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Kobe, Phil and Gil

On my way to Toronto, one of my favorite cities in North America, for tonight's Wizards game and I'm pretty disappointed that Antawn Jamison won't be around. I saw the replays of his knee injury and it looks like the team captain is going to be out awhile. I'm starting to think that I just have bad timing: the top players are missing when I come around.

I was in New York yesterday, hoping to see Kobe Bryant go off on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden (I actually got to see Jared Jeffries play like a $30 million player for the first time since he signed with the Knicks. Jeffries got his first start in a week, after almost playing himself out of the rotation, and he had 14 points, 7 rebounds, 2 nice rebound dunks and a deft behind-the-back pass to Eddy Curry. It was good to see). The only highlight involving No. 24 last night occurred when the crowd booed when his one-game suspension for striking San Antonio's Manu Ginobili was announced before the game.

The NBA is going a bit overboard with its crack down on physical or aggressive contact. It's also a bit questionable, the grounds for suspensions and their lengths. Based on NBA math, you get one game for throw a punch and an addition 14 for landing (that's what we should believe after recent incidents involving Kevin Garnett, Baron Davis and Carmelo Anthony). I know the league has to protect the image of its brand, but I don't know. Sometimes, by trying to maintain order, you make things worse.

Kobe's suspension seemed a bit extreme to me. Maybe the play warranted a fine, but a suspension? When I saw that play on television Sunday afternoon - Kobe's right arm wildly clobbering Ginobili in the face - my first reaction was, "Dang, Kobe got Manu good." It was a pretty vicious hit, one that the league called "an unnatural basketball act" (How disgusting does that sound?). Then, watching Manu crawl around and later getting treated as if he were knocked out by Bernard Hopkins, I was in more disbelief. All that to draw a foul, I thought. Wassup with that, Kobe? But I had no idea that it would lead to a suspension. Didn't even think twice about it. The league said Kobe's connection wasn't inadvertent and the decision was made as a player safety issue, which riled Kobe and Lakers Coach Phil Jackson.

Standing next to Kobe as he explained himself yesterday - he said he was trying to accentuate contact to draw a foul - I could see that dude was seriously choked up. He looked visibly upset and shocked that he was going to miss a really important game for a Lakers' team that has overachieved, was starting a major road trip and seriously been struggling of late. After he spoke to reporters, Kobe grabbed a seat, dropped his head into his hands and just shook his head (I guess if I lost $161,000, I'd be a little broken up, too).

Then, Jackson met with reporters and Mr. Seed Planter was already setting the stage for Saturday's game against the Wizards. When explaining the measures player use to initiate contact, he mentioned a certain member of the Wizards who scalded the Lakers for 60 points and attempted 27 free throws in Los Angeles back in December. Remember how Gilbert just sought out poor Andrew Bynum and hurled his body into the kid on a couple of occasions to get to the foul line in that game? Obviously, Jackson does, too.

"When a guy is going up for a shot and he's being contested, you want to draw contact, that's part of the game you play," Jackson said. "We see that everyday with Gilbert Arenas and all of our great guards that go to the basket and on shots that are contested to try to get contact to make the foul."

Hmm. Why would he single out Gilbert? Jackson rarely says anything without trying to send a message, so if Gil gets called for a charge or two on Saturday, just remember where you heard it first.

But getting back to Kobe's suspension, whether or not he "unintentionally" hit Ginobili, this sets a pretty dangerous precedent for the league. I found it ironic that at the end of the game, Jeffries blocked a shot by the Lakers' Brian Cook, then Cook decked him in the face, causing Jeffries to lose his contact lense in the process. Now, I doubt if Cook gets anything for it - and he shouldn't - but after this latest incident, who knows? "There are intentional things that go down and get a one game suspension," Phil Jackson said. "To have an unintentional thing go down, and it gets a one-game suspension, it does set a precedent."

By Michael Lee  |  January 31, 2007; 7:47 AM ET
 
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Next: AJ out, Kobe in town and all things Wiz

Comments

Michael,

If the league really goes down that path, they could start by doling out about 10 days of suspensions to Detroit due to contact last night =) But let's not forget the tough juice and just know that we need to be ready to get nasty in the paint if need be.

I used to like Phil Jackson a lot more when he was coaching the Bulls. Kobe better not take a shot at Gil, or we'll call up Awvee Storey from the correctional league.

Fun Fact: the Wiz have held 5 of their last 8 opponents under 100 points, and have lost only once in those 8 games, while averaging 106.8 ppg.

Posted by: Gack | January 31, 2007 9:01 AM | Report abuse

The note on defense is nice - they have been playing a lot better help D. Last night Eddie said that he was going to use Blatche while Antawn is out. That sounds great if he remembers that he is not reason the game is being played and the ball is not his to do with as he feels fit.

Posted by: Bridgewater, VA | January 31, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

"Hibachi."
-- Brendan Haywood to one of the Wizards on the bench after his buzzer-beating jumper was determined to have beaten the game clock at the end of the first half to give the Wizards a 55-42 lead.

FUNNY!

Posted by: Going G.A.G.A. over Gilbert | January 31, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Kobe, did anyone see him foul Robert Horry on the three pointer before the "inadvertent" contact play? Very visible and he got away w/ it and then of course, he proceeded to make fun of Horry that almost seemed like he was saying, "You see? I can get away with stuff like this." Kobe is probably the most talented guy in the league, but man he is a punk.

Posted by: Going G.A.G.A. over Gilbert | January 31, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

"Kobe better not take a shot at Gil, or we'll call up Awvee Storey from the correctional league."

Hilarious. I am sick of Kobe's whinning and I am more sick of Phil's whinning. Phil is a joke. If he had any class, he would let Gil's game go and focus on the next matchup. But he doesn't, so he won't.

Posted by: BT | January 31, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Kobe definitely deserved the suspension. If you look at the replay, Kobe's not flailing his arms to draw a foul (ala Reggie Miller), he's throwing an elbow. "Unnatural basketball act" describes it perfectly -- nobody throws an elbow coming down from a jump shot. He was ticked that Manu blocked his shot, and deliberately clocked him with an elbow. As for Kobe's "remorse", let's face it, he's had a lot of practice with that particular act.

I'm surprised he didn't just buy Ginobili a biga--
diamond ring.

