Butler Still Hoping for All-Star Invitation

Shaquille O'Neal blocked Caron Butler's path to the basket in the first quarter, wrapped him up and forced a jump ball. But before Butler could escape O'Neal's grasp, O'Neal grabbed Butler by the forehead, leaned in and gave him a smooch on the head.

Butler cracked a smile, and took time to joke about the incident after the game, contending that he never should've had to win a jump ball against O'Neal, who stands about six inches taller and is more than 100 pounds heavier.


Mmmm-waah! (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

"He gave me a peck -- after he fouled me," Butler said with a laugh. "But it was funny. I love Shaq. He's good for the game. Always has been, always will be."

Butler is on the short list of players able to say that they have been traded for O'Neal, one of the greatest centers of all time and the league's greatest personality for the past 17 seasons. Butler said he gained more respect for O'Neal at the All Star Game last summer in New Orleans. O'Neal was not named to the team for the first time in his career, but the LSU alum was still around, hanging out. At one point during the weekend, Butler said, O'Neal offered him some advice and even gave Butler's grandmother, Margaret, a hug and a kiss when he met her.

"My grandmother loves him. Michael Jordan and him, are her favorites," Butler said. "That meant a lot to me. Shaq's my man. He's one of my favorite people all time that played in the game."

O'Neal will likely be added to the Western Conference all-star team this week, given the dearth of centers in the league and his inspired play this season. But Butler probably won't join O'Neal in Phoenix for the festivities, especially since the Washington Wizards (9-35) woke up this morning with the worst record in the NBA.

Even still, Butler said he believes he should be on the Eastern Conference all-star team. Butler scored a team-high 28 points in the Wizards' 103-97 loss to the Suns on Monday, continuing his impressive offensive run the past five games. Since the Wizards left on their West Coast trip last week, Butler has averaged 25 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists, but his team went just 1-4.

This season, Butler is averaging 20 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists, almost identical numbers to the past two seasons, when the coaches selected him to represent the East in the All Star Game. Coaches will submit their ballots today, but it seems like a reach to expect the names Butler or Antawn Jamison to be on any of them.

I asked Butler about it after the game and he said, "I know it's only a couple of guys, from an individual standpoint, that have done what I've done over the course of the last couple of years -- Kobe Bryant, myself and LeBron James. I know that team winning percentage [is important], but if you're going to reward an individual, I should be on that team. If you're going to reward from a team standpoint, I'll fall back and watch it on the television from Disney World or something."

Although a weaker supporting cast has severely damaged the all-star chances of Butler and Jamison, Butler refused to disparage his teammates on a night when the Wizards, again, couldn't find a third option to take some of the pressure off of them.

"It's difficult. That's how it happens sometimes," Butler said. "We going to continue to go out there and try to perform at the highest level possible and bring the team along with us. We got to set the example, got to set the tone. But the guys played their heart out, gave us all they had."

With only six teams with winning records in the East, some player with a losing record is likely to head to Phoenix -- either Chris Bosh, Danny Granger, David Lee, Devin Harris or Vince Carter will be added. But it will be hard for a coach to vote for a player who doesn't have at least 10 wins after 44 games.

"I know I'm an all-star," Butler said. "I did it back-to-back. Hopefully it happens again. If not, take it on the chin -- and watch out next year."

By Michael Lee |  January 27, 2009; 9:05 AM ET
Previous: Phoenix 103, Wizards 87 | Next: Blatche to Miss Two to Four Weeks, Stevenson Practices (Updated)

Comments

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I hope he DOESN'T make the all star roster. He's playing too many minutes as it is. He needs some time off. Same with AJ. What's the use of getting a number one pick and getting Gil back healthy if CB and Twan are both broken down from averaging 40 minutes this year? We're losing anyway. Taps, please ease up on the minutes!!!

Posted by: Matte | January 27, 2009 9:21 AM

Is Blatche getting an MRI? Or are they just eyeballing the knee "strain"? That didn't look too good...

