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Posted at 1:58 PM ET, 01/ 7/2011

Andray Blatche on weight lifting and finesse

By Dan Steinberg

So Andray Blatche called into the Mike Wise Show on Friday. Apparently this had something to do with a Facebook exchange in which a Wizards fan criticized Blatche's style, and the big man replied that if fans wanted Shaquille O'Neal, they should have gotten him. And this all led into Blatche defending his own unique style of basketball.

"I mean, if anybody ever watched me grow into this league, into this team, they would notice I've never in my career been a back-to-the-basket, bang, back-you-down player," Blatche said. "I'm more of a face-you-up, finesse player. That's the type of player I am. I mean, I can't force myself to be a different player that I'm not....I feel in the post, it's easy for me to face up guys because of my speed. Most bigs can't stay with me.

"My coaches and Ernie [Grunfeld] and everybody is very supportive. When my jump shot is flowing, they don't have a problem with it, but when it's in a slump like it is now, they want me to focus more on being around the rim. Which I don't have a problem with at all, because I'm slumping right now."

So, soft? Has he heard that particular word?

"I mean, a finesse player is gonna be called soft, so it don't bother me much," Blatche said. "But I'm far from soft. Everybody's entitled to their own opinion."

And occasionally disinterested in defense? Has he heard that critique?

"I mean, the last couple games my defense has been great," Blatche said. "I mean, it's tough for fans to really see what's going on if they don't know our schemes. Our defensive schemes is for me to do stuff that I do, but they probably don't understand that if they don't know the schemes. The coaches don't have a problem with my defense because I'm doing what they're telling me to do."

And leadership?

"I mean, it's easy to criticize me just off just seeing what you see on the court because you don't see me telling [teammates] what to do, which I can't, because when it comes to game time we all have to b e in sync with one another, we all have to know what's going on," Blatche said. "I mean, most people, they're so focused on me missing shots, they don't see all the little things that I do. They're just worried about me going out getting 30, when I can affect the game other than scoring."

And his body?

"As far as my body, of course the foot injury [held him back], but besides that, I lift," Blatche said. "When I do lift, I'm the type of person, I don't see results at all. I mean, I tried everything, man. I got a chef so I could start getting as healthy as I could eat. I don't know what it is, man. I'm trying."

And the future?

"I'd definitely like to stay here," Blatche said. "Our record shows that we're a bad team, but we're not a bad team. I mean, every game we lose, it's in the fourth quarter. There's only one game we actually got blown out. All the other games, we're in it til the end, until we make critical young mistakes. If it weren't for the young mistakes, we'd have won half those games."

Oh, and who does he pattern his game after?

"Myself," Blatche said. "Myself, man."

No, he wasn't asked about his new hairstyle.

Also, here are Blatche and Lindsay Czarniak making cupcakes.

By Dan Steinberg  | January 7, 2011; 1:58 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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We are 8-25 and a so called "young team." But yet, we don't even play our youngs!!
If we are going to lose, then play the guys that will be here in the future!! I went to that disaster of a game against the Hornets, and did not see Trevor Booker or Seraphin step foot on the court. But instead I got an eyeful of Blatche (who's not going to be with the team much longer) and Lewis, who doesn't want to be here and is probably on the trading block!! WTH!! I mean it's bad enough seeing Dejuan Blair get his 10+ rebounds per night, but to endure knuckle-headed, soft Blatche, who thinks he is Steph Curry??? Seriously, Flip/EG... What is the direction of this franchise? By the way, I wrote-in our favorite Wizards for the all-star ballot voting. Our popular 2nd round picks - CASH$$$$!!!! CA$H for the all-star game!! "Where's the cake??"

