Nick Young: Last Man Standing

I made it! (AP Photo/Lance Murphey)

If Nick Young, as expected, enters tonight's season finale against the Boston Celtics, he will be the official winner of "Survivor: Washington Wizards Edition." Antawn Jamison will not play because of a sprained right foot suffered during the Wizards' loss to Toronto on Monday, meaning that Young will finish the season as the only player to appear in all 82 games this season. That's pretty impressive, considering the Wizards had 17 different players on the team this season.

Jamison's injury has to be pretty serious to keep from attempting to have the sixth 82-game season of his career, especially when you consider that he has played through some other ailments. Jamison will likely have his foot examined after the season. He left the game against Toronto with more than 10 minutes remaining with the same foot injury that forced him to leave the win against Cleveland on April 2. Neither Jamison nor Gilbert Arenas participated in shootaround this morning and will be spectators.

It looked like Young's chances of winning the survivor competition were over on April 4, when he sprained his left knee in a collision with Miami's Jamaal Magloire after playing just one minute. But he came back to play four days later in Cleveland. He has scored 31 points his past three games.

The Wizards have watched players drop all season. Gilbert Arenas went down first with left knee surgery; then Brendan Haywood was wiped out by right wrist surgery; then Oleksiy Pecherov, Dee Brown and JaVale McGee succumbed to the dreaded DNP-Coach's Decision; then Antonio Daniels had a bum right knee; Juan Dixon and Dominic McGuire felt the pain of the notorious DNP; Javaris Crittenton arrived and quickly became another victim of the DNP; Darius Songaila had a DNP before eventually going down with a neck injury; Caron Butler couldn't make it to the new year without spraining his right ankle; DeShawn Stevenson's back gave out on him; Etan Thomas tore the MCL in his right knee; Andray Blatche sprained his left knee; Mike James, who never gets hurt, broke his right pinky finger; and now Jamison's season is done with a foot problem.

Congrats, Nick Young. You earned it.

By Michael Lee |  April 15, 2009; 1:52 PM ET
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lets go Caps!!! and let's go #20

Posted by: BurgwithaU | April 15, 2009 2:03 PM

"DeShawn Stevenson's back gave out on him;"

Don't you mean, Deshawn Stevenson gave up on us?

Posted by: CBell29 | April 15, 2009 2:47 PM

What makes NY's accomplishment even more impressive is that, as I seem to remember, he sat out a few practices in camp with a knee problem, and it was projected that he would need postseason surgery.

Hey Mike, what's the deal with Gilbert Arenas. What happened to playing every other game? Why did he shut it down? Are we supposed to believe, in good faith, that everything is fine with his knee? Or are they saying everything is fine now only to revise his status after season ticket sales are finalized?

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | April 15, 2009 3:05 PM

yea - i try to believe the best, but i'm not buying the 'everything is fine' line. if the knee were fine, he'd be playing according to the published schedule. maybe with some minor variations, but not completely stopping play.

Congrats on finding something positive to say about Young's year, one of our great number 1 draft choices. Must have taken the entire WP research team to come up with that one.

Posted by: stevie2 | April 15, 2009 3:13 PM

I'm afraid DeSHAWN will learn that back problems are quite often chronic and after struggling to play next season will have to call it a career. Hopefully not, but that's a feasible scenerio unfortunately.

And ETAN THOMAS playing with a repaired knee and a healed sternum as an inside player? No, can't see it. Yet he's got to give it a go with that contract he has. Can't walk and leave all that coin on the table.

And ARENAS playing twice then no more on that repaired, repaired knee. Gives me the sensibility of a LaVAR ARRINGTON clone, god forbid. But again, that contract dictates play. At least, I have hope that ARENAS will recover and play to the best of his ability, even if not up to the level of before.

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 15, 2009 3:21 PM

Mike please provide us with some actually important news such as if Gilby is playing tonight or not. Updates on the Flip Saunders situation, or what the Wizards are thinking about in terms of the the pick etc...

Who cares if NY played in 82 games....we won 19(20) of them...I'm a huge NY fan but please give us blogs of value...

Posted by: insanity999 | April 15, 2009 3:27 PM

PLEASE ask Tap, Ernie, or whoever what is really going on with GA rather than all the "we're trying to be as conservative as possible" stuff. As recently as Friday before the game at Toronto and over the weekend, Ed Tapscott said to the media that they were saving Gil for the home game vs the Raptors because they thought he should be playing in front of the home fans. Based on that, I got tickets to for my kids. They were psyched to see GA play for the only time this season. Then, lo and behold, they announce Mon. afternoon Gil will not be playing. What is the REAL reason they announced this detailed schedule of games Gil would and would not play, and then completely ignored it?

