Wizards and Magic

It's been so long since the Wizards and Magic played, it's hard to remember any of the details but one thing I do remember from Orlando's 94-82 win at VC back on Nov. 3 is the Magic destroying the Wizards on the pick-and-roll with Hedo Turkoglu (25 points) doing much of the damage main.

The teams meet again tonight and if form holds, they'll be matched up in the playoffs as well. Put your coaching hat on and starting thinking about the x's and o's.

Not much to update other than to say that I'm hearing good news on Caron Butler. Word is that he could be back in a couple of weeks and if things go well in practice, he could be cleared to play. No official timetable though.

Gilbert Arenas was bouncing around the locker room and feeling fine after testing his left knee in practice yesterday so that's a good sign as well. I can't make any promises but my guy tells me that he's going to play again, perhaps as soon as the end of the month.

One thought on tonight's game: It would be refreshing if the fans in this building brought some passion and made some noise the way fans do in every arena the Wizards walk into on the road. The crowds of late have been weak at best.


By Ivan Carter |  March 5, 2008; 6:23 PM ET
Previous: Wednesday update | Next: Butler to practice next week

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For those interested in Wizard's second round pick in 2006, Vladimir Veremeenko, here're his stats for this year (2007/08)

http://www.basket.ru/old_site/Team.asp?ID=1377&v=stats&l=e

Averaging about 7 points and 4 boards and 15 minutes per game.

He'll turn 24 in July. The clock is ticking.

Posted by: SteveMG | March 5, 2008 6:45 PM

Hornets?

Posted by: Confused | March 5, 2008 6:47 PM

who cares about vladimir. we already have OP

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 7:02 PM

If anyone even had the slightest inkling that Gilby was holding himself out this season to date so that he can be at his best for Les BouleS and the fans, get that thought out of your head. The only reason if Gilby comes back is for himself only, not the team.

Gilby is trying to find that delicate balance between being greedy and being healthy.

----------------------------------------------

"The contract is what is on my mind when I'm thinking about coming back. Let's be real. If I get hurt again, who's gonna want to pay somebody who's had three knee surgeries? So that's the part that's going in the back of my head right now."

"And as far as his contract goes, opting out is a way to get a raise, Arenas said. He would earn $12.8 million if he didn't opt out next year. But if he does, under the NBA's collective bargaining agreement, he can sign a six-year deal that would include a 12.5 percent increase. So Arenas would earn about $14 million after signing a new deal."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080305/SPORTS03/890701089/1005/SPORTS

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 5, 2008 7:31 PM

Fixed the title of this blog entry. for some reason wrote: hornets and wizards. brain cramp......

Posted by: Ivan | March 5, 2008 7:31 PM

If anyone even had the slightest inkling that Gilby was holding himself out this season to date so that he can be at his best for Les BouleS and the fans, get that thought out of your head. The only reason if Gilby comes back is for himself only, not the team.

Gilby is trying to find that delicate balance between being greedy and being healthy.

----------------------------------------------

"The contract is what is on my mind when I'm thinking about coming back. Let's be real. If I get hurt again, who's gonna want to pay somebody who's had three knee surgeries? So that's the part that's going in the back of my head right now."

"And as far as his contract goes, opting out is a way to get a raise, Arenas said. He would earn $12.8 million if he didn't opt out next year. But if he does, under the NBA's collective bargaining agreement, he can sign a six-year deal that would include a 12.5 percent increase. So Arenas would earn about $14 million after signing a new deal."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080305/SPORTS03/890701089/1005/SPORTS

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 5, 2008 7:31 PM

I'm not understanding the $14 Million number.

Kal - Since you seem to know a lot about the CBA, help me out. I was under the impression that Gilbert Arenas, being a Qualifying Veteran Free Agent, can be signed to the Maximum Salary. NOT just 12.5% over his previous year's salary, as reported in the Times article.

Maximum Salary for a 7-year Veteran is $15,649,500

Did I miss something somewhere?

Posted by: Rook | March 5, 2008 8:01 PM

Tough to bring the energy when the Players show up this flat...I mean can we play a little D, how many easy layups did the get?

Gil at 14-16M a year is not that bad, as long a it is not $20M I say give him the max

Posted by: Ben | March 5, 2008 8:11 PM

I love my idol Howard his a strong player. i love his moves and dunks

Posted by: dran_aries | March 5, 2008 9:26 PM

I love my idol Howard his a strong player. i love his moves and dunks
http://s76.photobucket.com/albums/j15/dranz09/?action=view¤t=dranz.jpg

Posted by: dranz_aries | March 5, 2008 9:29 PM

One of the worst defensive efforts I've seen in quite some time from this team. No energy on either side of the ball. Notice how hard Washington had to work to get a shot off and how easy Orlando was able to shoot and score. Talk about a mental edge going into a possible playoff series. This is ridiculous.

Posted by: Colin | March 5, 2008 9:42 PM

I am very confused(my usual state of mind)how can this team play so well versus the Hornets and then look like slop tonite. Will someone please explain, no effort,no hustle,no D. DC man88 why so much venom toward AGENT ZERO do you really think the WIZ are that much better without him, on the road in Toronto friday last time it was not pretty in fact down right ugly.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | March 5, 2008 10:20 PM

DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM, in my opinion it's the coach you seem to love sooo much! If the coach needs to be checked for a pulse at times throughout the year, so WILL the TEAM.

If the team is capable of winning vs NO's then it is damn well capable of playing a respectable game against the Magic. It's the same team with the same players hurt. What's the excuse this time? We were rested and at home. I mean it's been a long time since I've seen a layup fest like tonight.

Simply put, we're back to playing little to no D on most nights and we don't have the offense to overcome it. Also, BH is back to showing up about half the time at best. I mentioned a few threads ago that for the last month or so I've noticed BH has digressed and is playing like previous seasons. Boo!

Posted by: Rob P | March 5, 2008 11:58 PM

Oh, wanted to comment on this offseason and the decisions that have to be made.