Posted by: burke | January 31, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Hi Michael! Remember when you wrote about Deshawn Stevenson's "hand wave in the face" move and how he needed to come up with a new move since learning that someone else already had it in the NBA? Can you ask him if he's made any progress on that? He's still doing it as of last night and, well, frankly it looks pretty dorky. :-)

Posted by: Josh | January 31, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I posted for the first time just the other day. I didn't realize that some people feel that you have to state if you are a new fan or an old fan. So anyway here it goes: I attended my first Bullets game in Earl "The Pearl" Monroe's rookie season as a 9 yr old and was hooked. Here's one that I bet not many of you can claim, I sang the National Anthem at that Bullets game as part of the Carroll County 4H club Chorus on Farm Appreciation Day in the old Baltimore Civic Center.
Yes, the Bullets did have a farm days and yes I did put up a hoop in my barn! As soon as you stop laughing you can read on. And yes, we had cows too!! I'm probably one of the few fans on this blog that saw Walt Bellamy play as a Bullet. Not to mention Gus Johnson, Jack Marin, Archie Clark etc. I've been a fan for one yr longer than the great Wes Unseld has been with the team. And Elvin Hayes not Karl Malone is in my humble opinion the greatest power forward of all time. So I hope that I qualify to have an opinion here. And I'm also a season ticket holder that drives from PA (about a 3 hr rd trip if things go smooth).
Last night's Piston win was a really great team effort! Calvin "The Boy Scout" Booth(Always be Prepared) gave the Wiz a fantastic effort. Gil showed why he is in the mix for MVP, and Hayes really came up big and did alot of the little things well including slashing to the hoop a couple of times. Really hated to see AJ go down hope he's back soon, we need him to keep playing at this level.
Blatch may get a chance to play more tonight against Bosh. I think Bosh is really too quick for Booth to gaurd for extended period. But, give Eddie credit for going to Booth against Detroit's veteran bigs. Smart call and Booth made the most of it.
The one point I'd like to make came to mind watching Webber last night. On the way home some guy called into 980 and said that Pollin shipped Webber out of town for having a little "weed" in his car. Well, it was a little more than that. It came down to where him and another guy wanted to stick their manhood at 3am at a "little gathering"(several hundred people)at J. Howard's house one night after a game. This was during the late season when they got eliminated from the playoffs and had another game that night! I don't care if it was a he said she said and if charges were dropped or not, it was unprofessional! People that pay for tickets expect more! Watching Webber last night I can't help but think, what a waste! He's had a decent career, but looking at the Pistons now I don't think he'll ever get his ring unless he talks his way onto another team. And the guy should have been in the Elvin Hayes or Karl Malone class.
But for all of you guys that want ship out Jamison I have one point to make that involves Webber. I've been a fan long enough to see what the combination of ascending stars and the wrong veteran leadership(or lack off) can get you.
Team chemistry or swag as Gil calls it is a funny thing. Sometimes as hard as a coach, GM and all of the players try it just isn't there. Sometimes you can just feel it as a fan.
For the first time in a really long time I can see the Wizards expecting to win. And when the game gets tight in the 4th they're making plays at both ends of the court and winning. And sometimes when Gil has the ball ready to light up a guy I've got to think of "The Pearl!

Posted by: GM | January 31, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I thought it was pretty cool that when Phil wanted to come up with an example of an elite NBA player, a Wizard was the first name that came to his mind.

When was the last time you could say that? Unseld, Hayes? (not counting MJ since he wasn't elite as a Wizard).

I would never want to accuse Phil of not having an agenda, but in this case, I think it was just a genuine compliment.

Posted by: burke | January 31, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Great post, GM. I've been a fan since they moved to the Cap Center in '73. All the talk of trading AJ is really quite funny, because anyone who knows Pollin's thinking over the decades knows AJ's not only going to retire a Wiz, he'll end up working for Suze after he retires. EG knows better than to even SUGGEST trading AJ to Pollin.

Posted by: reispace | January 31, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Was that one mean dunk that Stevenson threw down on the baseline drive? I replayed it about 5 times watching it last night and enjoyed it everytime. He really bailed the Wiz out last night w/o Jamison.

Posted by: Going G.A.G.A. over Gilbert | January 31, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Hey burke, I definately agree with you. I saw the replay (several times). For those of you with Tivo, slow it down some. It sure looks loke Kobe is looking sideways when he throws that elbow.

Kobe deserved what he got. That was NOT an "accidental" sideways elbow swing to the face of Ginobili - that was superstar ticked off that his shot was blocked retaliation.

Posted by: Rook | January 31, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

What everyone has to understand is whether Kobe meant to do it, Ginobli did some great acting. As a 'futbol' fan first, Manu, being from Argentina (i think) gives him a PHD in how to ham up a call!

A technical, ejection and small fine is all that foul should be. Send a message but realize that this is not balet, and physicality is rewarded. i guess Kobe learned one thing from Shaq before he left....

Posted by: Patrick | January 31, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Phil always tries to work the officials, so he just has to throw the Gilbert's remark in, knowing Lakers is going to play Wiz on Saturday.

BTW, you cannot be serious comparing Cook's elbow with Kobe swinging his arm. I saw the tapes on both, Kobe swung his arm wide and hard. To draw a foul like that? You might as well use your off arm to punch the defender!

Posted by: sagaliba | January 31, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"It came down to where him and another guy wanted to stick their manhood at 3am at a "little gathering"(several hundred people)at J. Howard's house one night after a game."

GM she alleged that Webber and Howard raped her. It was more than he said she said. She clearly lied. Juwan sued her and got a judgment because she failed to respond to his complaint or appear in court to defend herself. Pollin cut Webber loose because he let the local media, especially a former Post columnist play GM. Then they bashed the Wizards for getting nothing for Webber. Young men make bad decisions all the time but having party is no reason to gut your franchise which is what Webber for Richmond did. I am sure you would have made a different decision at 22 if you were in Webber's and Howard's shoes.

Posted by: LH | January 31, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

LH, Which gets to my point. 22 yr olds need some guidance. When all of Pro sports opened the doors to younger and younger guys we lost site of how young and impressionable these guys really are. Sidney Ponson with the O's would be another example. If you are going to draft these guys or bring them to the majors a club needs to surround them with the right people.
My point had NOTHING to do with if it was or wasn't a rape. And I don't know enough about to say who lied. And have know intention of getting in that debate. But what is fact and is entirely relevent to today's team that without the right kind of veterans around these guys were partying at 3am between two back to back games when they were in a playoff chase in which they got edged out. I'm not positive if my memory is correct but I think they lost one if not both games.
But don't blame Rod Strickland he wasn't there, he was out prowling the DC clubs til dawn. Then showed up in time to grab a hotdog during warmups. I saw him hurl them more than once during a game.
I didn't bring this up to rehash a lost chance at greatness. See Mike Wise's column about it in today's Post I think Webber has his regrets about it. I just think that in 41 years of watching a team somtimes a guy's value can get lost. Jamison is a great player that is a tweener, not really a KG,Karl Malone, Elvin Hayes or even Chris Webber in his prime type. But his value to this team and it's turn around is something that can't be measured on the stat sheet. And it is both on and off the court and has alot to do with how a pro goes about his job. And somtimes you can see it on the court when Gil is about loose it Jamison and Butler can calm him down and get his head back in the game.
I agree with reispace that like Wes he's probably a Wizard for life. And as long as he gives some veteran stability to this group while they grow together he deserves it! GM

Posted by: GM | January 31, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

"But for all of you guys that want ship out Jamison I have one point to make that involves Webber. I've been a fan long enough to see what the combination of ascending stars and the wrong veteran leadership(or lack off) can get you."

It's called the Chicago Bulls.

Posted by: BT | January 31, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

GM,

Where are you in PA? I live in Carroll County (between Westminster and Taneytown), and ocassionally get to a game. Used to have partial season tix. I see Wes Unseld around town here; he must live in the area.