Posted by: hamptonpirates89 | January 7, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I dont have a problem with his statements. He obviously knows whats going on behind the scenes but at the same time he has to understand that his when his "efficiency" is down as it has been all year, you must focus more on doing things that help your team win, like not jacking up 15+ shots per game (until you get your groove back, God knows if he ever will), and REBOUNDING damn it!! The man needs to rebound... and put more tangible effort in on the defensive end. He needs to stay here and figure it out. As Washingtonians we need to stop advocating the frequent dumping of our project players (that is what Dray is, he was a 2nd round pick, and a project. 6 years in the making yes, but he came into the league at 18 so the maturity rubix cube isnt going to be solved in a matter of minutes). If he puts forth effort he's got my support, but it starts with him. Flip pulled him against Philly when he wasnt doing well which is encouraging to see the coach taking an active part in his development (for once). He needs Flip to stay on his case like he did with McGee. Thats not to say he needs to be yo-yo-ed in and out of games but Flip needs to take advantage of the teachable moments that occur throughout games

Posted by: DCSportsFan89 | January 7, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Blatche should not be allowed to shoot any jumper beyond 15 feet, period.

If he does, pull him. That could work, or lead to pouting, hard to say which.

Blatche will never be more than a once-every-few-games break-out star unless he adapts his game to being a PF, rather than force the team to play with two SFs and a center (Mcghee) who bites on every pump fake and lacks the girth and/or mentality to fill space in the paint. Our frontcourt is anemic... a flaw compounded further in the rougher-and-tumbler playoffs should we ever reach them again. Personally, I think Blatche has been in the league too long to adapt, certainly with a coach he long ago stopped listening to. Trade him to an LA with Jackson and Kobe breathing down his neck and he could reach his potential yet.

Posted by: SammyT1 | January 7, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or does that video of Dray and Lindsay Czarniak look like a segment from Wednesday's Child?!?

There's a "who needs the cupcake more/less" joke just begging to be told here, but I'll pass.

Posted by: sasrza | January 7, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Does finesse mean that you're not supposed to jump. Does it mean you are supposed to stand flat footed and watch guys circle around you and drive to the basket? Does it mean you stop and cry about fouls either not for you, or against you, and you quit on the play. Does finesse mean leaving your area under the basket for the center to defend alone. I know we have heard about the coach wanting you here or there, and you not understanding where here or there is. Fans may not know every scheme, but MANY coaches on TV do know the schemes and say you are out of position and taking horrible shots. Your FG% says you are taking poor shots, and/or poor at making them. The fans see when he puts out effort and when he does not. His minutes per game vs. his rebounding numbers show that the effort is not there. He can do anything on the court he wishes, he just does not wish to do them very often. Can you count on him on a given night....Noooo.. Being out of shape can make the world of difference. As Vince Lombardi stated "fatigue makes cowards of us all" meaning without energy you know you are vulnerable and you do not put out your best effort when you feel vulnerable. Blatche needs to grow up. One day he says he has a bear on his back and he is in a funk, today he is defending his play as saying his coach and GM is happy with him. Which one is it Andray, and if you are doing so good, why are there so many trade rumors about you, trying to get rid of you for someone who can HELP the team. Grow up, Get a clue, Quit whining, Start working out, and BE A MAN!!!! BE A MAN YOU WUSSY.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | January 7, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Blatche is 100% correct in his statements. Are any of you old enough to remember Elvin Hayes. Even though The big E was more pwerful, he started his game outside and moved in. Blatche is even more of A FINESSE PLAYER. He could even play small forward spot like Lewis. He ends up playing low post. Saunders doesn't have a clue how to play him. Haven't any of you noticed that Saunders does better when he is limited in the number of available players? I am telling all of you again, everyone will play better and the team will start winning when Mcgee is allowed to play at least 36 mins per game and is allowed to be part of the offense. Mcgee will be a nightly double/double.