First, signing GA to a max contract is crazy in my mind. He is not a proven winner or leader! Unless you count one second round appearance, big deal! And you are dealing with an injured commodity. If he can't be the player he was or does but gets reinjured at some point before the contract expires, your talking about absolute disaster for this team for years! Curse Les Boulez strikes again!

Also, what happened to GA giving the team a discount so that it may surround him with good players? If you add that he has not given us a damn thing the last two years on this contract and he owes us as much. Well, he does if you take him at his word.

What's all this talk of securing his future with what will likely be his last big contract? Is the 60 - 80 million he has already made not enough security? Kiss my a$$. Guess he has to feed his family ala Sprewell. Sucks having to eat at the Old Country Buffet at that salary. Perhaps they (GA and Sprewell) need to manage that massive amount of money a little better.

Posted by: Rob P | March 6, 2008 12:13 AM

I'm a huge wizards fan, but I hate watching this team play sometimes, they don't come to play every night and they run a offense that's designed for ball movement yet they have a team full of players that shoot the ball everytime they touch it with the exception of AD, BTH, DS and DM. When they play selfish, they lose. It seems as if the defense lets down as a result of the selfish play because they turn to the mentality, every man for himself. The way they play on occasions leads u to believe that every player is in their contract year and its all about what they do individually.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2008 12:16 AM

The reason this team manges to beat teams like the Hornets, Celtics, and Mavs in their undermanned, banged up state is to (A) play well above their heads, (B) max out all of their energy reserves and (C) (let's face it) really good teams tend to overlook/underestimate teams like the Wiz. Beating the Hornets or Boston, even twice, doesn't make them better than either. This team is fully capable of losing to the likes of the Knicks or the Hawks, so losing to the number 3 team in the conference with a record that's 16 games over .500 isn't shocking. Disappointing, but not shocking. The "A can beat B and B can beat C, so therefore A can beat C" argument doesn't really apply.

Rook, the 12.5% doesn't represent how much of an increase he can get in his new deal over his previous contract amount. 12.5% is the maximum year-to-year raise ANY NBA player can have built within a contract. In other words, whatever amount Arenas gets in the first year of his new deal, the most he can get in the 2nd year is 12.5% more than that. But it has no effect on what the maximum amount will be in the first year of a new deal.

Posted by: kalorama | March 6, 2008 12:25 AM

Ivan,

Thanks for continuing to point how we have hardly any passion from the fans at the Verizon Center, its almost like having no home field advantage. Come on Wizards fans...I know it cant be just the hotshot K street lawyers attending the games. Lets get loud!

Posted by: WizFan | March 6, 2008 12:33 AM

"DC man88 why so much venom toward AGENT ZERO do you really think the WIZ are that much better without him, on the road in Toronto friday last time it was not pretty in fact down right ugly.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | March 5, 2008 10:20 PM "

How about instead of focusing on the messenger, focus on the player's message.

It's funny how people turn a blind eye to realities and truths just because a player is deemed "cool and quirky."

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 6, 2008 12:54 AM

"Right now, they're still playing great basketball without me and Caron [Butler]."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080305/SPORTS03/890701089/1005/sports&template=nextpage


Here's another funny quote from Sir Gilby.

At the beginning of this season when the team was on a roll when he went out (but led by Caron), Gilby got upset and said people can't say Les BouleS are better without him without playing a full season. I think it was the Boston players who said this.

Now, he's lumping himself with Caron when saying the team is doing well without them both. Is Gilby an air head or on crack?

The team was clearly doing well without him, but the team is clearly doing poorly without Caron in the lineup, minus the two great wins against NO. Gilby must not be watching the games, especially the ones against NY, Orlando, GS, Houston, Toronto, Cleveland, etc.

Les BouleS were like 25-24 without Gilby and like 5-10 without Caron.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 6, 2008 1:03 AM

DCman, nobody else really cares. You are the only one who analyzes every little thing Gil says and finds all the negative aspects to it while ignoring the positive. It's just over the top now.

Posted by: babbtong | March 6, 2008 1:11 AM

Babbtong reads my posts and drinks pee.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 6, 2008 1:11 AM

Rook here is your report about the crowd. It won't surprise you, that it was mostly full and mostly dead. There was a few times the crowd tried to rouse itself, but it wasn't much. I seem to remember Cap Centre as a much louder place when I saw games there. Of course tonight is a bad measure since the Wizards no-showed it completely.

You know DC Man88, for a person who doesn't want to talk about Arenas, you talk about him a lot. Why is that?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2008 1:20 AM

The last post was me.

Posted by: George Templeton | March 6, 2008 1:21 AM

BTW, I critique evenly as I also provided comments on EJ's ridiculous quote about DS who had one great game against NO, followed by EJ's over the top comments, and then DS proceeded to get thrown out in the next game against Chicago.

--------------------------------------------

"He's had some ailments but he just comes out every day," Jordan said of Stevenson, who has been playing on a sore knee but has started 223 consecutive games. "He's a warrior, man, a true warrior. His confidence is growing -- he's making threes -- he's just a true pro. This is a man's league and he is man. In the dictionary next to that word there is a picture of DeShawn Stevenson."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/25/AR2008022503221.htm

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 6, 2008 1:22 AM

"You know DC Man88, for a person who doesn't want to talk about Arenas, you talk about him a lot. Why is that?

Posted by: | March 6, 2008 01:20 AM "

George, I didn't want to talk about how scared Gilby is about his boring comeback schedule, but I still plan to comment on other areas surrounding Gilby. He provides ample opportunities.

If other guys besides Gilby and EJ make idiotic statements, I'd be happy to comment also, but for the most part, the other players don't provide any ammo and are smart enough not to make stupid statements to the press.

And you wonder why Les BouleS assign a handler from their PR people to follow Gilby around.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 6, 2008 1:29 AM

"Babbtong reads my posts and drinks pee.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 6, 2008 01:11 AM"

...what?