I remember the Webber stuff well. And it was more than just two incidents; he was constantly in trouble, it seemed like. I think he forced the Bullets' hand by continuing to act like an irresponsible child. In fact, I was much more upset when Juwan signed with Miami (we all remember that "Mulligan" fiasco) than when C-Webb left town. The younger folks probably don't remember, or never heard, how good Juwan was here for a couple of seasons. His career has been something of a disappointment, as I really thought he'd be a star.

Posted by: Keithinator | January 31, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Keithinator, Blue Ridge Summit,PA. Not that far from you. I beleive Wes lives some where around New Windsor. I grew up in Winfield from that area.
The whole C-Webb,Howard, Strickland era. had so much promise with so little to show for it. I sure hope we never have it happen again.
And then there was the whole succession of guys who ate their way out of the league. Remember, John "Hotplate" Williams,"Dinner Bell" Mel Turpin, or Kevin Duckworth to name a few!

Posted by: GM | January 31, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Personally, "Hot Fudge" was my favorite John Williams nickname. That guy had serious game, and, apparently, a serious problem with buffets.

Dinner Bell Mel was pretty much a has-been by the time we got him, I think he was a frequent 10-day-contract type, but truth be told I used to love the Bullets of that era, because those guys were the very antithesis of so many of the spoiled stars we have today.

Most of the Bullets back then were cast-offs and guys desperate to prove they belonged in the league who would kill themselves to win some meaningless game against Cleveland or Philly.

Juwan really did have a lot of promise. Were it not for the weight of his much-hated contract, I suspect most fans here would probably still love the guy, he certainly was Mr. Consistency, though he never really made the jump to the next level.

C-Webb will join so many guys who could have been great, but never treated the game with the proper respect and dedication, and it shows in his career.

Anyway, Darvin Ham was more fun to watch than C-Webb. Nothing brought the house down faster than a Ham Slamwich!

Posted by: Gack | January 31, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Some friends and I got bbq and actually tailgated in the Caps Centre parking lot before the first Bullets game featuring Juwan and Webber, a close loss to the Celtics, if I remember correctly.
I think that team wound up being a morality play about combining talent with dumb-headed attitude. Until Ernie and Eddie changed the culture, there were so many years of well-meant dysfunction, but I'm sure everybody here knows that.

In the Wise column Webber was quoted again and again about how he hopes the guys here appreciate what they have. A noble thing to say, but I read those statements as coming across in kind of a bitter way -- like he's forecasting that everybody else is going to screw up their youthful potential like he did. I have all the confidence in the world that the current team, and management, will make better decisions cause they have better heads on their shoulders. In my mind, Webber can keep his wisdom to himself. Or am I seeing this the wrong way?

Posted by: dc jam | January 31, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

dc jam - agree with your take, although it's not just Webber's quotes, it's Wise's central thesis that heartache looms. BTW, how does Wise know what lurks "somewhere deep" within Webber?

Posted by: reispace | January 31, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

dc jam,

I don't know about bitterness and maybe somewhat thinking the current Wiz are going to blow their chances like Webber did, but I do think Webber has good intentions most times. The problem w/ him is that he knows what he should do, but will usually take the easy way out. And he's been doing that ever since the Fab Five days and maybe even before that. That's why his career has been a disappointment and he was never a clutch player w/ that mindset.

Posted by: Going G.A.G.A. over Gilbert | January 31, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I was a big fan of Webber...in his days as a bullet and king, he was the most consistant power forward in the game. Find another PF who averaged 20-10-5 over those years. You'll have a hard time. Webber, as another pointed out, always took the easy way out and was never that player who could take his team all the way to the title...he got close a couple of times. Does that mean he was a player who deserves all this critisism and revisionist history?

Absolutely not, there's a lot of sour grapes and hate-or-ade bein drunk on here. He was a very good player for most of his career and had he won a title in Sactown, we'd be talking about a possible future hall of famer instead of a guy who could have been an all time great.

I can't stand the love them when they are here hate them when they go attitudes you see with a lot of fans.

Posted by: Justin | January 31, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

The big thing is not letting the mentoring of these young guys to chance. Who would you rather have mentoring Blatch, Jamison and Booth or "Party Joe" Ramos?
The thing about Webber at his peak even though he put up 20 and 10 many nights he still came accross as dogging it. I always thought that he was going to explode and would dominate the league. I'm still a fan, in a limited role he could have helped this team, but that was never happening.
I don't think he really ever had Gil or Butler's passion for the game or was as professional as AJ. If you guys remember Stevenson had a bad rep for awhile when he came into the league out of high school.But three years with Sloan in Utah turned him into a real pro.
I do agree with Webber what we have going right now is special. Just hope we can weather things til after the All Star break and get AJ healthy and start to work Darius in the mix. GM

Posted by: GM | January 31, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Justin,

What Webber accomplished with natural-born physical tools is not the issue. It's the dedication to his craft and to taking himself, his team, and his legacy to the next level that he never figured out. That's not haterade, that's just reality. He just didn't care that much, not enough to sacrifice his personal time, or to kill himself in the weight room, etc.

And that's why today's Wiz, with guys like Gil, 'Tawn, and Caron, who have publicly and privately been working their butts off year round to become better players, ultimately have a better shot at becoming truly great players.

I did love Webber when he was here, because he was an exciting player to watch. But the way he handled himself off the court, and refused to provide any semblance of maturity or leadership, well, he probably doesn't even make my top 20 list of favorite Bullets/Wiz.

Posted by: Gack | January 31, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Talent and stats only get you so far. The Kings were loaded with talent and stats, and not one guy that would step up when the most critical games were on the line. They won by committee - or lost. Webber was just part of that committee. It's not a character flaw to be missing that swag, but it is what separates the immortals from the merely very talented.

Posted by: reispace | January 31, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I think Mike secretly loves Kobe. ;)

Quality shots...errr elbows! :)

"Jeffries got his first start in a week, after almost playing himself out of the rotation..."

Did the Knicks overpay for that guy or what? Glad the Wiz have Stevenson, he's been worth every penny.

"Was that one mean dunk that Stevenson threw down on the baseline drive?"

Exactly my point. Now he just needs to stop that "who farted?" thing with his hand. :)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | January 31, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

GM my point is that Webber was traded because Pollin bowed to media pressure. CWebb still gets love here but you wouldn't know that being in PA. Webber was "dogging it" when he was avg 20+ and 10? He was only rookie of the year and lead the Warriors back to the playoffs. Do you know what Sacramento was before he got there? An NBA gulag. Webber changed that with his "dogging it." Only Kobe, Shaq, an Horry prayer and some questionable officiating kept them out of the finals. And Webber partying after a game was no more unprofessional than Michael Jordan going to Atlantic City to gamble in the late night/early morn during the playoffs. Do you really believe AJ is keeping Gil and DeShawn and other young, single Wizards off the street at night? If so, you need to come down here and hang out some.

And anyone who read Webber's comments as being bitter needs to re-read the article or bone up on reading comprehension.

Posted by: LH | January 31, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

"The reason the fans have been so hard on Jarvis is because he was drafted No. 10 four years ago and hasn't improved."

No, no, no!

