in the league, what, 5 years? Exactly how long is his journey towards being a "Star Player?"

------

"I have seen plenty of MANAGERS get fired for ticking off the TOP PRODUCER in a sales organization"

The top producer in a company that's not actually making any money is likely going to get fired, too.

Being the top producer on this wizards team is like being the prettiest girl at the University of Maryland. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't mean much :)

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 24, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

If you're a coach, continually calling your players out in the media is W-E-A-K. Flip might wanna cut that BS out -- folk are tired of it.

Since Flip did open up the issues publicly, who ARE the 3 coaches who supposedly approached AB to "coach" or address that particular incident of play? If Flip names them, then let's see what both they AND any video footage has/have to say...

Notwithstanding, I hope 'Dray does come up off of his BS, too. We need him to play, and play well....

Posted by: ntlekt | March 24, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

VTDuffman, let me just ask you this....if the top producer of a sales organization is putting up numbers that are excellent for his position, lead the company and make his position profitable, yet the company loses money because the rest of the sales force is under acheiving, not putting up good numbers and not producing, who gets replaced? Blache's numbers are not only compared with the members of his team but the numbers of the rest of the league. Either way, he is producing at a very high level. Now if Wildcat4 is accurate and Dre did indeed drop a F U to his coach, that's crossing the line I referred to but if Flip is going to call out Dre for everything, all the time, why wouldn't he just tell it how it was rather than saying he had 3 assistant coaches approach him about getting back in the game? It all just sounds like a load of BS from a coach who I personally lost all respect for after the KG incident.

Posted by: N07H4NX | March 24, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Flip could certainly use an escape goat. Heck, I think we've all been in situations where it would be nice to have an escape goat.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 24, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

"VTDuffman, let me just ask you this....if the top producer of a sales organization is putting up numbers that are excellent for his position, lead the company and make his position profitable"

I'm not saying he doesn't produce offensive points, I'm saying that's only part of his job. When asked to do all of his job, he gets upset. If I ran a company with a guy that produced pretty good sales numbers, but absolutely refused to develop any new leads, and told my managers to F themselves when asked to develop new leads, I would certainly consider exchanging his services to another company for two new sales people who perhaps weren't as good st sales, but made up for it by producing more and better sales leads.

All I'm saying is: at this point, no one is safe, or should be. This team is so bad, everyone should be vulnerable, incl. the coach. I'm also saying that I don't know how legit Andray's recent numbers are, I mean *someone* has to score. Which is the point of statements like "being a top producer on the Wiz isn't saying much."

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 24, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Whether or not to follow your bosses requests is largely based on the reasonableness of the request. I personally don't think that "get back quicker and play defense" is an unreasonable request.

I'd also argue that any well-run sports team is a lot more like the army than it isn't.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 24, 2010 4:54 PM
________________________________________

I'll respectfully disagree. When you're playing on a bum ankle, "get back quicker and play defense" could be downright cruel. Also, pro sports is quite unlike the Army. The Army is composed on people who don't make a lot of money and whose skills are, by design, a commodity (and also, to some degree, expendable). Pro sports is way more like Hollywood. I've been involved with talent (not athletic talent), and let me tell you, talent almost ALWAYS comes with ego. There are probably complex reasons for that but bottom line is, talent -- real talent -- is so scarce (and so profitable) that you do what it takes to make that talent work for you, even if means swallowing pride. Maybe it should not be that way, but that is the way it is. You give me a great Xs and Os guy who p**sses everyone off, Mr. My-Way-Or-The-Highway, I'll give you Les Steckel (yes, I'm old enough to remember old Les). As in, one and done. Managing those egos that surround the talent is part of the job, and you absolutely HAVE to subsume your own ego, You can go off if you want but at the end of the day, they have the talent, you don't, and it is their talent that people pay to see.

What I read is that Andray will play tonight and there will be no team disciplinary action. That tells me AB's story is largely on the up and up. I'm thinking Ernie pulled Flip aside and advised him that it serves no one's interest to rag on his players in public, even if he is convinced they deserve it.

Posted by: gbooksdc | March 24, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

The whole management tangent brings to mind Glengarry Glen Ross (if you haven't seen, far better use of your time than watching the Wiz). First place, Cadillac. Second place, steak knives, Third place, you're fired.

Disrespect Kevin Spacey's character as he did, Al Pacino's Ricky Roma wasn't getting fired, period. He came in when he wanted, he did what he wanted. Jack Lemmon, on the other hand...now there's a pitch -- Verizon Wizards Lost: GGR on the court. Wouldn't you love to see Kevin Spacey do Flip? Al Pacino do AB?

Posted by: gbooksdc | March 24, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

"I heard [Flip Saunders] say something to me but I just sat down on the bench. I was frustrated, I didn't want to make things worse, so I just sat down."

