Mike James Done For Season

I'm out, y'all. (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

In this worst-case scenario season, you can add Mike James to the list of injured players who won't play again this season for the Washington Wizards. Interim coach Ed Tapscott was hoping that James had merely jammed his finger in practice on Friday, but James emerged from shoot-around Saturday morning wearing a cast on his shooting hand after an X-ray revealed a broken right pinkie.

The veteran guard said on Saturday morning that he broke his right pinkie in three places and likely will have surgery on Tuesday. James even put aside any doubt the severity of the injury when pulled out his iPhone and showed his X-ray.

James said he was chasing down a loose ball when he and Caron Butler slapped at the ball at the same time. He said that he knew immediately that he was done. "I felt it," James said. "I knew as soon as I grabbed the ball, I couldn't feel the ball and that side of the hand was hurting."

James's injury comes at a time when Gilbert Arenas is expected to make his return after missing the first 73 games with a left knee injury. Arenas participated in the first half of shoot-around this morning and Tapscott said Arenas will still be listed as a game-time decision tonight.

"Another guy goes down," Tapscott said. "It's been the story of our season. We've been plagued by injury problems, we just have to be flexible and adjust. We'll wait until we see what happens, how we're going to configure the lineup. This obviously means we'll have more playing time for Javaris Crittenton and Nick Young. We'll figure it out. That's what we do."

James averaged 9.6 points and 3.6 assists in 53 games -- 50 starts -- since joining the Wizards in a Dec. 10 trade with the New Orleans Hornets that also yielded Crittenton from Memphis. "I've never had a broken bone before and I've never been injured in my career," James said. "For me to have this, I always thought I was like Wolverine from the X-men. All my bruises heal. Now, I'm like nah, unh ungh."

With the plan for Arenas not to play back-to-back games, the Wizards could find themselves with a really, really short-handed backcourt in Indiana on Sunday. Juan Dixon is still out with an Achilles injury and DeShawn Stevenson is out for the season with a back injury, leaving the Wizards with three options at guard -- Crittenton, Young and Butler -- on the nights without Arenas.

By Michael Lee |  March 28, 2009; 12:42 PM ET
Previous: Guess Who's Back? | Next: The Other Side: Detroit Pistons


Please email us to report offensive comments.

He has no role on the team anyway. He has no room for growth as a player. He's not the type of veteran that championship teams build their rosters with. He is immature, a poor shooter and a terrible distributor and runner of the Wizards offense. Furthermore, his playing time is time taken away from Javaris Crittenton.
James was an expiring contract, brought to the Wizards solely for the purposes of making the trade for Crittenton work. For him to have ended up with significant playing time, much less a starting spot, is indicative less of his value than of the Bizarro-world Ed Tapscott lives in, where being at the bottom of the league with seven young players is still not cause enough to make the only remaining potential use of the season, which is developing these young players by giving them minutes that they would not have were it not for this circumstance.
At least Critt and Young get more PT. They are our future. They are Wizards. Mike James is a Wizard-for-salary-reasons-only.

Posted by: emmet1 | March 28, 2009 1:20 PM

That said, best wishes for Mike James in his recovery, and I hope he has a solid rest of his career, only with another team.
And thanks for the info Mike

Posted by: emmet1 | March 28, 2009 1:22 PM

I really like Mike James - and I'm hoping he stays with the Wiz. A true character guy.

And a broken pinky finger sucks....broke mine last year.

Posted by: Lisa_R | March 28, 2009 1:27 PM

I found it interesting that JAMES produced his X-RAY as proof the injury wasn't mere convenience. What's that say about the veracity of comments between the players and the sports media of this town?

That said, I'm sorry for JAMES. With nine to go and hoping against hope for a win each time out, another will surely bounce us from the top three of the BLAKE GRIFFIN sweeps. We need that pick, more than ever - if someone within the organization knows what to do with it.

BLATCHE looks and sounds like a man on the way out of this organization. He's no KWAME BROWN and will prosper elsewhere in my opinion. Likewise, CARON BUTLER looks none too happy. He would become ALL-WORLD in another organization.