Posted by: babbtong | March 6, 2008 1:35 AM

"I'm a huge wizards fan, but I hate watching this team play sometimes, they don't come to play every night and they run a offense that's designed for ball movement yet they have a team full of players that shoot the ball everytime they touch it with the exception of AD, BTH, DS and DM. When they play selfish, they lose. It seems as if the defense lets down as a result of the selfish play because they turn to the mentality, every man for himself. The way they play on occasions leads u to believe that every player is in their contract year and its all about what they do individually." - Anon

I agree and I have one word for you - COACHING! I crack up laughing some games when we have one or two back-door plays for layups and Buckhantz says something like "that's the Princeton offense at it's best". Come on, most games the overall ball movement on this team is terrible! Unless you count that stupid weave we do at the top of the key, handing the ball off to each other to, I presume, remind the players to share the ball.

"The reason this team manges to beat teams like the Hornets, Celtics, and Mavs in their undermanned, banged up state is to (A) play well above their heads, (B) max out all of their energy reserves and (C) (let's face it) really good teams tend to overlook/underestimate teams like the Wiz. Beating the Hornets or Boston, even twice, doesn't make them better than either. This team is fully capable of losing to the likes of the Knicks or the Hawks, so losing to the number 3 team in the conference with a record that's 16 games over .500 isn't shocking. Disappointing, but not shocking. The "A can beat B and B can beat C, so therefore A can beat C" argument doesn't really apply." - Kal

Kal, nice well thought out excuse you put together. Look, I could care less whether other teams overlook us or not or if we sometimes "play over our heads". How about developing a nice consistent effort? How about beating ALL the teams we should beat and, if we lose to the tougher teams, at least make it a game. Try losing by less than 10 not more than 20/30. There was no excuse for tonight! None. And, Ivan, maybe if the team was more fired up, the crowd would be as well although the Wiz will never be what the Redskins are to this town.

Oh well, I guess the rest of the season we'll just have no clue what kind of effort we'll get from this club whether it's a big game against Orlando at home or against NY. But, if that does not make you look at the coaching at all, well then I got a nice cheap condo in Bahrain to sell you!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2008 2:21 AM

Sorry that last post was by me - Rob P.

One other thought - the whole consistent effort and overall lack of team interest in defense is why this team is always dismissed nationally when it comes to the championship picture or getting national "respect". This too was occurring before curse of Les Boulez reared it's head.

Posted by: Rob P | March 6, 2008 2:28 AM

"George, I didn't want to talk about how scared Gilby is about his boring comeback schedule.." - DCMan

My thoughts exactly. Who cares whether he said he was scared or not? Wow...that got so many posts my head was spinning!

I was way more interested in the fact that Arenas ignored the cracker jack medical staff of the Wiz and pushed himself on his own and ended up getting reinjured. What is the punishment for this act? A max contract?

In the real world, if an employee ignores the wishes of his employer and that act has major negative consequences on that companies performance. Guess what? That employee probably gets fired! Hell, it's the NBA, give him a max contact! LOL

Posted by: Rob P | March 6, 2008 3:05 AM

Thats because pro sports are not the real world. No one in the real world gets a $90 million endorsement deal before they are employed like LeBron did.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2008 6:43 AM

"Thats because pro sports are not the real world. No one in the real world gets a $90 million endorsement deal before they are employed like LeBron did." - anon

Duh, I realize this. There is a hint of sarcasm in that comment. But, at what point, is enough enough. Wait until summer when you'll hear of offers being given and a GA will say "I am being low balled and disrespected by that offer of $100 million". At that point, I would say ciao if I were EG. Really, part of the reason this season is lost is bc GA did not listen to the training staff or, at least, that is what is leaking out now. Then BAM! He is lost for the year.

Besides, I used to go to 4/5 games a year or more. Now I go very sporadically bc have you seen the effort given by most teams on a nightly basis when a ticket cost $85 for ok seats? No wonder Ivan complains about the corporate atmosphere and laid back attitude of the crowd. They have nothing invested. It's just pure entertainment for them whether it's chatting, eating hot dogs, and drinking a few beers or even the game itself if one happens to break out the night you go! The rowdier type fan can't afford to get in the building and neither can families.

I'll get off my little soapbox now and just end by saying this. If I bought a ticket to the Orlando game for myself and a friend, I'm looking at a $300 total deal. If that was the game and effort I got, I would have been furious!!! So, hey, I'll buy season tickets if and when I get a large refund every time the team loses by 15 pts or more at home. I'll sign that contract!

Posted by: Rob P | March 6, 2008 7:30 AM

The team was clearly doing well without him, but the team is clearly doing poorly without Caron in the lineup, minus the two great wins against NO. Gilby must not be watching the games, especially the ones against NY, Orlando, GS, Houston, Toronto, Cleveland, etc.

Les BouleS were like 25-24 without Gilby and like 5-10 without Caron.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 6, 2008 01:03 AM

How moronic is that statement? The Wiz would be 5-10 without both Gilbert and Caron. That stupidity makes it seem that the Wiz are 5-10 with Gilbert playing and Caron out, when in fact you don't know what that record would be.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 6, 2008 7:35 AM

Rob P.,
I would think that it's in the best interest of the team (financially) if GA is out there. I'm pretty sure that Wiz management didn't object to GA playing as soon as possible. Now, if they were really looking out for him yet he was ignoring their advice, I agree with you. The fact that he was out there playing 40+ minutes a game coming off this surgery tells me that they were probably rushing him back. Otherwise the medical staff would have told EJ to back off on his minutes. I wouldn't blame GA for trying to be ready to play. For all we know, the heavy minutes he played were the reason for his second injury and not the way he rehabbed.
I know some people heal faster than others. While there is a minimum time that it takes for tissue to heal, usually after that time passes, coming back depends on the pain tolerance level of the individual. He must have felt like he was ok to play.
last thing...I'm sure there are people out there who are less fortunate than you and would look at you like you were being greedy if you asked for and expected a raise at your job. I find it hard to knock a guy for trying to get 15 million if he's making 12 million. In the end, it's all about the business and getting the biggest slice of the pie as you can. I used to hate players who seemed greedy and would hold out for more money. I realize now that if THEY are getting paid all that dough, imagine what the owners and the league is making. Abe is a generous man and donates to charity, etc. but he has yet to score a basket in the NBA. The players are generating the revenue. they should get as much of it as they can.
That said, I cancelled my season tix this year and agree with you completely on the poor atmosphere at the stadium. It's like a country club in there most of the time....too bright and antiseptic like a dentists office.