Mike, all kidding aside it's not that at all. Injuries are one thing but he's regressing. He had a nice shot coming out of college, and if you ask anyone there were NO expectations put on him except for what he put on himself.

The rediculous thing is Jordan continuously gives him MORE minutes while other more capable bodies are sitting the pine. He's not getting better and the entire "smallball" thing isn't helping either.

I'm telling you watch his shot, it comes off his hand really funky and that back spin is crazy. Something isn't right.

Sorry I missed your guys chat but for whatever reason I can't submit ???'s through the Post site. :(

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | January 31, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

"CWebb still gets love here but you wouldn't know that being in PA."

I've said it on here before, I'll always be a C-Webb fan.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | January 31, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I've always been a C-Webb fan myself. Even before he was a Bullet. No lie, he's the reason (ok, the whole Fab 5) basketball is played the way its played today. On any level. They ushered in a new era where baggy shorts and black sweat socks and shaved heads was cool. They "urbanized" basketball. BTW, did anybody pick up on the fact that Webber and Sheed are teammates again? Didn't Wes trade Sheed cause he and Webber both were PF's and neither wanted to play center? I just shake my head every time I think about it. We had Sheed, C-Webb, and Juwan in the front court. Let me repeat myself, we had Sheed, C-Webb, and Juwan in the FREAKIN front court!!! Name me one team that would've stopped us??

Posted by: C.Bell | January 31, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Nah nobody could have stopped us, but THEY probably would have stopped themselves (at least Sheed anyway). ;)

Posted by: Going G.A.G.A. over Gilbert | January 31, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Webber, Sheed, and Juwan...and don't forget we also had Ben Wallace.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 31, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

That's never a productive exercise, C.Bell... anyone who watches the Redskins play "fantasy GM" every season should know by now that "on paper" the world's greatest team can easily be thumped by a Merely Average team with great chemistry.

Posted by: Gack | January 31, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

This game is a freaking disgrace. Losing to these clowns once was bad enough, twice is simply inexcusable.

People accuse US of being a soft team, well, Toronto is butter soft. If anybody on our squad had any heart we'd be abusing these guys.

Posted by: Gack | January 31, 2007 8:52 PM | Report abuse

The official Jamison for MVP Bandwagon was just launched tonight.

Posted by: mikeinseoul | January 31, 2007 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Well LH you made my centeral point once again. No Eddie,Ernie and even Abe can't keep young single guys off the street as you say.
Professionalism, learning how to live the lifestyle on the road, even how and where to eat are all things a young guy needs to learn from a Vet that is still young enough that he can relate to but has enough success in the league to earn their respect. That is what AJ brought this club as well as his game on the court.
This team is really growing up and AJ's leadership has been a huge part of that. Even Webber doesn't think everything was exactly going as it should when he was here. If the goal was the title, making the playoffs and regressing and missing out while making the news for off the court occurances just doesn't cut it.
Comparing C-Web's off the court behavior here to anything MJ did is a joke! There are 6 BIG differences! Not to mention the NCAA title. When Webber puts up 51 at age 40 get back to me on that one! MJ Always took care of himself and was ready to play the game every night.I NEVER felt cheated by any effort I saw from him. I can't say that was the case when Webb and Strickland were here.And please note I didn't include Howard,Calbert,Ham,Ben Wallace or Big Gheorge in that comment, most nights they gave what they had. Stating the truth about Webber's time here is not being a hater it just is what it is.
People have been making excuses for him not getting over the top since the Final Four, maybe just one year you get in the gym like Gil and work your butt off to get even better than that 20 and 10. Guys like Gil have raised and their game every year. C-Web is using the same go to moves he came to the league with.
But my whole point is that I don't blame C-Web as much as the lack of proper veteran guidance for the problem. That's why I think AJ has been really undervalued by some. You can't bring in a 40 yr old guy like Oakley and expect him to show a 19 yr old the ropes, Kwame and OakTree acted like they were from different planets.
I don't care how many assistant coaches a team hires about 80 percent of what these guys learn good or bad come from their teammates. That's why a guy like AJ is so important.
But that is just the opinion of some PA seed that has no idea about goings on in the big city. You know, well by golly I just get a stiff neck lookin up at all of them there tall buildin's every time I's ride my buggy into town! You all take care now! And Yoos have a nice Day!

Posted by: GM | January 31, 2007 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I hope Eddie takes advantage of yet another letdown on the back-end game to an inferior team, and runs these guys hard in practice for the rest of the week. I want them bloodthirsty when The Elbow and Coach Zen Mouth come to town.

Posted by: Gack | January 31, 2007 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, I guess all you Antawn haters were right... the Wizards are soooooo much better defensively without that softy Jamison in there.

Or could it possibly be that team defense is more than the sum of all the players one-on-one capabilities? Naaaahhhhh....

Posted by: burke | January 31, 2007 9:40 PM | Report abuse

I know the tendency is to think that Toronto was horrible last year and started slow this year, so they must be terrible. But I think they are the real deal. They have many players who are multi-skilled, making it difficult to match up against them. THEY, not the Wizards, are the Phoenix Suns of the East. If they don't get too tense come playoff time, they could do some damage. Colangelo will be GM of the year. Imagine if they had a better coach than Sam Mitchell.
Taking it a step further, last season I was thinking that the Wizards' primary challenger long term in the East would be Cleveland. But Ferry has stuck that team with so many bad contracts, I don't think Cleveland will be a real contender. I think Chicago and Toronto will be the primary threats (unless some team lands Greg Oden and he proves to be a real stud right away).

Posted by: Henry | January 31, 2007 10:16 PM | Report abuse

The Raptors provided the template for how to beat a Jamison-less Wizards tonight. Double Caron, Double Arenas, and you disrupt the offensive flow.

It also isn't easy to win when you're allowing your opponents to shot 60%+ from the field.

I would be curious to see how Jarvis looks at the 4. He's going to have some wide open looks because of the defensive strategy on Butler and Arenas. And of the remaining players, his offensive game most resembles Jamison's--at least when his shots are falling.

Blatche has the raw tools and great energy, but he's out of position too much on offense. Unless the Wizards are building towards next year, I don't think I would trust him as the starter right now.

Boothe is solid off the bench and has a nice mid-range jumper, but he passed up too many wide open shots. The Wiz would need to re-tool their offense if he was the regular starter, because his game isn't Jamison's.

Hopefully fans go easy on Hayes 'cause he needs to have a chance to find his stroke and get confidence in his jumper. Otherwise it's going to be a long stretch until Jamison's return.

I'll also say, Burke, you make it sounds like Jamison-haters pulled a Tonya Harding last night. What I saw was a freak injury under the basket. I didn't see any crazed fans running onto the court with a baton to soften up Jamison's knee.

Posted by: JP | January 31, 2007 10:17 PM | Report abuse

JP, I think your reading glasses need adjusting. I didn't say anything remotely like that.

Posted by: burke | January 31, 2007 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I know Bosh went off, who did Eddie try on him and how did they do. I missed the game (lucky me).

