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Ike Austin liked donuts

(1999 photo by David Bergman - AP)

In 1999, the Wizards traded Ben Wallace, Terry Davis, Jeff McInnis and Tim Legler for Ike Austin. That didn't really work out. Check the headlines.

November: The Last Puzzle Piece? With Austin Filling Void at Center, Wizards Are Optimistic

December: Wizards Start White; Austin Benched In Team Shake-up

January: Austin, Agent Are Anticipating Trade; Wizards Center Would Like to Play Elsewhere; Bucks, Lakers Interested

February: Austin Says a Trade Would Be Best

He was dealt in August, and Ben Wallace went on to be awesome, which is what happened to every former Wizard of that era. During a recent ESPN Radio appearance, Legler looked back on that trade and identified the culprit: donuts. Figures.

"I was involved in a trade with Ben Wallace to the Orlando Magic," Legler began. "Ben Wallace was in that deal, goes to Orlando, ends up in Detroit, helps them win a championship....Myself, Ben Wallace got traded from Washington to Orlando for Isaac Austin. We had Ben Wallace the first two, three years of his career in Washington. We didn't even know what we had, exactly.

"We saw it every day in pratice, and he led the league one year in rebounding in the preseason, he averaged like 11 rebounds a game in the preseason. But he was playing behind Chris Webber, so the regular season comes, he's on the bench not playing. So after a couple of years of that, they have to make a decision. and they decide to trade him off. They wanted a center, Isaac Austin had that great year playing for the Heat when Pat Riley got him in shape. He came up to Washington, I think he stopped at every Dunkin Donuts on the way from Miami to Washington, D.C."

In the 1999 preseason, Gar Heard announced that he had given his first assignment to his assistants: "Keep the weight off of Isaac Austin." Austin told the Washington Times he had already lost 15 pounds, and "expects to play around 270 this year. He has even hired his own cook, who specializes in fat-free meals, to help him stay trim."


By Dan Steinberg  |  June 14, 2010; 3:29 PM ET
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Lest we forget, Wilbon applauded this trade and said it was necessary for the Wiz to become contenders in the Eastern Conference. We have all made mistakes from time to time. But that's a doozy.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | June 14, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

We all knew the Ben Wallace would be truly great. We all knew. Well, everyone except Wes Unseld. The guy led the NBA in the 98/99 season in blocked shots AND rebounds per 48 minutes. He was already the best defensive player in the game, he just wasn't getting the starter minutes yet. Wallace will be inducted into the Hall of Fame one day after recording a record 4 NBA defensive player of the year awards.

And yet we traded him for Ike Austin, who played one season in Washington, started about 20 games, and averaged a whopping 6 pts and 4 rebounds.

Thank you Wes Unseld. And thank you Abe Pollin for keeping Unseld around when every single fan of your team knew he was incompetent as a GM.

Posted by: Barno1 | June 14, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Those are two names I never want to hear in Washington ever again: Gar Heard and Ike Austin.

Posted by: rodeorob | June 15, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

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