Posted by: psps23 | January 27, 2009 9:36 AM

I guess that clears it up -- Caron is not responsible for the team's 9-35 record. Glad we have that out of the way.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | January 27, 2009 10:06 AM

----I guess that clears it up -- Caron is not responsible for the team's 9-35 record. Glad we have that out of the way.
Posted by: disgruntledfan | January 27, 2009 10:06 AM

Perfect. Same goes for Jamison who can't blame everyone else enough. Those 2 guys take all the shots. last night they took
50% (40 of the 81) Wiz shots and missed 2/3 of em. And how bout D? Well Jamison hasn't played a lick of defense in 2 seasons but it's always the rookies, who are playing 5 minutes and taking 4 shots a game, who are to blame.
Hey Jamison, Caron, meet Gary Williams.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 27, 2009 11:14 AM

BTW isn't it obvious by now that Tap is in over his head???!!!

Posted by: dovelevine | January 27, 2009 11:15 AM

NO! Caron is not responsible for the team's 9-35 record if we hadn't fired EJ this team would be in the running for a playoff berth! Monday's USA today sport's section featured an article on the East division of the NBA, fifteen teams are still in the hunt for a playoff spot; FIFTEEN!!! If this goofball of a GM we have had a clue the wizard's would still have a shot but when Grunfeld fired Jordan he destroyed any hope of this team succeeding,team continuity on offense and defense went out the door,trust me veteran players like Butler,Jamison, and Dixon know that Taps is a joke i mean they might respect Taps as a man but as a pro coach? PLEASE!!! Those three played for Jim Calhoun,Dean Smith, and Gary Williams respectively while they were in college you don't think they know Taps is in over his head and whose to blame? one man, Ernie Grunfeld, whose agenda from day one has been to fire Eddie Jordan by undermanning his authority with the players by a lack of support and poor personel moves(letting Roger Mason get away,overpaying for Jamison and Arenas, entending the contract of Olesiky Pechorev who to date has been a bust,not supporting Jordan in his ongoing struggle with Andray Blatche trying to get him to be a pro instead of a knucklehead. The firing of Eddie Jordan was not only stupid and ill timed it was finacially irresponsible it cost this franchise EIGHT MILLION DOLLARS!! and this is a GM who has a clue? we are headed in the wrong direction as a franchise and there seems no way out.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 27, 2009 11:24 AM

He should have issued a 'no comment'. When you're the major component on the worst team in the league, you should be doing no talking at all.

Posted by: original_mark | January 27, 2009 11:25 AM

Glad EJ is gone. Our next coach will improve our team exponentially. The only reason people wish we kept him is the assumption he would do better than Taps. Same players, same D, same subs...its a no brainer

Posted by: BurgwithaU | January 27, 2009 11:33 AM

I can't believe we're still talking about EJ's firing here. The team started 1-11 and lose to some bad teams (a team with only 8 players) due to bad coaching and injuries to key players and we're still talking about playoff???? What do you mean playoffs? There are thousand people that should complain receiving a pink slip more than EJ.

Posted by: Dave381 | January 27, 2009 11:43 AM

EJ sucked. Taps sux more.

Ayers apparently sux because we still play no defense even with a supposed 'emphasis' on trying to play it.

The coaching solution is not on the bench.

So with BTH out, Etan gone, and AB possibly hurt...does this mean we get to see whether our 23 year old first round pick can play?

I doubt it. I bet this means more minutes for DSong at C rather than minutes for Pech.

Don't fire Tap. Just start the evaluation process for a new coach now. We should be all over the hottest assistant out there right now. The day the season ends, that guy should be on a plane here for an interview. Incidentally, he should be a guy who is offensive minded. Thibodeaux couldn't get this starting bunch to play it any better.

Posted by: original_mark | January 27, 2009 11:56 AM

That is, Thibodeaux couldn't get this bunch to play D any better.We're not equipped with CB and Aj starting.

Period.

