Big Gheorghe Muresan Also Going to China

I reported last week that the Wizards are going to make a return to China as part of a step to generate greater business relationships and partnerships within the country. I mentioned that Wes Unseld, Caron Butler and Randy Foye would be a part of the 10-day visit to commemorate the Bullets' trip to China 30 years ago. But former Bullet Gheorghe Muresan will also be a part of the contingent, which will make stops in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Yingxiu from Sept. 5-15.

Others along for the ride include Peter Biche, the Wizards' president of business operations, Ed Tapscott, the team's director of player programs, and assistant coach Wes Unseld Jr. But I have a feeling that the member of that entourage who will receive the most attention is the 7-foot-7 Romanian who was a fan favorite during his four seasons with the Bullets and still serves as the tallest man (along with former Bullet Manute Bol) to ever play in the NBA. Muresan's career was cut short because of a back injury in 2000, when he was a member of the New Jersey Nets.

Since then, Muresan became the adversary to former Wizard Peter John Ramos in Mike Wise's orchestrated feud during the 2005 playoffs. He also played in a game with 7-9 Sun Mingming for the Maryland Nighthawks two years ago. AOL Fanhouse highlighted his a few weeks ago. Muresan was the star in the Billy Crystal film "My Giant" but will most likely be remembered for being the ventriloquist in Eminem's "My Name Is Video" and his quirky commercials for ESPN's Sports Center and Snickers. You know he's going to smell good in China. Is that cabbage, Gheorghe?


By Michael Lee |  August 26, 2009; 10:43 AM ET
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and this helps the Wizards how?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 26, 2009 10:56 AM

The Wizards are right there. They could easily be this years Orlando.

If they truly get mentally to the point that Teams can't stop them and KNOW that they have an answer for Defense with their Offense, they could finagle the East.

It could happen. There are some strong posters here that do not see it. Kalo, 88er', BF78, and some others based upon conventional wisdom would say I am delusional.

They would like to point out all the negatives on why it cannot be done.

I would like to point out the positives on why it can be done.

Being rated 4th in the East going in means anything can happen.

Having three Allstars and one being argubly one the best players in the League with something to prove is huge.

A coach that clearly wants to and has a gameplan to win it all.

An Owner that clearly has one goal to win another championship before Father Time comes calling.

What do you think? I think it is possible?

Whereas as I am sure Gilbert might say, the impossible might never be possible, if you never believed it to be so.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 26, 2009 11:02 AM

Hoopsdoctors.com ranks the Zards front court #3 in the NBA!!

http://thehoopdoctors.com/online2/2009/08/grading-the-nba-frontcourt-edition/

I'm a Wizard fan, but I find that ranking incredibly optimistic.

Posted by: bozomoeman | August 26, 2009 11:15 AM

Others along for the ride include.....Ed Tapscott, the team's director of player programs, and assistant coach Wes Unseld Jr.

This is as bad as George W. giving George Tenet the Presidential Medal of Freedom after saying Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

What's going on in the world where people who screw up get rewarded?

I know, it's the people who play their part and don't speak out against the organization who get rewarded.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 26, 2009 11:24 AM

Larry,

I don't think you're delusional. I respect the fact that you see the glass half full and want to point out the positives on why it can be done.

I just think there are too many factors (new coach, players coming off injuries, depending on players AB, JM who haven't proven they can play in the NBA yet, team chemistry, and the willingness to play "D") for this team to win a championship.

Is the team going to be better than the 19 wins last year? YES! Should they make the playoffs? YES! Can they beat the Lakers if both teams are healthy? NO!

After being disappointed by this team for 30 years you start to look at things differently. If it were the NFL (where any team has a chance to win a Super Bowl) I may be persuaded by your enthusiasm, but this is the NBA. In the NFL playoff system any team can win one game but over a seven game series usually the better team wins and I don’t see the Wizards being the best team.


Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 26, 2009 11:14 AM

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 26, 2009 11:26 AM

I once sat near Big Gheorghe on a flight from Austria. He was in the back in coach (he was one of the last people on) and luckily some lady let him sit in the aisle. I've never felt worse for someone on a flight than him. I have no clue how he even made it into the flight bathroom, but he did.

everyone around him had no clue who he was except one other guy and me.

Posted by: mbhowa | August 26, 2009 11:32 AM

bulletsfan78

I understand your perspective and LarryInClinton too. Glass half empty vs Glass half full. That is not the problem around here though. The problem seems to be that everybody gets the benefit of the doubt around here but the wizards. The wizards have to prove themselves innocent because they are assumed guilty. I, like Larry, see the wizards as innocent for the next season is innocent until proven guilty.

People will say they cant see the wizards going from a 19 win team last yeaar to a 50 win team this year. It is too much of a jump. But, they were not a 19 win team last year if they were healthy. The talent was there last year too. Last years Sacramento team was not a fair comparison to last years wizards team. You know it and I know it.

Posted by: G-Man11 | August 26, 2009 12:09 PM

Hoopsdoctors.com ranks the Zards front court #3 in the NBA!!

http://thehoopdoctors.com/online2/2009/08/grading-the-nba-frontcourt-edition/

I'm a Wizard fan, but I find that ranking incredibly optimistic.