Posted by: bobilly2 | January 7, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

WE ONLY GOT BLOWN OUT IN ONE GAME - Test him for crack right now!!!! I missed that line earlier. I have a couple of questions; If Michael Jordan could listen to a person talking, and not see a game would he choose Blatche to be on his team. It is like listening to a sissy whiny boy. It is worse than I could have imagined. If Larry Bird was going into the playoffs and had seen film of his performances this year would he want him on the floor with him? Would Kobe Bryant want to depend on him when playing the Heat in the playoffs, instead of anyone currently a PF on his team? Blatche is talented, but he is not dependable and does not come to compete every night. Each of those guys would probably be glad to have him if he played to his potential, and each of those teams would be glad to trade him away if he did not.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | January 7, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Bobilly- He is wrong in his statements. You are wrong in yours. Elvin Hayes was not a finesse player. He was a banger. He fought for rebounds and points against Chamberlain, Reed, Jabbar, and everyone else. He was strong and in good shape. He also battled with Unseld for the ball. They both hated each other and competed for position and rebounds while on the same team. He was lean and strong, and had good moves. If he was finesse, then so was Olajuwan, Ewing, McHale, for they had good moves as well. No way you could put Blatche in a category with the "Big E". You don't get called "big" by playing soft, and lazy. Finesse means using dexterity and speed vs strength and power. You can have strength and power and still have dexterity and speed, like Ewing, Olajuwan, Hayes, and McHale. People who use finesse can still guard, jump, run, go to the correct position, and make good choices. Blatche is copping out. This GM and coach and other GM's and coaches will decide.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | January 7, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

it's hard to take criticism constructively. There is no reason that quickness can't be an asset with your back to the basket however. Being Shaq or K Malone isn't necessary. His strengths should be used closer to the basket. 15 and in. First option should always be attack the rim. Instead of driving baseline for the fake reverse up and under, take the up and under to the block (where he was killing with that move late last season). Instead of facing and taking a dribble to a spin move, take that to the block and drop step or roll of the defender to the rim. It's all in the application, he's not playing to his strengths. Yes he's quick - for a big man, yes he can dribble - for a big man, etc... but being a big man at 18 feet and out negates his advantages and he turns into a 6-10 ball handler, who isn't that good a ball handler to be playing guard.

Posted by: unkonchus | January 7, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Comedian Paul Mooney had this to say about this article: "Andray Blatche makes Charles Smith look like Charles Oakley"

Posted by: bernard_thompson | January 7, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, this article says #1) "I'm not looking to expand my game E2) The coaches feel like my game is acceptable as an NBA power forward #3)I defined my game since high school, and despite 6 years in the NBA, I refuse to change my game and body because I'm in an environment where it's acceptable. #4) Lifting weights can't ever make me a stronger individual #5) My team is almost a good team if it wasn't for the last 5 minutes of the game where I didn't make plays for us to win these close games that we've been in #6) My haircut shows that I'm going the Dennis Rodman route & I might need some psychological evaluation because I can call a radio show & defend myself. #7) I can & will go to the club win or lose because I'm that dude

Conclusion: I am & the organization I play for am my biggest enemy because I never had structure enough to change me or my game; hell they even extended my contract because of what I do for this organization. So why should I change?

This is we as fans deserve...

Posted by: bernard_thompson | January 7, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

somebody is comparing blatche to Elvin Hayes??? Please! E had a DEADLY corner jump shot IN COLLEGE that improved when he got to the nba. unfortunately the league didn't have a 3-pt line then or his point total would be bit higher than it is. blatch'es jumper is inconsistent INSIDE the line, and in no way, shape or form does he match Elvin's rebounding.

Posted by: dcjazzman | January 7, 2011 7:00 PM | Report abuse

ELVIN HAYES IS IN THE H.O.F. don't even go there comparing Blatche to Elvin Hayes.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 7, 2011 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I have never heard of an NBA player say "I'm a finesse player"....Then Blatche notes the perception of a player saying he is a finesse one is they are "soft"...He is so right!!!!! BECAUSE....he is soft...

1bmffwb...said it all!!!!!!! He only wants to be close to the basket when shooting, not on defense...since he is the next one closest to McGee height wise, where else is he supposed to be defensively...

Doesn't matter...he has been with the team what??? 4-5 years...the next 2 will reveal just what type of player he will ALWAYS BE.......

Posted by: pentagon40 | January 7, 2011 8:02 PM | Report abuse

ELVIN HAYES IS IN THE H.O.F. don't even go there comparing Blatche to Elvin Hayes.

Posted by: dargregmag |

Did you watch the game. Don't tell me to not go anywhere. Get a clue. Moron.