Look, THAT was the mistake and it was made by Blatche. Everything after that was because of that mistake so to me the incident is AB's fault. The cascade of events aferwards is directly attributable to that one action by Blatche. I'd like to see anyone else here try to diss their boss that way. And before the flames start, I don't think much of Flip as a coach either.

Posted by: LaureninGlenBurnie | March 24, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

gbooks...HA!
"Put that heat pack down! Heat packs are for scorers!"

Posted by: N07H4NX | March 24, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Lauren, the coach isn't always the players boss. Just ask Clinton Portis and Jim Zorn. When the player has the backing of the coach's boss, then the coach just becomes another rung on the company ladder. If Dre plays tonight, you might as well call Flip a lame duck.

Posted by: N07H4NX | March 24, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

"Lauren, the coach isn't always the players boss. Just ask Clinton Portis and Jim Zorn"

That's kind of the point, though, isn't it?

When the coach *isn't* the player's boss, that's a bad thing - like the situation you described.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 24, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm not foolish enough to think that A.B. has been any kind of model citizen, but Flip Saunders has not shown me much as a coach, either. A good leader, in any profession, holds to his high standards in both good times and bad times. Several times this year Flip has employed the low class tactic of throwing his team under the bus when talking to the media after a loss. Obviously, he has no problem resorting to that same tactic with individual players, such as Blatche. Call these players what you will, overpaid, immature, spoiled, but with Saunders in control, it's apparently no better on the management side of things. We can only hope that Ted gets to buy the team, and then commences with one gigantic do-over.

Posted by: clfrdj | March 24, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

VT, here's the thing...like the Redskins, the head coach is not getting the job done. Zorn got fired and in my opinion, Saunders deserves to be as well once the season ends. The difference is that Portis was given every opportunity to produce and he did not. He got the most carries, had his number called in goal line situations and still continued to fail week after week. Blache's production wasn't too impressive early in the year but that's because he wasn't being utilized as a player. He wasn't getting shots, plays drawn up for him, etc. He's shown that when given the opportunity, he will produce. Generally speaking though I agree. Players should respect and listen to the coach. In this case though, when you have a productive player being unfairly criticized and alienated by a coach who does not apply the same standards to all of his players, it's time for a coaching change. If the Wiz had 40 wins so far this season, it would be hard to criticize Saunders but when the team is one of the worst in the league, that's hard to ignore. He's lost the team and that's the worst thing that can happen to a coach.

Posted by: N07H4NX | March 24, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Flip and AB both should go into timeout for about a week. Give them each a pacifier and they'll be fine...

Posted by: randysbailin | March 24, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I think the most telling sign in all of this as to what really happened is the fact that Blache started tonight and is receiving significant minutes. Apparently Flip has not only lost the respect of his players, but the support of his boss as well. Peking Lame Duck anyone? mmmmmmmmmmmm yummy!

Posted by: N07H4NX | March 24, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Sounds to me like everybody is totally exasperated in the organization and the remaining games are a depressing death march! I hope Ted Leonis purchases the team, because he is the kind of leader who can change a culture. Until the culture changes, the climate will remain gloomy and everybody will continue to hate on each other in the media. I'm second guessing my kneejerk reaction that Blatche needs to go, having heard the other side, but this team needs an extreme makeover. The first change needs to start at the top.

Posted by: dannykurland1 | March 24, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

It is a sad day in Washington Sports when time after time players become bigger than the team. This team does not have the record to be full of themselves including the coaching staff. It is sad that as a fan and a season ticket holder that we have to endure not only sorry basketball but the silliness these guys come up with. I believe we should scape the organization and just start over. We have brats and to think if true that Audray feels he doesn't make enough money - baby you just recently started playing basketball since we had you, get over yourself. (Mama please talk to your son)

As someone who pays their hard earned money to see this mess and season fall apart I decided this week that I am tired of funnelling my money to an organization that stands for failure. I will invest my dollars to one of the local schools and see if those students of the game can become all they can be, it is a beter investment than over paid brats.

This is really sad!!!!! Hey Wes can we bring you guys back - even though ya'll are up in age we can use the class.

Posted by: jvd1 | March 25, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Wooooo-weeeeee, Judging from this interview, Blatche is quite a handful with all of his "they owe me an apology" protestations. You know what, you're an employee of the Washington Wizards. The only thing they "owe" you is a paycheck every two weeks. In turn, you owe them (and the fans) hard work every time youhit that court. You sound like a baby constantly whining how you "didn't do anything wrong." This thing isn't about who's right or wrong. It's about doing what needs to be done, in spite of your feelings because you're paid a lot of money to play a simple game. And you look like a prima donna with your constant complaints about your job -- a job which is an extreme privilege to have. Grow up! Turn a deaf ear to Flip's silliness - be the bigger person. Show that you're the good guy by performing on the court for your TEAM not just for yourself. That will take you a lot farther than simple-minded interviews where you pump yourself and put down others. Fans stand behind players, not coaches, so all your bad talking of him isn't going to result in fans hating him.

Posted by: shelley514 | March 25, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

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