Posted by: original_mark | January 27, 2009 11:57 AM

9-35 and you want an all-star bid?
These guys are mailing it in...
Collectin' checks and laughin all the way to the bank...
There are the things that 9-35 means:

9-35 means you suck!
9-35 means lottery!
9-35 means you get put on the backpage!
9-35 means the opposition gets drunk before they play you!
9-35 means you paid too much for the guys you got!
9-35 means you need to revamp!
9-35 means you're the laughing stock of the league!
9-35 means NO ALL-STARS!

End of Discussion!
Period!

Posted by: jimmydeanroundsausages | January 27, 2009 12:05 PM

Ah, the EJ bashing. How odd? These are coming from inside the team's pr operation.

Ernie made an Isiah Thomas-caliber mistake in dismissing Eddie Jordan. If Ernie had a better option lined up, maybe it would be a different story.

Grunfeld will likely never work as GM again after his Wizards tenure is over.

Were EJ still here the team would have a lot better record.

Firing EJ and the ensuing mess now means no real coach will want to come here. Just like Avery Johnson said no to Memphis.

The crop for next Wiz head coach will be full of second rate candidates. Are you ready for the Sam Mitchell era???

Ernie Grunfeld has ensured that the Wizards and Clippers will duel it out for worst franchise in sports for years to come.

Posted by: SteveC28 | January 27, 2009 12:06 PM

How bout Paul Silas? Dude can coach. And he can coach D.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 27, 2009 12:14 PM

SteveC28, I thought Eddie got a raw deal as much as anyone (to the extent that a guy who gets fired from a team that's 1-11 can be given a raw deal) but to suggest that Grunfeld's career is over because of anything that's happened in D.C. is wildly unrealistic. Grunfeld is a good GM who has a solid overall record with several teams. He's made some real missteps with the Wiz (and firing Jordan wasn't necessarily one of them) but he also helmed the team's turnaround from the abyss. Nothing that's happened here will go down as a career killer for him. Not even close.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 27, 2009 12:19 PM

Awww, poor Cawon. Can't get an invite to the Aww-Star Game. He's so vewy mistweated. Wife is just not fair sometimes!

Ya know, he and Antawns' acts are starting to get old. I've admired both of them greatly since they've been here, but I'm tired of hearing their now almost-incessant whining.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 27, 2009 12:20 PM

Caron is error prone due to him trying to be like Gilbert Arenas; like trying a 3 point shot with seconds left. Just be yourself, Caron, less outside jumpers and more of attacking the basket. That's how you got in the All-Star before.

Posted by: iamdawalrus | January 27, 2009 12:59 PM

I bet there wasn't this much whining in Miami last year. They knew that their team was injured and it was simply a matter of playing out the season and waiting til next year. Why is that so difficult a task here in DC? As a fan, I'm willing to accept that this team may wind up as the worst in the league and that we'll more than likely lose every time I turn on a game.

What is Tapscott trying to prove by playing CB and AJ so many minutes? EJ used to do the same thing. It's good to see the reserves getting minutes now but shouldn't CB and AJ be down to 25 minutes per game by now? There's no excuse for not having NY out there a lot. he had a little stretch his month where he was on fire. All of sudden there are no shots for him and he can only get 8, 11, 15 minutes? What's going on?


Posted by: original_mark | January 27, 2009 1:05 PM

and where's Pech?

Posted by: original_mark | January 27, 2009 1:07 PM

CB3 won't make the All Star game because he's having an off year...not in terms of stats but in terms of performance. This is because he and AJ are the only real threats on this team, and other teams are keying on this to shut them down. This also has the effect of making CB3 attempt to "do too much" to try and win, resulting in 9 TO nights like the Portland game.

Remember Sean Taylor (RIP) in the 2006 Redskins 5-11 season? The rest of the secondary was GODAWFUL (three or four of the DBs on that team are no longer in the NFL) and the linebackers kept letting runners into the secondary, so he tried to do too much--he got burned on a regular basis because he was out of position, trying to be everywhere at once. Even a superstar (CB3 is not a superstar, hence the awful record) can't keep a lousy supporting cast from tanking eventually. Just look at LBJ and the Cavs in previous years: he kept them afloat but they were doomed to playoff failure. Without such a superstar, game breaking player, CB3 and AJ can't save the day when the personnel sucks this bad.