Posted by: bobilly2 | January 7, 2011 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Spud Webb could post up Blatche and even out jump him.......Blatche is a big Gumby. Thats all. Soft, gooy, mallable, dough boy soft.

Posted by: nowhine | January 7, 2011 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Blatche and McGee and all of the other Bigs will not get any better because they do not have a coach who can help them. Look at how much Dwight Howard improved after 2 weeks with Olajuwon.

Posted by: oakiedokie1 | January 8, 2011 6:31 AM | Report abuse

Elvin Hayes was one of the greatest power forwards who ever lived. Comparing him in any way to Blatche is ridiculous. Hayes never shied away from physical contact and is high up on the all time rebounds list. He and Unseld formed one of the greatest 4-5 combinations in league history and were the key to the outstanding Bullets teams of the 1970s. Blatche has his team at 0-17 on the road. Blatche is closer to Derrick Coleman than the Big E.

Posted by: randysbailin | January 8, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I don't get to see too many Wiz games, for obvious reasons. But every time I see Blatche, on or off the court, the words doughy and soft come to mind. He has improved his game over the last few years, but with that attitude he will never be one of the best 500 players ever, much less one of the best fifty.

The best thing to happen to the team in 30 years is having Ted take over for the cheapskate Pollin. Grunfeld should be gone soon as well, and hopefully his soft players who don't rebound or play D will be gone with him. The team is already playing better D by purging/trading Arenas.

Posted by: NYPDee | January 8, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Here is a quick short take on himand HIS take ON HIMSELF:EXCUSES--does not get it-he worries more about his hair style than his inability to figure out WHAT THE NBA and it's game is all about--he acts-thnks and play's as if he is still in high school. He is a great reason for the NBA STOP allowing teams to draft these 18-19 year old babies--head case--thinks and STILL acts like an 18--19 year old. Bring Wes Unseld in to coach him up--talk about tough love-Wes WOULD straighten him out in a N.Y. minute

Posted by: vergens2 | January 8, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

What Andray needs to understand is that in order for a big man to get out of a shooting slump he needs to attack the basket inside to knock down more high percentage shots, then maybe his outside game can turn around.

Posted by: eternale5150 | January 8, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Bobilly2 I'm not sure who's the bigger idiot you or Blatche? Elvin Hayes was versitile and yes could work his game from outside - in but he scored most of his H.O.F. points by backing guys down and banging in the paint. You did not see the repeated poor shot selection and indifferent play on defense and rebounding from the Big E that you see from Blatche. As far as Blatche's comments, fans may not know all the "schemes" used and the nuances of the team defenses but fans can sniff out lack of effort and attitude on the court. Blatche, if he would grow up and play a disciplined game with professional effort every night has the talent to be a tremendous player and asset to this team. Right now he's a cancer to this team like Bobilly2 is to this comment log!

Posted by: 1bigdad | January 8, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Bobbilly2 is actually Blatch posting. lol.

Posted by: Theone9 | January 8, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

We keep wanting to trade players, what about the coach. Is it not possible that Flip doesn't know how to maximize the talent of each individual player. I understand that players must modify their game at times, but, Flip seems to not know how to use the talent some of the players have to advantage. Has everyone forgotten how the team when we had Butler,Areans,Haywood,Jamison and Stevenson didn't do well under Flip either. I can recall Butler doing his own thing as well. I really believe that with the "right" coach, this team, with the players we have, would be better. Don't beat me up, this just my opinion. I can't even watch them on TV anymore, let alone pay to see this mess and I am a big fan.

Posted by: ivyleague | January 9, 2011 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Point well taken Ivyleague. THere has been more than a couple of times I wondered what Flip was trying to do during games. Still, I think if they could make a swap with someone for Blatche it would allow the team to progress. Addition by subtraction. And if Flip doesn;t soon get more out of this squad he too should be subtracted.

Posted by: 1bigdad | January 9, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

And they want me to pay $135 to watch this teaam play!

Posted by: Badwisky | January 10, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Nice parting shot, Stein.

Posted by: Matte | January 10, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

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