Posted by: George Templeton | January 31, 2007 10:31 PM | Report abuse

JP, I hear what you're saying, but we didn't show any spark or intensity, or get in their faces and disrupt their offensive flow whatsoever.

Of course you can shoot 60% from the field when you're wide freaking open all night long. Bosh was unconscious -- him going off was not a big surprise. But the rest of this team play pretty much strictly Euro-style ball, and we should have put some of those guys on the floor, just as the Pistons did to us last night, which rattled us and might have given them an opportunity to win had they not been ice-cold.

I mean, we got outrebounded by these Euro-pastry puffs. NO excuse. They are going to pass the ball around, and that's fine. We eventually started rotating in the 4th freaking quarter, but out-rebounded by these guys? Should never happen.

The other fact of the matter is, as many FT attempts as we got, the refs were seriously out of their minds with the repeated no-calls in the paint whenever we went to the rack, and simultaneously waaaay too whistle-heavy on the other end, usually a super late whistle long after the Toronto player had already taken a shot.

I saw Gil penetrate and get bodied and then hacked right across the wrist to the point where the ball came loose, and no whistle at all. Then I watched Etan catch the ball within a foot of the rim, get sandwiched between two defenders, go up for a shot and get decked, get his own rebound, go up again, get decked again, no call, guess it's a clean block? :P And then Toronto pushes it down the court and that's that.

In my mind, we wait entirely too long before we realize the best way to win games is to send Gil to the rim every single possession and try to score 3 the hard way. We could have fouled out half the guys on this team if we'd gone to that strategy in the 2nd quarter.

Posted by: Gack | January 31, 2007 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Gack, I hear what you're saying. Also Toronto is a good team at home.

The Wiz though seemed to struggle in the beginning because they were unable to find an offensive rhythm. It was like they were running the offense as if Jamison was on the court, and they kept finding the rhythm disrupted.

Gil is a great player, but he can't do it alone. I cringed a few times when he tried to take the game over--because you can't win that way consistently in the NBA. It doesn't matter how good your star is. You have got to move the ball and take high percentage shots. If Hayes had been in there in the beginning he would have had some wide open looks. If the shots didn't fall, then you still have the same outcome. However, if his shots did fall, it would have forced the defense to readjust, which would have opened the floor up for Arenas, Butler, Stevenson--and Haywood underneath.

This is a team whose defense seems to feed off offensive production. If you disrupt the Wizards offensive flow, then they're in trouble.

Posted by: JP | January 31, 2007 11:15 PM | Report abuse

GM if your central point is that Jamison is somehow a stabilizing force off the court or has effected player behavior, I don't see how I've made it with anything I've written. How athletes or anyone else behaves is a result of their upbringing and their maturity. And no Vet, young or old, is going to have an effect on a player who has no interest in listening or following their lead. Bottom line: Talent wins ball games. Everything else is secondary. The Wizards' recent success is due to having a superstar talent in Gilbert Arenas. Gil would be the player he is whether Jamison (and I am not diminishing his importance as a player) played here or not. And Caron has been an exemplary pro since he's been in the league. The Wizards are better because the people selecting talent are better.
And no one called you a hayseed or anything close to that. I was just pointing out that you don't live here. I am sure you will acknowledge that one's perspective is better from a closer vantage point. And I must admit you do sound to me like the "NBA fan" for whom Stern instituted the dress code and all of the other image rules, especially when you think a guy averaging 20 and 10 in the NBA isn't giving it his all. Bullets hadn't sniffed the playoffs for a decade before his arrival but he didn't put out enough for you. You complain about Webber but give Jordan a pass. If hanging out or gambling during a critical part of the season is wrong, it's wrong whether you have six rings or zero. You don't believe that Jordan started hanging out toward the end of his career do you? I'm sure he was hanging when he and the Bulls were losing when he was 22 yo. Fortunately for him his handlers did a great job keeping his dirty laundry under wraps. You're not stating the truth about Webber's time here, you're stating your perception or opinion about his time here.

Posted by: LH | January 31, 2007 11:24 PM | Report abuse

George, the Wiz had Haywood and Boothe defending Bosh on some plays. Mostly the Wiz were in a zone defense. Bosh was just making some crazy shots (including a sweet shot from beyond the half court line to end the 3rd period).

Posted by: JP | January 31, 2007 11:26 PM | Report abuse

LH, I disagree with you on this one. A veteran presence like Jamison can help to keep the young guns under control when they hit dry spells and need to dig themselves out of a hole.

I think we saw that in the first half where Daniels came in and helped to stabilize the offense. If Daniels hadn't been in, I think the Wizards would have gotten out of their offense much earlier with Gil and Butler trying to win the game on their own. The lead at the half would have been 20 points instead of a more manageable 11.

Talent is the difference maker. But the chemistry has to be there as well. Veteran players like Jamison and Daniels help to stablize games when shots aren't falling. They keep teams from panicking when they're down early.

Posted by: JP | January 31, 2007 11:33 PM | Report abuse

The freak 3/4 court shot from Bosh was a sure sign we were hexed tonight, but I'll tell you, even worse was when we had him locked down in the 4th quarter on a turnaround shot in the lane, maybe 10 feet away? I believe it was Caron and Blatche who were all over him.

He turns and throws up an ugly shot -- no arc, no rotation -- looked like a total brick -- I thought, "great defense guys, that's how we needed to play this guy all game long!".

Then the brick hits the glass just right and goes in. Damndest thing, as I said, he was just unconscious tonight. Still, that's no excuse for us to let 4 random Europeans turn into Phoenix for an evening.

Posted by: Gack | January 31, 2007 11:38 PM | Report abuse

"LH, I disagree with you on this one. A veteran presence like Jamison can help to keep the young guns under control when they hit dry spells and need to dig themselves out of a hole."

I was talking about his influence off the court. On the court, Gil controls the ball and takes whatever shot he wants and Jamison has no control over that. Jamison is the worse defender so he's no example there and he will take a quick shot if he feels he hasn't gotten enough touches. And if you take Gil off of the Wizards, Jamison isn't going to keep them out of the lottery no matter how much on court control he has.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 31, 2007 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Burke, just bc the Wiz did not play well defensively without Jamison does not make him any better a defender or the team better defensively when he is there. Perhaps, the defense would have been worse with him. I did not see the game, but Toronto is young and talented and we really don't seem to match up well with them.

Hmmmm....looks like it's going to be tough sledding without Jamison since the team still discounts playing defense and the underdeveloped bench is now all of a sudden going to be called upon for some real production.

It's a roller coaster of a ride and let's hope everything falls our way including playoff matchups and the Wiz make it further than they should. But, I still think this roster is a second round loser at best.

By the way, I am really starting to believe that Arenas was really affected by the change back to the leather ball. I would love a shooting percentage before and after the change. Guarantee it's significantly lower.

Posted by: Rob P | February 1, 2007 12:17 AM | Report abuse

LH, Jamison has an influence on the court too. Gil trusts Jamison, and Butler when they're in the game, so he doesn't force shots.

When Gil trusts the players around him, he plays within the offense.

