Guess Who's Back?
Nope, this entry is not about the highly-anticipated return of Gilbert Arenas. It's about my return to the Washington Wizards beat. You may have noticed that there is no longer some dude grinning in a picture next to me anymore.
Well, unless you've been under a rock the past two weeks -- or didn't decide to pay attention to the Wizards until Arenas announced his return -- Ivan Carter resigned from the Washington Post to become the host of Washington Post Live on Comcast. He's a TV star now. I'll wish him luck and give him a round of applause for covering this team the past four years. His last two stories for the paper ran today. You can read them here and here.
With Ivan gone, I've left my post as the National NBA writer to get back into the grind of covering the Wizards once again. I know I'm not a stranger to any of you, but for those of you who may not know, I actually covered the Wizards during the 2004-05 season. That was a long time ago, when the Wizards ended an eight-year playoff drought and advanced to the conference semifinals (yes, people, Gilbert Arenas has taken a team out of the first round!). That was a fun ride, with Arenas and Larry Hughes forming a lethal backcourt and Antawn Jamison providing inspirational leadership for a young, up-and-coming team.
Things are a little different now. Since then, LeBron James has kept the Wizards from advancing beyond the first round and this has been one of the worst seasons in franchise history. With nine games left, I promise that you won't get a drop-off in coverage of the Wizards. I won't offer as much NBA coverage over the next few weeks, but I will still give you "The Other Side" and "Monday Morning Point Guard" in addition to the daily updates on the Wizards. I will also travel with the team the rest of the season and chronicle every step Arenas makes throughout his long-awaited comeback.
When I heard that Arenas was going to come back Saturday against Detroit, I was a little thrilled that I'll be a part of what should be a great night at Verizon Center (The fans needed to get excited about something other than the Chipotle burrito toss). No matter now you may feel about it, Arenas's return adds some buzz to the end of a forgettable season.
The Wizards Insider was much easier as a two-man operation, but you'll no longer have to wonder who was the author of any blog post. I hope that you guys and gals will enjoy riding with me through the next few months as the team searches for a new coach, figures out what it will do with a high draft pick, and begins the recovery from being the worst team in the Eastern Conference. We're going to have some fun.
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