Posted by: mark | March 6, 2008 7:56 AM

Rook, the 12.5% doesn't represent how much of an increase he can get in his new deal over his previous contract amount. 12.5% is the maximum year-to-year raise ANY NBA player can have built within a contract. In other words, whatever amount Arenas gets in the first year of his new deal, the most he can get in the 2nd year is 12.5% more than that. But it has no effect on what the maximum amount will be in the first year of a new deal.

Posted by: kalorama | March 6, 2008 12:25 AM



kalorama - I know the significance of the 12.5% - what I don't know is how the Washington Times came up with $14 Million.

A 7-year Veteran can earn a maximum salary of $15.6 Million.... The Times reported Gilbert could earn up to $14 Million...

Do you know which figure is right?

Posted by: Rook | March 6, 2008 8:20 AM

Mark, your right and we don't know if his training or EJ's overuse of him were the culprits or a combination of it all. That's why I laughed at DCMan's comment that EJ will throw him in there 40 mins a game the first time he is out there. The dude is clueless. I don't care what the training staff may or may not have told him before. Just like Caron when he came back, EJ had him play a crazy amount of minutes in an overtime game. Boom! He's out again. Sometimes a little common sense needs to prevail including from the coaching staff!

That being said, we're talking about differences between $100 and $120 million not $12 per hr vs $17 per hr. Big difference! The bottom line is the NBA is in trouble bc the product is not matching the prices fans have to pay to support these greedy bastards whether it be players or owners. We're not talking about NBA glory days here. Ratings and such have been going down for years now. And, when you start pricing out the live game experience from regular joe smith fan and families (kids) from where is your future revenue base going to come? It is and will catch up to them. The NBA is not the NFL in terms of fan base, ratings, following, etc....

Side note - Where did Larry Hughes' greed get him??? He was miserable in Cleveland and he got exactly what he deserved. He based his move on money only and it came back to bite him. He was another player that was talking about a "hometown" discount prior to his bailing for greener pastures. The style the Wiz play and let him play allowed him to even be in the position to get a contract in the neighborhood he eventually signed. Personally, I have ZERO sympathy for him!

Posted by: Rob P | March 6, 2008 8:27 AM

It's funny how we get on Abe in here for being somewhat frugal. At the same time, the Wiz do not sell out the phone booth on a nightly basis and he still has to pay GA, CB, and Jamison etc.... The most expensive of which has barely played this year. I would be willing to bet that if the Wizard's are actually making money on an annual basis it is not much if anything. Therefore, the whole no luxury tax rule for the franchise.

Where Mr. Polin is making money is off the appreciation of team. He purchased the Baltimore Bullets in 1964 for a cool 1 million and it's estimated by Forbes to be worth $273 million as of 2004 (40% of which is leveraged, however). But, the annual operating profit is not much at all.

Compare them to the Redskins and you can see what a extremely healthy league looks like with $90 million plus in annual profits and a $400 million increase in team value since Snyder purchased the team. Yikes!!!

Posted by: Rob P | March 6, 2008 8:50 AM

Side note - Where did Larry Hughes' greed get him??? He was miserable in Cleveland and he got exactly what he deserved. He based his move on money only and it came back to bite him. He was another player that was talking about a "hometown" discount prior to his bailing for greener pastures. The style the Wiz play and let him play allowed him to even be in the position to get a contract in the neighborhood he eventually signed. Personally, I have ZERO sympathy for him!

Posted by: Rob P | March 6, 2008 08:27 AM

Rob P. The money was not the main reason Larry took that contract. Cleveland had one of the best hospitals in the country for treating Larry's younger brother's illness at the time before he died. Also, Larry was spending big time dollars trying to find his brother a cure. So please cut the brother some slack.....

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | March 6, 2008 9:28 AM

LOL re: greedy bastards. That's hilarious !! yeah I very rarely criticize Abe and am one of the guys here who fully understands why he doesn't go over the threshold and pay the tax. It ain't worth it for what he'd get in return. Why give up the 5 mill or so plus pay a dollar for dollar penaly for a guy who won't make a difference.
Now, I WILL criticize Abe for those 500 watt bulbs they use at the Verizon Center. I feel like breaking into song every time I walk in because it's like I'm on stage. "Bullets Fever, happens to me every year, Bullets' Fever, this year's the one. Bullets Fever, got the Dr. and the Iceman, Bullets Fever, Seattle was stunnnnned.."

Posted by: mark | March 6, 2008 9:28 AM

I went to this game. It was my second of the season. The first game was against the Magic also. Both loses, obviously. Ivan needs to chill the F out because why are we supposed to cheer when your team is getting pulverized, at home no less. We never led or tied the score once in this game. The closest it came was when we were down 7 and Deshawn made a sweet pass to a cutting OPech and it bounced of his leg. The Magic went on a 7-0 run after that. Game OVER. Before this turnover the crowd was starting to get energized. Tell ya what, keep the game close and we'll all cheer. I scream my head off at their games but when they look like S**t!!! I'm just gonna sit there in agony because lets face it, we can not stop Dwight Howard. He's toooo strong compared to Blatche and Haywood. Interesting thought, the only center on our team that gave D Howard any trouble was Etan....Interesting....

Posted by: Burg w/ a U` | March 6, 2008 9:29 AM

Side note - Where did Larry Hughes' greed get him??? He was miserable in Cleveland and he got exactly what he deserved. He based his move on money only and it came back to bite him. He was another player that was talking about a "hometown" discount prior to his bailing for greener pastures. The style the Wiz play and let him play allowed him to even be in the position to get a contract in the neighborhood he eventually signed. Personally, I have ZERO sympathy for him!

Good point - I also understand Hughes was the most despised player in Cleveland (at least from their fans). I guess that's what you get for being paid huge $$ and not delivering.