IF we should be most fortunate and get the first pick, as GM, I would take GRIFFIN then immediately package THOMAS to get cap room minus the hit, BLATCHE and BUTLER to the next team and take THABEET. Fantasy basketball is fun isn't it?

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 28, 2009 1:58 PM

It's like one of those haunted house movies. Who's going to be the last Wizard standing?

Posted by: psps23 | March 28, 2009 2:14 PM

Will Grunfeld now attempt to over pay James by way of a long term contract???

Posted by: sjp879 | March 28, 2009 2:25 PM

That's so true, just like the haunted house movies, just strange. Especially since Mike said he's never had a broken bone or injury? Wish him a speedy recovery.

Posted by: washwiz | March 28, 2009 2:25 PM

My immature comment is related to viewing of Supernanny and his official website, which declares him to be "one of the highest ranked players in the NBA today."The theme song on his website is called "Mike James Tribute." one of the most formidable players in the league.
"Among the contemporaries of the National Basketball Association none display a greater natural basketball intellect than Mike James of the Minnesota Timberwolves."
He considers himself "along side league greats such as Tracy McGrady, Steve Nash and Yao Ming."
Although most competitors have big egos and healthy self-confidence, Mike James self-confidence is borderline delusional.
Aside from the character considerations though, NBA teams are in the business of winning championship and Mike James has no ability now or in the future to give the Wizards a championship. He doesn't excel in a particular subset of basketball skills, such as shooting or ballhandling or passing and therefore is not a role player. He doesn't have the overall talent to be a starter, or garner significant minutes. The Hornets didn't deem him worthy of the backup point guard spot, and so he was third/fourth string pg for them. The situation in Houston was similar, if I remember.

Posted by: emmet1 | March 28, 2009 2:26 PM

This team is really getting ready to divide into old vs young. Gil's mouth as usual is causing the trouble but Metawn has been driving that bus for some time. Foolish.

Posted by: h20law2000 | March 28, 2009 2:27 PM

Emmet11...... James will be back next year, its a shame but he will. He has a player option worth 6. something million (I think its 6.8) ....anyways unless he's trade, you know he's taking that, he will never see 6 mil a year again. I wish we could have kept AD and made the trade for Crittenton with the Grizlees, if we had AD this season we would have had a better D and PG presence and we would have probably won 30 games, maybe snuch in the playoffs as the 8th seed. AD would have give us the same point production and been a better influence on the young guys than James and his erratic play.

Oh well, next year will be better and I'm sure we will get BGriffin or Thabeet....which will make us even deeper on the front court.

the question is what to do in the 2nd, I want a PG, either Collison, Abrams, Rice, McClinton or others. I want a guy like Dixon used to be, a good ball handler, but great shooter.

09 Staring Lineup
Pg Crittenton
Sg Arenas
Sf Butler
Pf Jamison
C Haywood

Hello playoffs, maybe a home playoff game even.

Posted by: avbanig | March 28, 2009 2:28 PM


thabeet is not going to be good in the nba. he's one of those players that dominates in college, but disappears when he goes pro.

it would be a terrible idea for the wiz to even think about thabeet.

with this draft, its either griffin or trade the pick in a package with thomas and/or james to shed salary and hopefully get a veteran who can actually help out the wiz.

Posted by: dcsports12 | March 28, 2009 2:33 PM

i will say this history always repeats itself i remeber a time win the wiz back when they where the bullets had two guys like big ben, the rashed and webber and we took j.howard. so in my opinon james and thomas maybe...no wait they need to GO

Posted by: MGDMaster21 | March 28, 2009 2:45 PM

BLATCHE looks and sounds like a man on the way out of this organization. He's no KWAME BROWN and will prosper elsewhere in my opinion. Likewise, CARON BUTLER looks none too happy. He would become ALL-WORLD in another organization.

IF we should be most fortunate and get the first pick, as GM, I would take GRIFFIN then immediately package THOMAS to get cap room minus the hit, BLATCHE and BUTLER to the next team and take THABEET. Fantasy basketball is fun isn't it?