CB3 has All Star talent and would be in the game this year, but the team's horrendous record and his frantic attempts to stave off losses will keep him from it in 2009.

Keep your eyes on the prize...a lotto pick.

Posted by: Crunkenstein | January 27, 2009 1:15 PM

"I bet there wasn't this much whining in Miami last year. They knew that their team was injured and it was simply a matter of playing out the season and waiting til next year. Why is that so difficult a task here in DC?"

You're kidding right? You can't actually be comparing the two situations.

First of all, there was plenty of whining from Heat fans and media about Dwayne Wade supposedly being injury prone, Riley phoning it in once it became clear the team was going down, and Riley overplaying Wade (before he shut it down) once it was obvious the team wasn't going anywhere. It's all on the record.

Second, Miami had already won a title. They already knew they had an organization and a star capable of getting the job done, which makes looking to the future a bit easier. The Wiz don't have the luxury of looking to the past for hope for the future.

"and where's Pech?

Exactly where he belongs.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 27, 2009 1:15 PM

---I bet there wasn't this much whining in Miami last year. They knew that their team was injured and it was simply a matter of playing out the season and waiting til next year.
Posted by: original_mark | January 27, 2009 1:05 PM

Actually there was and they went out and did something. They stole Marion from the Suns for an over-the-hill Shaq and secured a top draft pick to play with Wade, who they knew would be back and healthy.
What have the Wiz done?
Hired a coach, who never coached pros before, who no one else wanted coaching. What players have we gone out and gotten. And unlike Wade, Arenas will never be healthy again.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 27, 2009 1:15 PM

Ah, the EJ bashing. How odd? These are coming from inside the team's pr operation.

Ernie made an Isiah Thomas-caliber mistake in dismissing Eddie Jordan. If Ernie had a better option lined up, maybe it would be a different story.

Grunfeld will likely never work as GM again after his Wizards tenure is over.

Were EJ still here the team would have a lot better record.

Firing EJ and the ensuing mess now means no real coach will want to come here. Just like Avery Johnson said no to Memphis.

The crop for next Wiz head coach will be full of second rate candidates. Are you ready for the Sam Mitchell era???

Ernie Grunfeld has ensured that the Wizards and Clippers will duel it out for worst franchise in sports for years to come.

Posted by: SteveC28 | January 27, 2009 12:06 PM

Really Steve? Ernie never work again? Did you just start watching Wizards basketball 4 years ago? This is a franchise that used to run at the bottom every year but since Ernie came along we have been in the playoffs.

Ernie bought in Gil and traded for CB and Jamison. He has also drafted well outside of Pech and you think hes never going to GM after here? What a joke. Think before you type.

Posted by: DMoney28 | January 27, 2009 1:33 PM

Embarassing to hear Caron say he thinks he deserves a bid. He and Antawn have diminished themselves with poor, sloppy, selfish play and little to no effort on the defensive end.

And the coaching-firing wrangling needs to stop. The change needed to be made, it is only that the interim coach is actually worse that exacerbates the problem.

Seeing Blatche and McGuire make strides should tell you everything you need to know. Players need playing time to gain experience. See how it benefited Atlanta?

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | January 27, 2009 1:56 PM

We gave up the rights to Devin Harris, who will be an all star stud for many years to come for Jamison, who was a 6th man coming off the bench at the time. Hardly a great move. In fact a terrible trade. Jamison played ok for a few years but the Mavs had it right--he's a 2nd stringer who works hard, will score a boatload of points if you let him take 20 shots a night and plays no D. Period. The ball never comes out when it touches his hands. He's as much a liability as an asset.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 27, 2009 2:07 PM