Posted by: Wizzz | March 6, 2008 9:29 AM

Weak product = weak crowd.

When Caron and Gilbert are back and this team is playing well, the crowd will be loud.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2008 9:35 AM

SINCE WE LOST 2 SEASONS WITH OUR BIG 2.......TELL ABE POLLIN BRING TICKETS BACK DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: i | March 6, 2008 9:35 AM

I'm not trying to be a smartazz here, Rob P. but when you ask what that got Larry Hughes, the obvious answer is lifelong security if he manages it properly. As much as I'd like to think that I'd be the guy who gave up money for the sake of the team and all, I'd probably go fo r the money take the highest offer, too. It's not like most of these guys in the NBA went to school to get the degree so that they have something to do after their careers ended. Most concentrated (and rightly so) on being the best ball players they could be. Their earning window is small so they should get as much as they can. I can't stand sharks like Drew Rosenhaus and I hated David Falk back in the day for manipulating teams and holding players out for more money. In the end, though, it's about a quick money grab. Get as much as possible while your value is high. You're right in that a couple mill should't make that much of a difference when you've been making tens of millions for years.
On a side note, every time I think about Sprewell and him getting his boat repossessed, I crack up. What a dumas.

Posted by: mark | March 6, 2008 9:37 AM

It's funny how we get on Abe in here for being somewhat frugal. At the same time, the Wiz do not sell out the phone booth on a nightly basis and he still has to pay GA, CB, and Jamison etc.... The most expensive of which has barely played this year. I would be willing to bet that if the Wizard's are actually making money on an annual basis it is not much if anything. Therefore, the whole no luxury tax rule for the franchise.

Posted by: Rob P | March 6, 2008 08:50 AM

Why is the backhanded slap necessary about Gilby? He barely played this year because he is recovering from an injury. One can argue that if he was healthy, along with Caron, more tickets would be sold due to the team having a record that would claim a high playoff seed. I don't claim to be a season-ticket holder who attends most games, but I think that the atmosphere at the Phone Booth for a team that would threaten to represent the east, generating ticket sales, would be far greater than one that is hoping to get healthy in order to make some noise. What excitement is there right now with the 2 best players hurt? The team has to play above there heads to compete right now and can't do that night in and night out. You tell me which game will be the next game that the Wizards play over there heads and I might buy a ticket. Or maybe I will just wait until the team gets healthy.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 6, 2008 9:41 AM

Ok , so here goes. I know this will generate a lot of discussion (wink, wink)....

I was curious to see the averages for the top guards in the league - Salary, points, assists, etc... And where Gilbert Arenas fits - and whether his stats merit an increase in salary. (This has NOTHING to do with injuries, or potential injuries.... just statistics - That statement, in itself, should generate lots of posts.) LOL

I did not pick anyone that has not been in the League 5 years or more (Salaries would be skewed that way)... So those of you who will scream that I didn't include Chris Paul, or Deron Williams - that's the reason.


Kobe Bryant $19,490,625 29.4 ppg 5.7 rpg 5.3 apg 1.6 spg
Jason Kidd $19,728,000 13.2 ppg 7.3 rpg 9.3 apg 2.0 spg
Mike Bibby $13,983,603 17.2 ppg 3.4 rpg 5.7 apg 1.2 spg
Allen Iverson $19,012,500 28.8 ppg 3.3 rpg 7.3 apg 2.1 spg
Dwyane Wade $13,041,250 23.9 ppg 4.8 rpg 6.5 apg 1.8 spg
Tony Parker $10,500,000 17.5 ppg 3.3 rpg 5.7 apg 1.0 spg
Ray Allen $16,000,000 23.4 ppg 4.5 rpg 3.9 apg 1.3 spg
Baron Davis $16,440,000 20.2 ppg 4.2 rpg 8.0 apg 2.0 spg
Chauncy Billups $10,000,000 17.3 ppg 3.2 rpg 6.9 apg 1.1 spg
Tracy McGrady $18,257,750 24.8 ppg 5.8 rpg 5.6 apg 1.4 spg
AVERAGE = $15,645,373 21.6 ppg 4.5 rpg 6.4 apg 1.5 spg


You can debate whether I chose the right top 10 or not...

Gilbert Arenas $11,950,400 25.0 ppg 4.4 rpg 5.6 apg 1.9 spg

It appears, purely from a stats perspective, that Arenas belongs in the $15.6 Million range... Interesting that the Average of the top 10-Guards in the League is almost EXACTLY the 7-year Veteran Maximum Salary, which is what Arenas is asking.

Posted by: Rook | March 6, 2008 9:42 AM

"If the team is capable of winning vs NO's then it is damn well capable of playing a respectable game against the Magic. It's the same team with the same players hurt. What's the excuse this time? We were rested and at home". I mean it's been a long time since I've seen a layup fest like tonight.

Posted by: Rob P | March 5, 2008 11:58 PM

Rob P. The answer to your question is matchup's. The two blowout games by the Rockets and now the Magic just exposed how "THIN" the Wizards are without "GILBERT AND CB". 47 points are gone from the lineup every game so what do you expect to happen? The Wiz do not matchup well with those teams without Gilbert and CB, plain and simple. It is not the dang coach..!!

They should be losing every game they play if you really look at it. That is why Eddie should be getting all the credit in the world for what he has done with this depleted crew.

For the life of me I can not understand you and some others calling for the man's head with what he has had to work with this year (no Gil or CB and no money to sign players from the owner). Trust me, your boy Phil Jackson would not be winning either. His Lakers got blew out, just like last nights game, a lot last year when he "ONLY HAD KOBE". No disrespect to AJ, but just image if Phil only had AJ to work with instead of Kobe?? Do you think the results would be the same or worse..??

"Also, BH is back to showing up about half the time at best. I mentioned a few threads ago that for the last month or so I've noticed BH has digressed and is playing like previous seasons. Boo!"

Posted by: Rob P | March 5, 2008 11:58 PM

Showing up half the time at best...??? Man, what games have you been watching...??!! Where has he digressed, other than last night...???!!! That was the first game this season where he should have seen "pine time". Superman "clearly" out played him and was too much for him. You are calling one game digression for a whole month...???? I'm not seeing it...