Posted by: glawrence007 |

And where, pray tell, are you seeing this? Wizards Magazine did a segment with Blatche just last week and he said he loves it here. Same with Caron - despite the losses.

Posted by: Lisa_R | March 28, 2009 3:07 PM

I can't believe all the rancor towards Mike James. The guy was brought in to replace AD when it became absolutely clear to anyone with half a brain that AD could no longer play more than 10 decent minutes a night. James gave the team a lot of minutes, and actually helped win a game or two, while the coaching staff waited for Javaris to develop a bit in practice. He's on the books for next year but his expiring contract could be packaged in a trade with our high draft pick (assuming it is not #1 or #2) and Blatche for a solid role player and a mid-level pick that could turn into a DeJuan Blair.

I don't disagree that Mike's season ending injury gives Javaris more on-court time and such, but why hate on a professional who simply came in and did his job reasonably well under tough conditions?

Posted by: khrabb | March 28, 2009 3:13 PM

In this worst-case scenario season, you can add Mike James to the list of injured players who won't play again this season for the Washington Wizards.

By Michael Lee | March 28, 2009; 12:42 PM ET

This was a joke, right? Worst-case scenario Mike James is out for season?? Mike, this is a BEST-case scenario. Mike James is not a team player. Mike James is all about Mike James. The guy only cares about his stats, not the team winning. He needs to not be on this roster next year.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 28, 2009 3:44 PM

In 30 years of watching basketball, I have never seen a more selfish player than Mike James. Ever.

He will be packaged along with our pick and hopefully Etan to a place far, far away.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 28, 2009 3:50 PM

Addition by subtraction...

Posted by: MEssex | March 28, 2009 4:27 PM

Mike James, welcome to the Wizards, the jinx of NBA. :(

When Arenas is playing, Crittenton would be a better backup PG than James anyway. However, when Arenas is not playing, we are short on PGs.

Posted by: sagaliba | March 28, 2009 4:53 PM

"He has no role on the team anyway."

Exactly, who cares?

He's just a ball hog taking away minutes from people who have a future here.

I hope he bails out and goes to another team next year.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | March 28, 2009 4:57 PM

What the hell???!!!??

Is there any other NBA team that has been beset wtih as many injuries as this team? If it wasn't for bad luck this team wouldn't have any luck at all. Oh well, I guess it is par for the course. On that note, I think Gil should just wait until next year to come back at this rate.

Posted by: ivyleague | March 28, 2009 5:43 PM

While everyone is sold on Blake Griffin I am not. What position in the NBA is going to play? He shows no touch more than a few feet from the basket and shoots what from the free throw line? About 50% I think. If he plays center everyone is going to be his size or bigger and with more ball skills at least on the elite teams in the league from what I see. The Wizards need to get faster and quicker if they are going to improve on defense next season. Besides this team is much more than one player away from contending for a championship.

Posted by: dandyhuffman | March 28, 2009 5:49 PM


The aura surrounding those two is green, they're gone. Just hackin' on ya' LISA. Just a sense. Besides its just my opinion. You know how that goes, first your money, then your clothes.

I'm concerned about what we do with GRIFFIN OFF the board because to get him I truely believe we'll need to trade for him. The LIZARDS are not THAT lucky to get the #1. So if we're fourth or tenth who do we pick? These are the things EG and his staff will have to reason. I'm thinking maybe we trade our pick unless we can get GRIFFIN.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 28, 2009 6:25 PM

Unseld and Reed weren't the tallest trees in the woods, but their strength inside dominated to several championships..GET GRIFFIN!!

Posted by: frak | March 28, 2009 6:51 PM


Blake Griffin is a POWER forward, duh! A legit power forward that plays defense, plays tough, plays offense and is athletic. Your about the only person not sold on him as the number one pick in the draft. Thank god your not the GM!

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 29, 2009 12:05 AM

Not just A power forward, but rather a POWER forward. Yes, but what's the option if SACRAMENTO has already picked him.?

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 29, 2009 12:13 AM


Posted by: joe12341 | March 29, 2009 1:42 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.


© 2007 The Washington Post Company