NOTE TO DMONEY28: Ernie got CB for Kwame Brown; Ray Charles would have made that trade!! Jamison got here because Avery wanted Devin Harris and he thought Jamison was a liability on defense(ya think?) Gil came on a whim(flip of a coin) and EJ allowed him to play his"game" Ernie has mismanaged the cap while overpaying for Gil and Antwan,letting their best bench player;Mason go to the Spurs and didn't have a plan B when he fired Jordan(you can't tell me or any other fan Tapscott was plan B)and we had to pay Jordan Eight Mill to go away( a lovely parting gift) Plain and Simple; Ernie needs to go!!.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 27, 2009 2:12 PM

Yep. The Mavs definitely had AJ on the bench and its where he needs to be if we want to start playing some defense. Unfortunately, the same applies to CB but we could actually get away with a sg who doesn't play a lot of D if we have forwards and a C who do.

I hope like heck that Pech gets traded or cut, goes to a team that knows how use him and winds up being a valuable member of a winning team.

We'll call it the Roger Mason story...make that the CWebb story or Sheed story or Ben Wallace story or Rip Hamilton story or Bobby Simmons story.

When will we learn? No guarantee that he can play at all but I know he can't play on the bench.

Posted by: original_mark | January 27, 2009 2:23 PM

"Jamison got here because Avery wanted Devin Harris and he thought Jamison was a liability on defense(ya think?)"

The only statement I agree with you about. Dead on, 100% right. Mavs knew Defense wins championships, and AJ had to go. They would have a ring if it weren't for the refs love affair for Dwade.

"letting their best bench player;Mason go to the Spurs and didn't have a plan B when he fired Jordan(you can't tell me or any other fan Tapscott was plan B"

You're letting you're hatred of management (for canning your boy Eddie), get in the way of intelligent talk. To suggest Tapps is Ernie's plan B is pretty off. Tapps is simply a warm body who is following Ernie's every command. Best beleive Ernie has a plan for next year, and Ernie has a guy for next year. He's been in the game too long to be as foolish as you make him out to be.

Posted by: cj658 | January 27, 2009 2:41 PM

"I hope like heck that Pech gets traded or cut, goes to a team that knows how use him and winds up being a valuable member of a winning team.'

Yeah, in Europe.

Posted by: cj658 | January 27, 2009 2:42 PM

There are some very astute comments so far, but I don't understand why everyone seems to be giving Gilbert a free pass. He's the key to this whole mess. A ton of time has gone by and he's STILL NOT PLAYING. Did Ernie know how screwed up (physically) he was last summer when he signed him to that huge contract? If not, why didn't he know? Aside from his obvious (offensive) talent, GA is apparently the consumate me-first, overpaid superstar. That melodramatic commercial where he's getting ready to take the supposedly winning shot at the end of a game "where the outcome was decided long ago" makes me sick. Get out on the floor and start earning some of those millions, thief! Your lies screwed this team and all it's fans over big time.

Posted by: clfrdj | January 27, 2009 2:48 PM

"We'll call it the Roger Mason story...make that the CWebb story or Sheed story or Ben Wallace story or Rip Hamilton story or Bobby Simmons story"

Original_Mark:

All of these guys went to places with great systems, and A SUPPORTING CAST. None of those guys went to another team and became "the guy", with the exception of maybe Weber, although Weber went to a VERY good Sac team. And what has Bobby Simmons done since leaving??

Case in point is Roger would not be having the year he is having in SA if he were still here in Washington. Success will make marginal players look a lot better than they really are. AD played for winning teams before he got here, and everyone thought he was a "great" pickup when we signed him. Once with the Wizards he was exposed for what he truly is, a sub par point guard who is decent back-up. That is exactly what Roger is, except he is a SG. If Roger signed with the Grizzlies and was dropping 12ppg, would we all be "missing him" so much? Probably not.

Posted by: cj658 | January 27, 2009 2:49 PM

Blacthe out 2 to 4 weeks. Will this mean increased playing time for McGee? Man, when it rain it pours.

Wounded players:

Arenas
Haywood
Stevenson
Thomas
Blatche

WOW...............

Posted by: bullets_0000 | January 27, 2009 2:52 PM

I disagree with one thing there that you said, cj658.

