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Posted at 11:23 AM ET, 01/26/2011

Andray Blatche on being the new Gilbert Arenas

By Dan Steinberg

(By Jonathan Newton - TWP)


Andray Blatche enjoyed a few beautiful months last season where his potential sprouted like a crunchy emerald green pepper, suddenly fresh and full of life and flavor and double-doubles. And for those few beautiful months, everyone loved him. Sort of. Briefly.

And now, the Wizards are a struggling team that has lost 426 consecutive road games, and Blatche is occasionally criticized by his coach, and many fans have again seen him more as a rotting late-November pumpkin than a fresh summer pepper, and so we're back to the bad old days of transcribing frustrated Blatche interviews in which he wonders about the criticism.

To wit, Tuesday, on the Mike Wise Show, when Blatche noted that "I'm always the person that they're quick to say something about."

"You're the new Gilbert in this town, everybody's pointing fingers at you!" Wise said, in an analogy approximately as appropriate as comparing Blatche to a green pepper. Still, he took the bait.

"That's what I don't understand," Blatche said. "That's what I don't understand. That's one thing I actually took from Gilbert before he left. We had a discussion, and this is exactly what he said to me. He said 'Just as fast as they turned on me, the same thing's gonna happen to you.' I took it as a joke, but I actually see what he was talking about. Everybody's looking for somebody to blame, and I feel like I'm starting to turn into that person, just like Gil."

You know, whatever. Fans did turn on Gilbert. They turned on Jason Campbell. Some have turned on Alex Ovechkin. They've turned on stand-up obscure guys, like Phillip Daniels, and on high-profile talkers, like Clinton Portis. Fans turn. If anything, Blatche has received more consistent treatment than any of these guys, since fans have almost uniformly criticized him his entire career. If he hadn't had those brief green pepper months last season, there would have been no place for fans to turn.

Anyhow, Blatche said he loves D.C., and that it's his second home, and that the city took him in and made him feel welcome. And at the end of a long interview, Holden Kushner asked again about being the new Gilbert, and whether fans turned on him to the same extent they turned on Gil.

"No no no no no no," Blatche said. "Don't get me wrong. I have a fan base that supports me and that's been on my side no matter what. There's also a couple people that was so supportive of me last year, [and] now, they're 'Oh I hate him, let's trade him, let's do this.' I mean, if you're a Wizards fan, that means you cheer for everybody. That don't mean you come to a game, [and say] 'Let's trade him, let's do that.' If you're part of a Wizard organizational fan group, that means you like the team. I mean, I'm sorry I had a broken foot over the summer. I'm sorry I haven't made it back to my full [capabilities], I'm sorry every time it comes to that I get hurt, I'm sorry I'm not perfect. I'm working. All I can do is keep on working and keep my head strong."

(First noted by SB Nation DC.)

By Dan Steinberg  | January 26, 2011; 11:23 AM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Next: Did Ovechkin dive?

Comments

First become an all-star, Andray, then, maybe, if you're lucky, will people think of you in the same light as Arenas. What a prima donna! Can we get anything in trade value for him?

Posted by: berou | January 26, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

No one's blaming you, Blatche.

You're just another talent who wasting away great potential on an underachieving team.

Posted by: charley42 | January 26, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Dray...

-Fans see your potential and want you to give max effort every night.

-Fans pay lots of $ and spend their time watching you play, hoping the team will improve.

-Fans get tired of losing as much as the players.

-Don't buy into the "WOE IS ME" syndrome!

Posted by: Stevie-J | January 26, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Why does every athlete on a sub .500 DC team feel the need to be on the radio or TV 24/7? Shut-up and worry about practice and winning games before you open your mouths in the media.

Posted by: imcapeman | January 26, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Anybody turning on Captain A.O. just simply doesn't know what they're talking about.

Posted by: CapsNut | January 26, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

It seems as though local sports players think we want them to fail. Yeah we want to see horrible basketball. We don't want to see you actually have the drive and passion to fulfill your potential. Don't ever look in the mirror and take responsibility for your own actions, just blame us. I wish we could trade this guy and a pick for someone like Kevin Love. We need maturity, responsiblity and leadership on this team. Good thing that JW has Sam Cassell on the bench with him, now we need somebody to help McGee to aim high. Some of these guys attitudes are depressing.