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | March 6, 2008 9:46 AM

Last night was bad, bad, bad.

The only way this team makes it into the playoffs a 6th seed (42-40) and has any hope of getting past Orlando in round one is (1) Caron Butler returns healthy and productive within two weeks, (2) Gilbert Arenas returns healthy and productive within four weeks (3) Etan Thomas returns healthy and productive enough to push BTH within four weeks (4) Antawn Jamison, Dewhawn Stevenson and Antonio Daniels get some rest starting now and (5) Nick Young can consistently score double figures off the bench by season's end.

The clock is ticking loud! We are about to see what the 2007-08 Wizards are really capable of doing and right now it does not look promising. But things can change quickly in the NBA...

Posted by: khrabb | March 6, 2008 10:09 AM

One thought on tonight's game: It would be refreshing if the fans in this building brought some passion and made some noise the way fans do in every arena the Wizards walk into on the road. The crowds of late have been weak at best.

By Ivan Carter | March 5, 2008; 6:23 PM ET

As much as people have their opinions about Gilbert, liking him or loving him, there is one clear point that needs to be made. No Gilbert, no energy from the crowd.

Is Gilbert a max player by NBA standards like LaBron, DWade, Tim Duncan, etc. I am not quite sure. I would say he is a tier under them.

Now, is Gilbert a max player by marketing standards locally? Yes, you better bet it. The energy will be back when Gilbert and Caron return. That is why they are called superstars. Superstars draw the fans to the games and gives them there excitement. We have played about 52 games without our superstar, what else is to be expected.

Therefore, with all of that said, I would pay Gil the max because once he gets over his knee injury he does have the potential to become even better. Thus, you give him the max on "upside potential" and "marketing pull" he creates around here locally and nationally (ESPN). This free pub is great for the team.

Ivan wait for playoff time, or when Gil and CB return and you will see the buzz come back..............

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | March 6, 2008 10:12 AM

"Good point - I also understand Hughes was the most despised player in Cleveland (at least from their fans). I guess that's what you get for being paid huge $$ and not delivering."

Sounds like Juwan Howard to me.


Posted by: Dave | March 6, 2008 10:20 AM

Rob P. Sorry, dude; But I gotta agree with Bullets Fever #1 about Haywood.

Over the previous 10-games, not including last night's game, Haywood is averaging almost 12 points (50% shooting), 7.8 rebounds, 2 blocks and an assist in 33 minutes per game. All those stats are slightly higher than his season averages.

I'll take that kind of production from Haywood any day!!

The stats would seem to back-up the point that Haywood is playing BETTER recently - with the EXCEPTION of the Orlando game last night.

Oh, and by the way, I've also watched those games.... He has played well recently.

Posted by: Rook | March 6, 2008 10:24 AM

Almost goes without saying that I agree with BF#1 about BTH. I think he's played well besides last night. Khrabb, I don't see Etan pushing BTH. He's always been more of a distraction because of the way EJ used him as motivation. As much as I am glad that Etan is healthy, I'm not sure he can help us. Our weakness isn't in the middle. It's probably perimeter defense more than anything.

Posted by: mark | March 6, 2008 10:43 AM

I agree about the crowd at Verizon. It is full of non basketball fans, it's all yuppie corporate execs. I used to go several times a year, but now I go only maybe once a year. And lately I just save my money for the playoffs. I havent' been this year. Last year I went to a preseason game and a playoff game and that was it. Tickets just cost too much. Atmosphere is terrible. I love to go and watch the game live, but I am in the nosebleeds usually if I go anyway. Have a better time at the local pub w/ my boys talkin trash, drinkin some brews and eatin some good food without being scrunched into a seat cruched against someone next to me and dealing with lines. Local pub's got numerous wide screen HD sets, and it's a fun atmosphere. Wizards tickets are just too expensive for the real fans. And even when we go we are up so high you can't hear us yelling!!!

Posted by: Darnell | March 6, 2008 10:46 AM

The team was clearly doing well without him, but the team is clearly doing poorly without Caron in the lineup, minus the two great wins against NO. Gilby must not be watching the games, especially the ones against NY, Orlando, GS, Houston, Toronto, Cleveland, etc.

Les BouleS were like 25-24 without Gilby and like 5-10 without Caron.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 6, 2008 01:03 AM

They're 5-10 without Gil and CB. And. Meaning inclusive. Or: both, in layman's terms. Important distinction. And having made that distinction, your argument (whatever it is) is not augmented by this fact.

Posted by: jones-y | March 6, 2008 11:00 AM

Wizards get blownout
They are missing fifty points
Gilbert and Caron

Posted by: Haiku | March 6, 2008 11:06 AM

Went to my first game of this season last night; what a treat !! (yeah, tix are too expensive for us 'non-yuppie exec. types'----long live Stub hub ..) What a TOTAL EMBARASSMENT the wiz were !! I know all the usual stuff, injuries, etc. ---blah, blah, blah; but the reason for my comment is what happened at the end of the game---I was with my son and he pointed down to the end of the wiz bench and with the game still going on, with about 10 seconds left, players had already left the bench and were walking to the tunnel. Sure, it was ugly, but stick around for the final buzzer you bunch of prima-donnas---that, to me, was shameful--- it also reflects on the staff. No excuses; ugly game, but don't leave the bench till it's over---heck, it was over in the 1st quarter; the drum corps had more energy than the wiz.......

Posted by: Bhop | March 6, 2008 11:26 AM

the way i see it...its all about matchups...they beat celtics and the hornets because they matchup well vs. them...whereas with gilbert...we used to beat detroit....but i have noticed...we just dont matchup well with the magic...matchups dictate an nba series...take for instance golden state v dallas series last year...dallas just doesnt match up well vs. golden state...i might be the only one to say it...but i think if we want to match up vs. the magic...we need etan back...for whatever reason he does a good job in containing him...because he is quick and strong defensively...not to mention another 6 fouls to use on a 60 percent free throw shooter

Posted by: jjmat84 | March 6, 2008 11:39 AM

Wow...I generated a lot of responses in here so I'll just answer them generally as best I can recall.