I find it hard to believe that EG is running the show for one main reason. If EG was telling Tap what to do, Tap would be playing the guys that EG drafted.
I know I'd want to see NY and Pech and JM play just to validate that those dudes can really play.


I think that Tap is on his own and that kinda explains the completely random substitution patterns. I bought it when Tap was saying that he anted to try different combinations but that was a long time ago. he should settle on something and stick with it. Ppl need to know their roles and it's impossible to determine that if you play 30 minutes one night and 8 the next.

Posted by: original_mark | January 27, 2009 2:52 PM

clfrdj:

Well said. I've said multiple times before, this will go down as the worst signing in DC sports history.

What most fans fail to realize, Gil is a business man. He transformed a 6 year 111 million dollar deal into a 5 year 111 million dollar deal. People do not get this. That is 22 mill per year. That is damn near A-Rod money, disgusting. Based on his comments this year, do you people honestly think he cares? No.

Posted by: cj658 | January 27, 2009 2:52 PM

--Best beleive Ernie has a plan for next year, and Ernie has a guy for next year. He's been in the game too long to be as foolish as you make him out to be.

What was his plan for this year? Team was 1-11 when he fired EJ. Was he throwing in the towel with his "warm body" Tap? If so, that aint much of a plan.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 27, 2009 2:57 PM

Original_Mark:

In regards to why Tapps/Ernie are not playing the youngsters, see my post from yesterday. Believe me, Ernie is running the show. He HAS to keep AJ, CB happy by giving them minutes, see below:

The only reason AJ, & CB and the rest of the vets are still getting big PT is simple. If they didn’t get the time they wanted, they would be pissed. They would do one of the following:

A) Demand a trade
B) Publicly bash management and coaching
C) Create a rift in the locker room (as if there already isn’t one)
D) Pull a Marbury


Anyone, if not all of these options is foreseeable. EG knows this, and essentially has made Tapscott his puppet. Tapps is simply a warm body following EG’s every command. Say what you want about Tapps, but he knows basketball, and he KNOWS the young guys should be getting all the PT right now. BUT, he also KNOWS who signs his paychecks! Plain and simple folks.

AJ has stated he WILL NOT sit and watch the youngsters get all his PT, Ernie NEEDS AJ for the next 4 years. Afterall, he paid him 50 mill for those next 4 years.


Posted by: cj658 | January 27, 2009 2:57 PM

"We'll call it the Roger Mason story...make that the CWebb story or Sheed story or Ben Wallace story or Rip Hamilton story or Bobby Simmons story."

Absolutely none of those scenarios (with the possible exception of Simmons) in any way parallels Pecherov's, nor do they come close to making the case you're trying to make.

You're bent out of shape because Pecherov is supposedly wasting away on the bench without the team bothering to find out if he can play. That has nothing to do with any of the guys you named because all of them proved pretty conclusively they could play while with the Wizards. They were moved or let go in pursuit of something the team thought would be a better fit. The fact that, in most cases, they were wrong is a different issue. You want to criticize Nash, Unseld, and jordan for making bad deals? Fine. (But it's a little like shooting fish in barrel, really.) But the logistics behind those deals in no way resemble anything having to do with Pecherov. (Simmons, meanwhile, after leaving the Wiz and signing a big contract, is currently a wildly over paid role player, which would likely be Pech's fate if anyone were foolish enough to sign him after the Wiz give him his walking papers. And he'll have to walk, because he clearly can't run.)