When he doesn't the Wizards are at best a .500 basketball team. It doesn't matter how good a shooter a player is, or how many shots a player can create off the dribble, a half-way decent team can stop a one man show most nights in the NBA. Philly from 2001 to 2006 is a perfect example of what a one-man show looks like over the course of an 82 game season.

Posted by: JP | February 1, 2007 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Rob: of course, the same could be said of "pre-Gil's party" and "post-Gil's party" :D With a guy whom so much is dependent on mind-state and motivation, it's hard to say what the difference is, but I said it a few games ago: the Hibachi is on the fritz for sure.

JP: that statement's one of those "but of course" kind of things that I agree with on principle, but when actually watching the games seems like you have it backwards.

Gil's been dropping plenty of dimes in the past dozen or so games, much to the detriment of his scoring, IMO -- the problem is, nobody on this team really moves well without the ball (and to be sure, that's one of the hardest things to learn), and with the exception of 'Tawn, most of the team are horrible shooters on the move or when they need to alter their shot in any way.

Consequently, we need guys to be camped and set and Gil to drive-and-attack until they start making him miss, and then switch to a drive-and-kick, then pray the open man can hit the shot.

From where I'm sitting, we often squander leads or end up behind BECAUSE Gil isn't attacking the basket one-on-one enough early. When he decides to take matters into his own hands in the late 3rd period as frequently happens, is when we typically see the Wiz make a run.

So for me it's not a question of Gil not trusting them, it's a question of are they actually trustworthy -- can they hit the shot when they get the ball? Most nights, the answer is "no" for anyone not named Butler or Jamison.

Posted by: Gack | February 1, 2007 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Any suggestions of good places to watch the game on Saturday in the Columbia/Baltimore areas? Thanks.

Posted by: Greg | February 1, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Well LH if you didn't imply I was a hay seed now your implication is that because I was raised on a farm I'm some kind of closet racist that Stern is trying to clean up(lighten up) the game for.
I'm quite sure that you are much more into what goes on in DC than I could ever be from PA. But, have you ever watched an NBA game in your life? And I'm not talking about attending to see or to be seen. I'm talking about really watching and understanding.
Talent is the only indicator of winning in the NBA? And I give Jordan a pass for his off the court behavior?
First of all Jordan earned his respect in this league both on and off the court. I saw Jordan live at Cole twice in his college career. He was a nice player in college(Ernest Grahmam lite him up for 40 one night when I there)but hard work and professionalism made him into the player the DOMINATED the league for the best part of a decade.Coming into the league and competing with the old Celtics and Pistons made him realize how hard he'd have to work if he wanted to get on top. Don't beleive it, read his book and see how he feels about hard work and team chemistry.
Comparing Webber to Jordan is just a joke! 8 Titles if you count the dream team vs. what was that again??? ZERO, Slitch, nda!!! And to say that Jordan was "handled" is implying that he didn't have to upbringing to be what he is.
LH to use an old farm expression that my Granny used to say: You can't make a Silk Purse out of a Sow's ear! NBA players are as a group the greatest athelitic talents that exist. I could have worked at basketball every waking hr. and never even dream of stepping anywhere near an NBA court just like the other 99.99 per cent of us.
But to be at the top of this league players have to work year round on their game and their body. Look at Gil, AJ and Butler, they have all improved their game and their conditioning each year. I loved Chris Webber and the Fab 4. But if a guy pressures him on the Jump Hook he will still stick out his off arm and commit the offensive foul! Hasn't changed since his freshman year at Michigan, and he was still doing it the other night.
The guys with talent that don't work hang on for awhile, some with exceptional talent can even be a 20 and 10 guy. But any basketball guy who I ever heard talk about Webber thought he would be a once in a generation player and it hasn't turned out that way. That's not my opinion it's just the way it is.
Your implication that all players are what they are and can't be influenced by team chemistry is simply ignoring NBA history and what's going on before your eyes. AJ, Butler, and Gil are all key to this team. Don't beleive it, watch a tape of any recent Wizard's game and then check out last night's game. It's not my opinion, it's just the way it is!

Posted by: GM | February 1, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Can anybody explain to me why Etan only played 16 minutes? If EJ want to get defensive in Jamison's absence, he better start using his defenders.

Posted by: C.Bell | February 1, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

14 and 7 = $30M?

by that logic i should be worth at least $2M.

Posted by: bms | February 1, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Omaha, NE


Feb 1 Today
Mainly sunny to start, then a few afternoon clouds. Cold. High near 25F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.
Feb 1 Tonight
Snow flurries early. Then partly cloudy overnight. Cold. Wind chills may approach -15F. Low 1F. Winds NNW at 15 to 25 mph.
Feb 2 Tomorrow
Partly cloudy. Very cold. Wind chills approaching -15F. High 14F. Winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph.
Feb 2 Tomorrow night
Off and on snow flurries are possible along with variably cloudy skies. Cold. Low -2F. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph.
Feb 3 Saturday
Times of sun and clouds. Highs in the upper single digits and lows -2 to -6F.
Feb 4 Sunday
Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the low teens and lows -7 to -11F.
Feb 5 Monday
Times of sun and clouds. Highs in the mid single digits and lows -7 to -11F.

Posted by: loco mullin | February 1, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

C.Bell, you obviously missed the meeting where we declared The Haywood as The Answer on defense. Pretty sure it was unanimous.

In fact, I think we narrowly missed passing an bill that stated The Haywood was the single most important person on the team, due to the team's winning record when he starts.

Posted by: Gack | February 1, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

GM with each post you twist what I've said. So I'll let your sage words be the last on the subject.

Posted by: LH | February 1, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"Burke, just bc the Wiz did not play well defensively without Jamison does not make him any better a defender or the team better defensively when he is there."

Exactly.

The Wiz still scored over 100 points last night which realistically means they should have won. I'm not discounting Bosh's night, he was pretty much unstoppable and Toronto shot over 59% as a team.

The two things I was hoping for after the first of the year was 1) the Wiz to play better defense and 2) run more plays to other people when Gil get's doubled.

They are running plays to other players, but thier D still sucks.

Jamison would have been on Bosh last night most likely, so I don't think that would have helped defensively.

Now having Jamison on the floor offensively would do two things:

1) You can't question his leadership on this team, everything goes as much through him as Gil.

2) It would have definately put more pressure on Toronto to score more points. Maybe that would have forced a few more bad shots.

But the bottom line is the Wiz don't need more point production right now, they need more defense.

On a side note, Gil had that "deer in headlight" look last night he had at the bginning of the season. That has me worried, keep an eye on that the next few games.

- Ray

PS - the Wiz came out flat also, that sure didn't help things.

Posted by: Ray | February 1, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

From yesterdays Insider blog, but I was busy:

Steve says: >>>So, Doc, which one of the big 3 could we afford to lose less than Jamison -- Gil or Caron? And why?

Might sound absurd but:

Caron actually. We wouldn't be happy either way, but we at least have bodies to fill the SF spot who can approximate what he does-- albeit to a decidedly lesser degree.

Believe me I'm not pumping up the virtues and strengths of Jarvis, Blatche and DSteve nor stating they'd measure up to Caron. But (until we get Songaila back) Antawn is the only thing we got that even approximates the thing he does.