Posted by: MaxnDC | January 26, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Keep your head up Dray and stay positive.

Posted by: MHEDRLT | January 26, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Nobody is turning against you a-blatche; some of us get tired of your act when you are called for a foul you either slam the ball to the floor,refuse to hand the ball to the official,or pout down the court like a two-year old that can't have their way. Grow up sir,you act like my 2-year old!!!!

Posted by: joe12341 | January 26, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Nobody is turning against you a-blatche; some of us get tired of your act when you are called for a foul you either slam the ball to the floor,refuse to hand the ball to the official,or pout down the court like a two-year old that can't have their way. Grow up sir,you act like my 2-year old!!!!

Posted by: joe12341 | January 26, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Nobody is turning against you a-blatche; some of us get tired of your act when you are called for a foul you either slam the ball to the floor,refuse to hand the ball to the official,or pout down the court like a two-year old that can't have their way. Grow up sir,you act like my 2-year old!!!!

Posted by: joe12341 | January 26, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I wish we could trade the "new" Gilbert

Posted by: bszdnva | January 26, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

"I wish we could trade the "new" Gilbert."

If they traded the "old" Gilbert, they can trade the "new" one also. I believe it when Blatche says "he doesn't get it." Blatche doesn't understand that he's lazy and until he does he will always be ridiculed. He's not a professional.

Oh by the way Blatche, Gilbert brought GUNS INTO A LOCKER ROOM when he wasn't supposed to and in addition he POOPED IN YOUR SHOE! I don't think this is someone you should asking advice from.

Gilbert feels no remorse for what he did. Everytime he talks about it, it's not his fault. He takes no blame for what he did. It's just "jokes."

Blatche is exactly the same as Gilbert. Neither will ever understand and as a result will never see thier potential.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 26, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Blattche, you whiny sissy. I am blaming you for deserting the middle and letting people blow by you without even trying to defend. I blame you 6'11' 260lbs for having 6 rebounds per game that come from richochets instead of fighting for rebounds and being afraid under the basket. I blame you for not jumping. I blame you for quitting on plays when you get slapped or think you have been fouled. I blame you for jacking up bad shots nightly. And worst of all, I blame you for being a sissy, baby, punk.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | January 26, 2011 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I have been a Wizards season ticket holder for 18 years. Believe me, you aren't the "new gilbert" at all, you are just plain lazy. If you want us to believe that you are trying your hardest, why don't you at least pretend to give 100% on the court each and every night. As Flip said at the end of last year, 16 good games in your career does not give you the right to think you are good.

The sooner Blatche leaves town, the happier I will be.

If only he were half way decent and we could actually show only the game film where he hustles to other teams potentially willing to relieve us of him, maybe we could get him outta here asap. But that would take wayyyy too much time editing the game film to only include those few special moments.

Posted by: gmb2020 | January 26, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Blatche has played well his last four or five games. I think it's coming together for him. He hasn't been 100% since the start of the season. He's shooting for a higher percentage and taking it to the rack with more frequency. Let's hope he sustains it.

Posted by: Kelleawlive | January 26, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

See you at the club around 11. Bottles on you...

Posted by: AllDCSports | January 26, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Andray, You have NBA talent and a lot of it! Your biggest adjustment seems to be shot selection and the one on one dribbling to the basket. A 7' guy just can't dribble through the lane as if he is a 6'3 point guard. My biggest gripe with you is that with your talent it is wasted when you try to do more then you need to do! You have a great shot from 17 feet in but if the shot is not there pass the rock and reset. Get nasty on the defensive side and block out on the boards and you will have a long and outstanding career. Watch some tape of Big E and learn how to post up and shoot that turn around fade away and the sky is the limit!

Posted by: buddybuttons5 | January 26, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Dray...

-Fans see your potential and want you to give max effort every night.

-Fans pay lots of $ and spend their time watching you play, hoping the team will improve.

-Fans get tired of losing as much as the players.

-Don't buy into the "WOE IS ME" syndrome!

Posted by: Stevie-J

Amen to all of the above....