It's abundantly clear that the Wizards have already made a determination about whether Pecherov can play, and that determination is that he can't. They just don't seem to feel a need to give the fans a chance to confirm it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 27, 2009 2:57 PM

What was his plan for this year? Team was 1-11 when he fired EJ. Was he throwing in the towel with his "warm body" Tap? If so, that aint much of a plan.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 27, 2009 2:57 PM

No he was not “throwing in the towel”. Listen, obviously you don’t know what it is like to be an NBA GM (nor do I). But one thing I do know is 90% of the time, GM’s want THEIR GUY AS COACH. EJ was there before Ernie. Ernie couldn’t can EJ because the team continued to make the playoffs. The 1-10 start was all he needed. Plus, what GM would want a coach who has no respect of star players, and lets personal differences get in the way of coaching (BTH, AB situations). Ernie knew this season was lost. He knew his starting center was out for the year, and he knew Gil was probably done for the year. Let me make something VERY CLEAR, Tapps is not auditioning for a job. He has never stated it, nor has management, nor has the media. Again, Ernie has his guy, but wouldn’t it make sense to hire his guy when his whole team is healthy, and when he has an entire preseason to work with the team? Again, Ernie has been in the game a very long time, and he is no “rookie” GM. Don’t rush to judgement.

Posted by: cj658 | January 27, 2009 3:07 PM

Ernie=Stupid

Posted by: jimmydeanroundsausages | January 27, 2009 3:08 PM

---Again, Ernie has been in the game a very long time, and he is no “rookie” GM

Really? You make him out to be some kinda great GM. What the freak has Ernie G done that warrents our great patience. The Wiz have been stuck in the mud for 3 years now. And all we kept hearing was well injuries, wah wah wah. Well all teams get injuries. Where is Mr Gs contingency plan?
There is and was none.
Signing Arenas and jamison for the bread he did was pure sickness. And based on Gils health, a crime.
Mr G does act like a rookie gm to me. Sorry.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 27, 2009 3:17 PM

"Really? You make him out to be some kinda great GM. What the freak has Ernie G done that warrents our great patience. The Wiz have been stuck in the mud for 3 years now. And all we kept hearing was well injuries, wah wah wah. Well all teams get injuries. Where is Mr Gs contingency plan?
There is and was none.
Signing Arenas and jamison for the bread he did was pure sickness. And based on Gils health, a crime.
Mr G does act like a rookie gm to me. Sorry."

Posted by: dovelevine | January 27, 2009 3:17 PM

“The Wiz have been stuck in the mud for 3 years now”
Think that might have had anything to do with the head coach? Just a thought.
I agree that signing Gil and AJ for that amount was nonsense. But I firmly believe Ernie was pressured by Abe to do it. Abe is a loyal man, who knows how to make money.

Gil brings a whole new fan base to Dc, and tremendous marketing opportunities to the franchise (when healthy). Abe knows this. Gil made the Wizards franchise a lot of money, based on apparel sales, advertising, etc. The Wiz got a whole new fan base, because of Gil. Thus, Abe rewarded him.

As for AJ, he is the “consummate” professional, who is a role model on and off the court who gives back to the city. Abe LOVES guys like this, and thus AJ was rewarded.

Believe me, I am the first to agree that we overpaid for these two guys, but I wouldn’t be too quick to point the finger at Ernie. Let’s not forget who signs Ernie’s paychecks.

And check Ernie's track record in Ny and Mil. It's not too shabby my friend.

Posted by: cj658 | January 27, 2009 3:41 PM

--Let’s not forget who signs Ernie’s paychecks.

This is a really good question actually and I'm not kidding. Every time I see Polin he looks like he's on his deathbed. Is he even running the show anymore? Not sure about that and not sure who is either.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 27, 2009 5:39 PM

He's made a good case for an All-Star berth that he probably won't get. Not his fault. Probably has a bonus clause in his contract.

Wish we had one more player with similar talent to add to him and Jamison.

Like they say: if wishes were horses, people would be cleaning up a lot of dung.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 27, 2009 5:48 PM

dovelevine wrote: "We gave up the rights to Devin Harris, who will be an all star stud for many years to come for Jamison, who was a 6th man coming off the bench at the time. ...Jamison played ok for a few years but the Mavs had it right--he's a 2nd stringer who works hard, will score a boatload of points if you let him take 20 shots a night and plays no D. Period. The ball never comes out when it touches his hands. He's as much a liability as an asset."

It's an intriguing thought: would Jamison be more effective coming off the bench? On a team like Detroit or Boston, probably; he 's scores inside and out, rebounds as well as any 6'7" scorer in the league, and doesn't take long to get started.