Yes his defense is timid and ineffective most of the time. But we didn't get where we are by relying on our defense. Nor are we going to make the playoffs as a defensive juggernaut. We live and die by our attack skills, and Jamison's skill set is a huge part of that. +/- be damned, I think we'll begin to see those numbers alter with him out of the opposing game plan.

I expect to see: a drop off in DeShawn's numbers first (%). Then Gil's. Caron should be fine no matter what. He likes to play in traffic.

Posted by: doclinkin | February 1, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

1. I think toronto is a talented young team that matches up well against us, and plays up to us.

2. I think the wizards came out flat.

3. I think the wizards play did suffer without jamison. Blatche is playing like a 2nd round rookie, and boothe is a bench player.

Like his defense or hate it, I think AJ is an important cog in this team.

Posted by: greg | February 1, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

That skill set being:

A big who can stretch the floor draw bigs outside and and leave room and attack lanes for our guards and wing players to strafe the paint.

Posted by: doclinkin | February 1, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Doc is right -- statistically speaking, Caron's scoring changes the least between wins and losses, which would indicate that he is rarely the catalyst for either.

Posted by: Gack | February 1, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

The team was 2 wins/5 losses without Caron last season.

Posted by: Joe | February 1, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Since I didn't see that mess last night, did we ever see Haywood and Thomas on the floor at the same time last night?

Posted by: George Templeton | February 1, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

During warmups.

Posted by: To George | February 1, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I may be mistaken, but i believe they may have played together for a couple minutes. I know clavin played with brendan for certain.

Posted by: greg | February 1, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Joe, the team was also 2 games below .500 this time last season, as opposed to 9 games up. So comparing last year's squad to this year's isn't entirely an apples-to-apples comparison.

BTW, this isn't to say Caron isn't a huge part of this team, because the fact that he puts up near identical numbers regardless of a win or a loss demonstrates that he's extraordinarily consistent, something we need badly.

But it also tends to illustrate that he is not generally a "takeover the game" kind of player, which Gil is -- and Antawn, to a lesser degree -- is capable of being on any given night, with regard to scoring.

Posted by: Gack | February 1, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

"Jamison will not require surgery and can begin rehabilitation exercises immediately."

Ivan,

I know you say "not require surgery" but could you be more specific? Does this mean he has no structural damage or what?

You don't just miss 3-6 weeks without there being anything wrong, I've had torn cartlidge and still been able to run, excercise, what have you. A couple seasons ago they said he just had "tendinitis" yet after the season he still had to have sugery.

"Caron's scoring changes the least between wins and losses, which would indicate that he is rarely the catalyst for either."

Caron brings "tough juice" and an attitude. You can't replace that. In fact I think everyone brings something to the table on this team, hense the concept of team.

I've been hard on the Wiz, but if nothing else they are indeed a team and as Lisa would say is why I love watching them.

I don't think they can afford to lose anyone.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 1, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

YES!!! Caron was selected as a reserve to the All Stars!

Posted by: Lisa | February 1, 2007 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Caron is an all-star! How come there's no online article or blog post about that?....Jack!

Posted by: Caron Allstar! | February 1, 2007 8:00 PM | Report abuse

"Caron brings "tough juice" and an attitude. You can't replace that. In fact I think everyone brings something to the table on this team, hense the concept of team."

Of course Ray, it's like asking me which beer in my 6-pack is the most important -- it's just that statistically speaking, Caron's play has less impact on whether we win or lose, which *seems* to indicate we could more easily absorb losing him for a few games than Gil, Twan, or The Haywood.

Of course that theory assumes that the aforementioned players are all playing at the top of their games, as well.

And, I tend to think that just practicing and playing with Caron for the time they have has helped the rest of the team learn how to get their own Tuff Juice flowing a little (btw, that's how Mr. Butler spells it, according to Mrs. Butler)

Posted by: Gack | February 1, 2007 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't singling you anyone Gack, just making a general point. :)

All you have to do is look at last year when Caron was out 5 games? The Wiz lost them all. I don't think they can afford to lose anyone. We'll see what happens without Jamison a couple weeks, it might be the same thing but I hope not.

Congrats Caron!

Glad you made it, now I can leave burke alone. ;)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 1, 2007 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Big ups to Caron. He deserves it. Maybe Kwame will be added to replace Yao in the West.....:) HAHAHAHAHAHA

Posted by: PTP23 | February 1, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

"Glad you made it, now I can leave burke alone. ;)"

What'd I say? No need for EJ to strain his vocal cords campaigning :)

Posted by: burke | February 1, 2007 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I just heard Kwame was named to the First Annual NBA All-Star Cake Throwing Challenge!

Posted by: Gack | February 1, 2007 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Cavs just lost! Eddie's goin' to Vegas, baby!

Posted by: Gack | February 1, 2007 10:45 PM | Report abuse

How wierd is it going to be when people all over the country tune into the All-Star game and the Wizards have not only 2 players in the game but also the coach? Did anyone even dream about this?

Remember when Arenas hit that game winner in the Chicago series? That washed away alot of demons, and cleared the way for a new start. Well, the new start is underway and this is a key acheivement in redefining the franchise.

Be proud of your team, especially those of you who have been around awhile!

Posted by: Wei | February 1, 2007 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Gack, Lisa, Wei, George, Bullets Fan in L.A., Rob, Tom Friend, and any other BULLETS fan - we can ALL appreciate and celebrate the fact Gil, Tough Juice, and Eddie are going to Las Vesgas!

It's a great first-half win!

But it is just that - enjoy it, and enjoy the roller coaster to come.

For any Bullets fan, you'll enjoy this -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fV7-cmSKEs8

Posted by: Shotgun | February 2, 2007 12:00 AM | Report abuse

YES! Gil, Caron, and Eddie in Vegas! This is really exciting for our city and team...especially since the Skins have been dismal.

I am really worried that we will start losing games without Jamison's 20 ppg - that hurts. But I hear Songaila plans to play before the All Star break.

Posted by: Lisa | February 2, 2007 12:15 AM | Report abuse


songaila might even play against the lakers, lisa.

i'm very happy for the wizards, and i'm happy to see caron, gil and eddie recognized for their, and the team's, play.

the lakers game is already sold out. i'll be pretty upset if i turn on the game and the stands are full of kobe jerseys.

Posted by: AC | February 2, 2007 12:30 AM | Report abuse

There's no blessing in disguise, but there is some small compensation that we'll gain the veteran DSong at about the same time that we lose Sr Jamison.

I expect to struggle, lose a few games while he bangs the rust off, regains his touch and learns the team. But by the time Tawn is back we should have the makings of some mighty nice chemistry. And a deeper bench that'll help us into the playofffs and then some.

I'm most excited about Darius' passing skills. He's got a great eye for the cutter, learned not just in Sactown-- invaluable experience in that he learned from a primary source, the man who put the Princeton in the Princeton offense.

But better still is his experience on the championship 'Lietuva' squad. Guy is a god in Lithuania, with Sarunas Jasikevicius was part of a pin-point passing clutch shooting basketball capital 'T' TEAM. He's more of a vet than his short NBA career would suggest. Championship heart and resume. I got a feeling he'll be able to actually help improve teh offense, teach wrinkles Coach Eddie hasn't yet introduced.