Posted by: center3 | April 15, 2009 3:33 PM

i think Gilbert Re-injured his knee. and i think we will hear about him getting another knee surgery once again.

they better draft a point guard, or get someone like jason terry or jr smith. cos Gilbert and his 111million knee is done with

Posted by: jasperhneyaolcom | April 15, 2009 3:46 PM

DeShawn Stevenson can't feel his back.

Posted by: tsbrul1 | April 15, 2009 3:55 PM

Nick Young playing 82 games is news? He only plays 33 percent of the time and has no defense. The Wizards are the only team he could play for now, well maybe Sacramento or the Clippers. Nick Young and Blatche must go. They are both lazy, inconsistant and cancers to this team. We need players here that are grateful to have a NBA job making that kind of money, not smart allecks who think the league is doing them a favor. Nick Young Pleeze!

Posted by: Aivdivad | April 15, 2009 4:11 PM

Aivdivad is absolutely right about Nick Young. The incredible lack of effort he shows on the floor, except when he might have a shot, is deplorable. Guys like NY and Blatche could be important players if they played hard like Dominic McGuire. But I think we've all seen enough to know that's not going to happen. Also, if I was Flip Saunders, I would want to know what the plan is if GA is washed up. There's definitely more going on then Wiz management is telling us.

Posted by: clfrdj | April 15, 2009 4:33 PM

GA looked okay in the two games he played, but also looked like his knee was still not 100% based on his lack of lateral movement and coming up short on his shots. My guess is that he was okay to play if he wanted to, but decided not to risk it after they won the Cleveland game.

As for NY, he showed little to nothing this year especially when the starting SG spot opened up. I'm hoping the Wiz move him in the offseason while he still has some trade value.

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 15, 2009 4:42 PM

I'm checking out all the hating on Nick Young on this blog. Wouldn't it be great if Mister Young made all of you haters eat your words with his performance tonight in BeanTown?

Posted by: musicmanjr | April 15, 2009 4:46 PM

Yeah, because scoring 40 points in the meaningless final game of a franchise worst losing season that was basically over in December against the 2nd seeded conference playoff them that'll likely be resting all of its starters and key rotation guys and playing nothing but scrubs would sure show us.

Go Nick, go!

That being said . . . calling Young and Blatche "cancers" is ridiculous. They're under performing disappointments, sure. But cancers? Not even close. In order for them to be locker room cancers, someone in the locker room who mattered would have to actually pay attention to them.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 15, 2009 4:54 PM

As Center3 asked above, please tell us the real reason Gilbert only played two games. He was supposed to play all of the home games, wasn't he? Like Center3, we bought tickets to the Toronto game because we thought he was going to play.

Posted by: gburggal | April 15, 2009 5:08 PM


Evidently DeBRICK's hands went numb as well.

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 15, 2009 6:03 PM


YES. So let's see it.

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 15, 2009 6:05 PM

JAVARIS CRITTENTON is the future of PG on this team as long as ERNIE G. is GM. And I think he will excel if given burn and support, but not next year. If GIL is down we've got to have a two year short-term solution in the form of a major talent at the #1. MIKE JAMES? Only in his own mind. NO.

And THABEET declared for the draft today. He's as good as gold. Oh, I forgot. WIZ retired those jerseys. Anyway, if GRIFFIN's gone, we'll hopefully pick next and take HT. Then we can package another inside player with ETAN THOMAS, MIKE JAMES, ALEXI PECHEROV and move them for cap space.

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 15, 2009 6:17 PM

I think people asking for Nick Young to be traded are foolish at best. There are not too many bonafide 20 point scorers in this league, and he is going to be one of them given time.

Sure his defense was a concern early but I think it's improved...he's certainly no worse than Stevenson who was a called a 'defender' but couldn't contain or stop anybody this year.

The fact NY smiles on court and enjoys himself on court should not be a knock on him. Read Ivan Carter's earlier blogs about how he's one of the hardest workers in terms of practice etc. Had Tapscott given him more minutes this year I think you would have seen develop more in his game in terms of passing, defense, rebounding, etc.

If Gilbert can come back healthy next year I have a strong sense Nick can average about 15 ppg a game with 4-5 rebounds and assists in Flip's offense. Not bad considering he wont be getting many shots with Gil, Caron, Antawn and Haywood out there.

Posted by: insanity999 | April 15, 2009 6:38 PM

At his current rate of production, Young would have to play about 90 mpg to average 5 assists and 60 mpg to averge 5 rebounds.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 15, 2009 7:09 PM

Congratulations for making all the games Nick, especially considering he did have knee problems in the preseason.

Posted by: washwiz | April 15, 2009 8:09 PM

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