First, if Larry Hughes' main reason to go to Cleveland involved his sick brother then I mostly take that statement back, but that is the first I've heard of that as part of the reason so I don't know how true it really is. I do know his brother was sick.

Second, I've missed a few games, but if BH's numbers are such his impact on the game has declined considerably. To me he is starting to disappear again. I'll keep a closer look. Last game was horrendous for sure! I mean Pecherov had 15 pts against Orlando, but did it have any impact on the game whatsoever?

Third, never thought I would see the day DCMan would defend GA. Hilarious! By the way, that was not intended to be a back slap against GA. Rather a picture of what frugal Abe is dealing with financially with this franchise. Fact - He's paid GA the last two years and gotten next to nothing in return. Sounds like a situation where a person with integrity would take that into consideration when negotiating their next max contract! We'll see!

Finally, all the team performance and EJ defenders please stop with the excuses. I am not asking for wins in all these games. I am just asking that the team show up at all. We know they can do it! Plus, I'm tired of acting like we have a terrible squad at least for a majority of the season. Have the Wiz not played with TWO all-stars on the roster for 80% of the season in a TERRIBLE conference? Every team lays a few eggs during the year, but the Wizards have laid about a dozen eggs already. I don't want to work on the next half dozen as you guys seem to want to.

Hell, NY has lost 16 out of their last 21 games, but they blew us out of the building. And that's just one of many!

Posted by: Rob P | March 6, 2008 11:50 AM

I agree about the fans not getting into the game. I am a big Wizards fans and usually sit in the upper or club level but I managed to score tickets to the lower level for this game and was really excited to sit closer. But I gotta say, the fans in the lower levels are way less passionate than those in the uppers - barely anyone wearing Wizards stuff, no one really cheering much, people chatting about everything other than the Wizards. Why even waste your money and bother coming to the game? Just go out for a beer instead. You could hear a pin drop at times! I really wish the Wizards fans would get up for games other than the playoffs. Yeah this is a football town but I don't see any Redskins games going on right now!

Posted by: Fairfax | March 6, 2008 11:56 AM

Would love to hear the excuse for the Orlando debacle? The team did not show up. Period. As a couple of people here who were at the game correctly pointed out.

They were off for two days beforehand and playing a potential playoff opponent at home and were as flat as humanly possible! Your going to tell me that is even decent coaching? Please tell me no! I mean I lost track of how many layups and wide open shots Orlando god. Must have been a bad match up. Better pack up and go home now with that attitude!

Posted by: Rob P | March 6, 2008 12:00 PM

On the atmosphere--I'm a former season ticket holder. We had to give up our tickets in wonderfully rowdy section 106 (we sat just behind the press table) when we became a family of four and prices rose 50% all in one year.

Since then we always go to the home opener. This year, we shelled out $250 a seat to sit down closer to the floor. What a waste of money. We almost got in a fist fight because the folks in front of us were NOT there for a basketball game, and they were very annoyed at the noisy female fan screeching behind them. ;)

What a disappointment.

Regarding Gil-it seems to me that it would be in his best interest to get himself back on a court and prove he still has game before contract time. Can any one of us honestly say that we would do things differently if we were Gil? He can opt out and guarantee his future. If he plays out his last year and ends up injured, he's done. Opting out is in his best financial interest.

Posted by: Lou | March 6, 2008 12:03 PM

Fairfax, your correct, but a majority of the people in those seats did not pay for them. They are owned by corporations and given out to employees and clients etc.... They don't care about the outcome of the game especially when no game actually breaks out.

"I really wish the Wizards fans would get up for games other than the playoffs." - Fairfax

In defense of the Wiz fans, what have they really had to support, oh let's say, in the last 30 years. That's what makes these last couple of years so frustrating bc it's the closest they've been since I've been watching them to really do something/anything yet they still seem so far. Making excuses for losing is what this franchise has been about for far too long!

By the way, a hobbled Butler and Arenas are not going to ride in on a horse and save this season. The rest of the team has to decide how good they want to be without them! Then we can build on that for next season!

Posted by: Rob P | March 6, 2008 12:10 PM

Rob P - you are right. I guess I didn't mean Wizards fans getting up for games other than the playoffs - I'm a Wizards fan who gets up for every game!

I guess what I meant was I wish this area would get excited about the Wizards for more than just the playoffs. There are lots of cities that have big football teams who still have good basketball fans (Dallas, for one - I know that is different because it is the Mavs though!)

Posted by: Fairfax | March 6, 2008 12:14 PM

Lou, I can honestly say that I would say to myself if I were in GA's shoes - jeez, for two years I've been injured making all this money. This team gave me a real opportunity to make a name for myself in this league playing the way I do. Plus, I did say I would give them a "discount" to build a good team around me. Ok, I will live up to that and not go for everything I possibly can considering I am also an unknown injured commodity. Hell, I even admit I'm scared about coming back from this. End of story. We'll see what he does.

If he goes for everything, then I will consider him a greedy, selfish, first class jerk and I will never like him even if he is still a Wizard. I don't even think he is a good enough all-around player and leader to take this team to the championship game so why pay him max dollars considering all the other risks that now exist with him. Why? You already got two all-stars on the team and promising young players! Again, we'll see!

Oh, you did use the infamous "guarantee his future" line too. Please! His future is already guaranteed with $80 million and, again, an additional $100 vs $120 million on this contract is not going to change his "future" at all. His children's children's chidren's futures will be all good too!

Posted by: Rob P | March 6, 2008 12:25 PM

Fairfax, I hear ya! It's just easier with the Mavs bc they WIN and compete year after year even in the playoffs. The true fans are like you and I who have spent money at games and watch hundreds of others faithfully on TV for what has mostly been garbage. Then you get close and you see all the same issues again. Poor coaching, excuses, injuries (Curse Les Boulez), upcoming contracts that may or may not cripple this team's near future again, etc etc etc...