Small regret that he isn't back when Tawn was healthy, Darius can run some of the classic high-post princeton sets. But whatever. So we struggle a bit but paradoxically improve. I won't complain. I'm looking for the small flashes of the future.

Hey if we slip far enough to the 5th seed, we play whomever floats to the top of the bowl in the Titanic division.

--Meanwhile--

**Thunderous applause** Hip hip Huzzah for EJ, TJ, and AZ. We get coach 'Monty', Tufff Juice and Agent Zero all into the midseason classic? Ain't no complaints about that. It's a good day to be a Bullets fan

-doc.

Posted by: doclinkin (realgm.com/boards) | February 2, 2007 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Last night I was checking out the Customizable all-star jerseys (and wondering why you can't buy a replica Arenas all-star jersey but you can get all the other East starters), and it came to me, though the eureka! moment came a little late to actually do it this year --

People going to the game on Saturday should get Lakers jerseys with the number 60 and "HIBACHI" on the back.

http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/6009/69266517nm1.jpg

That would be hilarious!!!

Posted by: Gack | February 2, 2007 9:01 AM | Report abuse

i'm just curious....how do you guys think D-Song will fit into the line-up? Will he become the starting PF over time?
probably not initially, he'd be a 6th man. but how sick would this be for next year's lineup?
1 Arenas
2/3 Deshawn
2/3 Tough Juice
4 D-Song
5 Haywood

Comin' off the bench, we got
1 A-Daniels
2 Jarvis (if not resigned, replacement)
3 Cap'n Jamison
4 Ruff/Booth
5 Etan

would be a perfect lineup, with a second 5 that's surely no pushover.

Posted by: k-man | February 2, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

If Kobe shoots an airball on Saturday, the crowd should chant "Qual-ity" instead of "Air-ball."

Posted by: Sean | February 2, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Eddie really deserves this, it doesn't happen very often. Motta in 78-79 and Shue in 68-69 if memory serves me.
The day MJ drove away from the Phone Booth I thought that we were doomed for about 10 years in the NBA wilderness. I really didn't think anyone would come to work for Mr. Pollin after how the MJ era ended. I was expecting something akin to what the Oakland Raiders look like today.
Mr. Pollin deserves alot of credit for going out and bringing Eddie Jordan home to Washington and getting Ernie Grunfield to run our basketball operation. This is a sweet moment, 2 all stars and the Eastern Conf. coaching staff. But it is even sweeter when you think where we were and what things could have been!
And you know, MJ should get a little credit too. He gets put down for his time here and the Kwame choice, but the trades he made created the available cap space that Ernie used to lure Gil.
I'm just sure glad those coin flips came out our way!

Posted by: GM | February 2, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

IC or ML, we need a new thread

Posted by: k-man | February 2, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"IC or ML, we need a new thread."

No kidding, is someone sick or something?

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 2, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I've got two tickets for Saturday night. I've never been more excited for a basketball game. The Darius Songaila debut would be a nice bonus.

Posted by: Andrew | February 2, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Eddie!!

I guess this means we'll finally get to see Gil getting more than 6 minutes of clock in an all-star game.

should be interesting to see eddie coach his current star PG and his previous star PG in Kidd.

Posted by: Ray Chris. | February 2, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I hope mine is the last post this thread is bare.

So excited for wizallstards!

Hibachi 60 is classic.
-g

Posted by: greg | February 2, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Greg.

Posted by: Frank | February 2, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Ok, what the hell is this love fest for MJ about? I missed out on the blog yesterday but i've been reading up on them and it seems someone is a Jordan rider. First and foremost, GM, MJ gets NO CREDIT WHATSOEVER for this current status of the Wiz!! He destroyed this team with his ego. I was optimistic just like everyone else when he first signed on but that quickly changed. He inherited a bad team, i'll give him that, but he had a chance to make a move but he insisted that a drunken Rod Strickland, a 33 year old Mitch Ritchmond, and a one trick pony Juwan Howard was a playoff team! Mistake number 1. Then when the draft came up, there really wasn't a consensus number 1 but the "experts" tabbed Pau Gasol as the most NBA ready talent available. MJ passed on him because HE didn't think a foreign born player could play in the post. So he drafted a kid just because he told him "that if you draft me, you won't regret it". Mistake number 2. Then before he could even start building a team, his ego got in the way and he came back to play. But not just him, he brought Oakley, Byron Russell and Tyronne Lue with him. The team was formidable until injuries killed our chances (i'm coming back to this topic later). Then instead on building on the promise the team showed, he traded a stud (Rip Hamilton) for a dud (Jerry Stackhouse). Not to mention the mental damage he did to Kwame. It was so bad, ESPN.com did a 2 (or 3) piece article on the abuse Kwame had to endure. Mistake number 3. I thank GOD everyday that Abe had the guts to fire MJ. Cause as the saying goes, we can do bad our damn self. Ernie gets ALL the credit for this team. I'm shocked he hasn't won GM (no pun intended) of the year at least once since he's been here. I remember when Gilbert was going into free agency and everyone was saying he was going to Denver or the Clippers cause they had the most money. I didn't even know we were in the running til he actually signed. Then he traded Devin Harris for Antawn Jamison who's been an all-star since he's been here(even though he can't guard me, but neither can Steve Nash. Team Defense folks) Then instead of overpaying for a injury-plagued Larry Hughes (who doesn't even start no more. 6 yrs, 70 mil and he can't beat out Daniel Gibson???), he turned Kwame Brown and Laron Profit into a 20 and 8 all-star in Caron Butler. Then instead of overpaying again for an average bum (Jared Jeffries), he signs Stevenson for 29 million dollars less!
Ok, now that's outta my system, lets go back to this C-Webb and MJ comparison. GM, I don't know if you ever went to a Wiz game when C-Webb was here, but I did. Every night Webber played with passion. He gave it his all every night I saw him play. That playoff series against the Bulls was classic. Even though we got swept, we were in every game until the end. Jordan knew the refs bailed them out of that series. Juwan was killing Pippen and Rodman had no answer for Webber. That's why Jordan dubbed them "The team of the future" as soon as the stuck a mike in his face. But when MJ was playing, the cameras showed you what they wanted you to see. That MJ was a poor old man carrying his team night in and night out. WRONG. He was a selfish S.O.B. who didn't like passing the ball. Its a totally different game when you're their live. I'll never forget the play when he got the board, came down the court one on 5, had Kwame underneath the basket wide open and still shot a fade away jumper. But cussed Kwame out for not getting the rebound as their walking back up the court. From that moment on, I became a Jordan Hater. He was the greatest ever, but I deny any knowledge of him being a Wizard, player or gm.

Posted by: C.Bell | February 2, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Gack, when did y'all have this meeting bout "The Haywood"? Why didn't anybody wake me up for it? ;-) I agree that he's been playing better than Thomas but the next time a guard comes in the paint and Haywood flops instead of sending his shot into the stands, i'm callin' for another meeting! LOL.

Posted by: C.Bell | February 2, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

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