On the Wiz, of course, who would he back up? Team doesn't have that many scorers or rebounders,

Devin Harris is a talented guy, a gem on defense and a speed demon end to end. But what we're seeing in NJ is more a matter of the scheme that fits him best. his role is to penetrate and score or kick the ball out to a jump shooter. To do that he needs a terrific first step, a knack for going to the basket and a feel for where his teammates have stationed themselves on the perimeter. He's got all those. So now he's an All-Star.

He wasn't that great in Dallas. Which is why they traded him. For an aging Jason Kidd, I might add. But Harris fits the Nets better than Kidd has yet fit the Mavs.

Neither one is much of a jump shooter.

Who's the best PG in the game today? I'd vote for Chris Paul, and until he got hurt, maybe Deron Williams of Utah. Tony Parker always gets a vote. Steve Nash two seasons back, not now. Gilbert Arenas? A wonderful scorer, but there's more to the position. |

Posted by: Samson151 | January 27, 2009 6:01 PM

A team that is supposed to have two All-Stars should not be 9-35!

Neither Butler or Jamison should say they deserve to be on the All-Star team this year.

Posted by: SELAHSIXX | January 27, 2009 7:25 PM

didn't have a plan B when he fired Jordan

You realize he can't, right? Or more accurately he can't appear to.

Avery Johnson didn't take the memphis job in part because of the way they treated their outgoing coach. The front office appeared to have a plan B. Crucial mistake, and because of it they will have a difficult time ever getting a quality coach again. No coach will ever trust them to fully support him.

Let's review EG's coaching hires:

Don Nelson
Jeff Van Gundy
George Karl

Exactly who on that list is not a very good coach? the man has a very solid track record, coach and player wise. He's made some personnel mistakes in his career, granted, but name a GM who hasn't. I've posted his personnel moves before, i find them to be very solid.

Posted by: jones-y | January 27, 2009 11:28 PM

No no no. Ernie has never hired a head coach. George Karl was already in place in Milwaukee. Van Gundy was inherited per MSG mgmt, and the Nelson thing was above EG's paygrade too.

Posted by: erniegone | January 27, 2009 11:41 PM

EG hired Don Nelson (he was team VP/GM at the time) and promoted Jeff Van Gundy (he was team president/GM at the time, and a promotion counts as a hire). There were only two people in the Knicks organization higher than him at the time he hired Nelson (the president and the owner), and one when he promoted Van Gundy (the owner). I'm sure they had their say, but those hires have gone down in the record books as EG's hires.

He hired one future HOF coach and one that reached the championship on his watch (and got back to the conf finals the following year).

You're right about George Karl, my mistake, he was in place when EG got there.

Even without Karl, that's an impressive resume.

Posted by: jones-y | January 28, 2009 12:29 AM

Caron, winning games for your team also counts to be in the All-Star.
Also, stop trying to be like Gilbert Arenas shooting those last second shot from the 3 point area. Be yourself and attack the basket like you did in your previous all star years.

Posted by: iamdawalrus | January 28, 2009 1:24 PM

The Wiz this year are no different than Miami was last year....except they had Pat Reilly as their GM/Coach and he knew when to shut it down and get ready for next year. Taps is playing AJ and CB3 way too many minutes on a team that has little to no chance of winning 20 games this year. Cut their minutes down to about 30 a night and start getting ready for next year by playing the young guys like McGee, Young, McGuire, and AB (when he's back) as many minutes as they can handle.

Miami has bounced back this year after getting D. Wade back healthy and unloading a lot of the dead weight veterans left over from the championship team. EG should be looking at ways of rebuilding next season by unloading some of the veterans who contracts expire in 2010 (ET, James, Songaila, etc.) IF Agent Zero isn't able to play at all this year so the Wiz can evaluate him, it will make it that much harder to determine how to use our lottery pick. I'm hoping Griffin comes out and we have the No. 1 pick to select him.

Posted by: wizfan89 | January 28, 2009 6:03 PM

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