It's a big offseason for sure!

Posted by: Rob P | March 6, 2008 12:33 PM

Rob P - I totally agree - let's hope so! Ernie seems to know what he's doing, which is a relief!

Posted by: Fairfax | March 6, 2008 12:35 PM

Yes, EG is my comfort, but he too can or may get pressured into making a wrong decision or a decision that is not necessarily his. We'll see how it all plays out.

Posted by: Rob P | March 6, 2008 12:43 PM

Hmmmm....with all respect, I don't think that his brother's illness was the primary factor in Larry Hughes signing with Cleveland. As I remember the Post reporting at the time that he felt insulted by the initial offer that EG and Pollin made, and then signed with Cleveland despite EG's higher counter-offer.
btw, if I had someone in my family with post-transplant kidney problems, if possible I'd want them to go to the University of Pittsburgh for treatment. Not only do they do a ton of kidney transplants, but it's the place where a lot of the pioneering work in immunosuppressive therapy was done. They've got some of the best kidney specialists in the world.

Posted by: John Brisker | March 6, 2008 1:37 PM

I did not recall that either. Though I believe Hughes' brother had a heart problem not a kidney problem. Yeah, just confirmed online he had a congenital heart defect. Anyway, sad circumstance, but not sure that had anything to do with Cleveland.

Posted by: Rob P | March 6, 2008 3:05 PM

"I am just asking that the team show up at all. We know they can do it!"

But they don't do it every game. And guess what? Neither does any other team in the NBA, including the ones who are much, much better than the Wizards. In an 82 game season, there are, inevitably, going to be lulls in energy and effort, just like there is for anyone in any job or profession. Nobody goes 100% all out at their job every minute of every day, and it's unreasonable to expect they will. It's esp. unreasonable to expect it from a team that's been shorthanded, banged up, and over-reaching all season long, the way the Wizards have.

Was there an obvious drag in their effort against the Magic? Of course. Was it an indication of anything other than the fact that (A) they're 50-plus games into a long, injury-plagued season and (B) the Magic are a better team? Not really. Contrary to what you clearly want to think, it's certainly not yet another phantom sign that Eddie can't coach. It's a blip on the radar that certainly doesn't merit all of this teeth-gnashing and hand-wringing.

Posted by: kalorama | March 6, 2008 3:09 PM

"

Hmmmm....with all respect, I don't think that his brother's illness was the primary factor in Larry Hughes signing with Cleveland. As I remember the Post reporting at the time that he felt insulted by the initial offer that EG and Pollin made, and then signed with Cleveland despite EG's higher counter-offer.
btw, if I had someone in my family with post-transplant kidney problems, if possible I'd want them to go to the University of Pittsburgh for treatment. Not only do they do a ton of kidney transplants, but it's the place where a lot of the pioneering work in immunosuppressive therapy was done. They've got some of the best kidney specialists in the world.

Posted by: John Brisker | March 6, 2008 01:37 PM "

Not really.

Les BouleS came with a "lowball" offer even though EG said that LH was a critical member of the organization and that he would do whatever it takes to keep him.

The Cavs offered about 10-12 mil more. Instead of haggling, LH just signed with Cleveland. EG tried to quickly match the Cavs's offer, but was too late.

Ever since then, Les BouleS have never made it back to the second round of the playoffs.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 6, 2008 5:08 PM

"Third, never thought I would see the day DCMan would defend GA. Hilarious! By the way, that was not intended to be a back slap against GA. Rather a picture of what frugal Abe is dealing with financially with this franchise. Fact - He's paid GA the last two years and gotten next to nothing in return. Sounds like a situation where a person with integrity would take that into consideration when negotiating their next max contract! We'll see!

Posted by: Rob P | March 6, 2008 11:50 AM"

Rob, don't believe the hype. That wasn't me who made those comments about Gilby.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 6, 2008 5:11 PM

Kal - I don't totally disagree with you. But there is losing and then there is losing. I talking more about effort than anything. And I know there are bad games for EVERY team. My point is simply the Wizards have had way too many already!

I might nitpick EJ a little especially with the team in the shape it is right now, but even with complete health I don't see EJ as a championship caliber coach EVER! If he does or even gets them in the conference finals, I'll say I was wrong. Don't think that day will ever come though!

Posted by: Rob P | March 6, 2008 10:51 PM

Whether or not EJ is a championship caliber coach, we will never know, because he's not in an environment or franchise that is serious about winning, whether you're talking about spending money on FA's, or spending money on quality people/scouts that can find great players via the draft. Poor drafting/decision making/player development with Kwame, Jared, and Jarvis has cost this franchise for years and years to come.

---------------------------------------------

On a larger scale, Jordan wants to win now. Like any coach who signed a two-year extension with a team option for the third year last summer, the continuity line gets old.

"But I understand Mr. Pollin's standpoint," Jordan said. "We want to stay within a certain budget for the Washington Wizards. We're not going to be like four or five or six other teams that can do anything it takes to win. Those are decisions we made within the organization. It doesn't bother me. There are times when you say, 'How come we can't get this guy?' But then you say, 'These are the parameters the organization has set.' "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/16/AR2007021602210.html

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 6, 2008 11:27 PM

I just want to comment on the Phone Booth crowds: I went to a game with my sister last year and I swear we were the only one's cheering. People were looking at us like "Why are those two so LOUD?" People keep saying that the Wizards need to play with energy before the crowd can get into it. That is bass ackwards! When the team needs a Defensive stop, CHEER! When it is a big offensive possession, CHEER! If the team looks like it needs an energy boost, CHEER!

All I can say is that I don't plan on attending another Wiz game in person because when I'm at my house or in a bar, I can cheer as loud as I want, talk trash, and not have to worry about the quizzical looks of uptight corporate types and lawyers... I think if fans showed as much interest in what's happening on th floor as they do to the promotions during timeouts, then the Phone Booth might actually provide the Wiz with a homecourt advantage.

Posted by: Essex | March 7, 2008 10:49 AM

Posted by: Oppa pxpgb | April 2, 2008 11:12 PM

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