Posted by: LaureninGlenBurnie | January 26, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I am a DIE-HARD Wizard fan, win or lose. I criticize them on every single play, defensively and offensively. Lately Washington fans have been looking more like Cleveland fans-impatient and undeserving. We don't DESERVE a winning team.
We boo Blatche on every chance we can get. Will someone remind you that the Wizards are rebuilding? Can someone remind us that the Wizards are a YOUNG team?
Last year, people were doing back flips for Blatche, and now we are ONCE AGAIN demanding trades.
Can someone remind us the COUNTLESS bone-headed trades we have made over the years involving young players? How about Big Ben, Rip, Devin Harris, the fifth overall pick.
In a couple of years, I don't want to see Andray Blatche or Javale Mcgee scoring 20+ points on a different team, against the Wizards.
We were soo ready to pull the trigger on Nick Young, and now, we love him. Give players time to grow. Let Rashard, Kirk, and Josh rub off on Blatche, Mcgee, John, and Young, and in a few years, we will have an Oklahoma-type ball club.
Wizards and Skins fans... BE PATIENT.


Posted by: shaureb319 | January 26, 2011 7:02 PM | Report abuse

"And now, the Wizards are a struggling team that has lost 426 consecutive road games, ... "

Is that supposed to be a joke, as if they've lost so many games that you can't keep track? They've lost 21 straight regular season road games (22 dating back to last season). Not 426. But, uh, "haha" if that was a failed joke.

Posted by: fahad8261 | January 27, 2011 3:21 AM | Report abuse

"And now, the Wizards are a struggling team that has lost 426 consecutive road games, ... "

Is that supposed to be a joke, as if they've lost so many games that you can't keep track? They've lost 21 straight regular season road games (22 dating back to last season). Not 426. But, uh, "haha" if that was a failed joke.

Posted by: fahad8261 | January 27, 2011 3:22 AM | Report abuse

The worst mistake the Wiz ever made was NOT hiring a legit "Big man" assistant coach. Kareem, Akeem, Patrick, Alonzo, or even Charles Oakley. Any or all of these guys could have been a great mentor for AB.

The other part of the equation is that AB needs to be coachable which is a whole nother story...

Posted by: TEliasB | January 27, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Well, I think he is actually getting better. I saw him actually play defense against Boston (he took a charge....remember..he really did!)

I keep waiting for a sense of pride to kick in. Or is it coaching I'm looking for? Instead of trading Blatche maybe we should be courting a top notch coach.

Posted by: DriveDaLane | January 27, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Terrible analogy in so many ways. First of every sports writer should boycott the name Filbert Bonivas from this day forward in any form of media: print, FB, news cast, etc...

Second, who cares if Andray Blatche isn't feeling the love or respect. That !sh needs to be earned big fella. Players see that too, which is why every big 4 who comes in the bldg will punk you up!

You're a hobo from Hoboken, a bum from beach with no blanket just a bad tan, a free range turkey with a one way ticket to Turduken Bistro.

Don't like feeling that way, step it up. You play too soft. The closest thing I'd compare you too is Cedric Ceballos, not sure why but at least that dood had game.

Posted by: capcity_subscriber | January 27, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Dray is right, this area is very unforgiving and I don't know why. Most turned on Gil who had done some positive things. I have NEVER been a huge AB fan. After the Grunfeld player give away, Dray could have shown more leadership verbally as well as by example. Instead we hear abut him verbally abuse trainers and coaches, and constant bad pub at evryone's party. I wish him well but be needs to grow up and work on his game.

Posted by: zack9633 | January 27, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Wise and Kushner are morons that were stirring up trouble and taking advantage of the situation and fabricating story lines. I guess DC loves soap opera dramas along with Dan Steinberg. I will say this, Flip's style leaves something to be desired.

Posted by: bobilly1 | January 27, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Wise and Kushner are morons that were stirring up trouble and taking advantage of the situation and fabricating story lines. I guess DC loves soap opera dramas along with Dan Steinberg. I will say this, Flip's style leaves something to be desired.

Posted by: bobilly1 | January 27, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm critical of you but I didn't turn on you. I am critical of my children too but since you are a grown man and a millionaire I don't have to sugar coat my criticisms.

Posted by: jefferu | January 27, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

AB is a 6 foot guard (a bad one) trapped in a 7 foor body. Stupid finger rolls, excess dribling, can't jump, gets caught out of position on D....the list goes on. Yes, when motivated..he can get 20 points,,then he disappears for 5 nights and gets nothing at all....

Posted by: nowhine | January 27, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

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