Posted by: bozomoeman | August 26, 2009 11:15 AM

Wow! Another reason to believe they can finagle the East.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 26, 2009 12:12 PM

BulletsFan78,

Your comparison of the NFL, one and done, and the NBA 7-game series is absolutely valid.

However, the dynamics of this Wizards Team getting that far would seem to make the odds possible.

You site unproven players, I'd rather look at these unproven players as the real deal with something to prove. These unproven players you have to admit have never been given a proper chance to prove themselves worthy.

BF78, I looking around the League and it ain't as top heavy with sure fire can't misses as some years in the past.

I think the League right now is ripe for a surprise Champion as we almost had in Orlando last year.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 26, 2009 12:27 PM

Larry

I agree with you. I also understand that you don't mean that the Wizards should be favored. But they have a legitimate chance. The favorites are a lil overrated and the wizards are a lil underrated, which means the gap ain't so big.

Posted by: G-Man11 | August 26, 2009 12:38 PM

'Can they beat the Lakers if both teams are healthy? NO!'

This past season's Lakers team wasnt as good as the previous year's Celtics team anyway. And we played them very, very well.

Posted by: divi3 | August 26, 2009 12:47 PM

I can only assume Hoop Doctors is a site devoted to sports satire. The Wiz with the #3 frontcourt? Come on.

"This past season's Lakers team wasnt as good as the previous year's Celtics team anyway. And we played them very, very well."

The old "A beat B and B beat C so A must be better than C" argument? A classic. Too bad it almost never turns out to be true. (Never mind the fact that the previous season's Celtics team won a title and the previous season's Wizards got bounced in the first round.)

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 26, 2009 12:52 PM

'The old "A beat B and B beat C so A must be better than C" argument? A classic. Too bad it almost never turns out to be true. (Never mind the fact that the previous season's Celtics team won a title and the previous season's Wizards got bounced in the first round.)'

There really was no argument intended, just an observation.

Here's another:

No need to care about the Lakers anyway, it's teams in our own conference (like the Celtics) that matter.

Posted by: divi3 | August 26, 2009 12:55 PM

divi

if both teams are healthy? you are probably correct. We have to see how the other players fit in around the Arenas, Caron, Jamison, and Haywood. The top of the lakers is better than the wizards top, but when you add in the depth, we'll see. And don't sleep on the fact that Boston has its hands full of the wizards without Arenas. In a playoff series, Boston would have their hands full, NO DOUBT! Just like they had their hands full with Atlanta and Philly that year in the playoffs. The difference in teams aren't as big as people make them out to be.

Posted by: G-Man11 | August 26, 2009 12:57 PM

THIS TRIP IS A WASTE OF TIME. LETS ONLY FOCUS ON WINNING A CHAMPIONSHIP. HOW DOES THIS HELP US WIN MORE GAMES, ENDURE A LONG SEASON?

Posted by: Michael52 | August 26, 2009 1:37 PM

Which reminds me, wouldn't be great to have one statistic to take into account positive accomplishments, such as field goals, free throws, 3-pointers, assists, rebounds, blocks and steals, and negative ones, such as missed shots, turnovers and personal fouls, and then adjusted to a per-minute basis and for the team's pace.

That would eliminate all debate and make Samsom so very happy.

Posted by: Izman | August 26, 2009 1:49 PM

"That would eliminate all debate and make Samsom so very happy.Posted by: Izman"

LOL not a chance. I'm mistrustful of stats that are too inclusive. Like when Tom Boswell fell in love with something called Baseball Total Average (he's still in love with it, for that matter). I think you're best off when you assemble a small number of well-validated indicators and use them to triangulate. But make debate unnecessary? You don't get that in physics or chemistry, let alone softer sciences like statistics.

Example of an indicator: in pro football, there's a real correlation between 3rd down conversion efficiency and overall team success. Still quite a debate over why, but the correlation remains high.


Posted by: Samson151 | August 26, 2009 2:12 PM

I don't think this trip is a waste. I only wish that more of the current Wizzies were going. This would be a great team building experience.
Regarding the HoopsDoctor's #3 assessment of the frontcourt---HoHum. Just an opinion.
I do think the Wizzies can go far -----HERE IT COMES-----if:
They stay healthy
The young guys mature.

The potential is there.
The depth of the team could take them into the playoffs with a rested team instead of one that is worn down.
I look for the ending contract guys to have big seasons and the breakout of AB,NY & JM.

If they only play 500 ball then Flip didn't do his job.

Posted by: VBFan | August 26, 2009 2:27 PM

"No need to care about the Lakers anyway, it's teams in our own conference (like the Celtics) that matter."

Last I checked, wins and losses against teams in both conferences count when it comes to determining the team's record at the end of the season.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 26, 2009 2:33 PM

"And don't sleep on the fact that Boston has its hands full of the wizards without Arenas. In a playoff series, Boston would have their hands full, NO DOUBT!"

Much doubt, actually. Veteran teams like the Celtics are built for the playoffs. They don't put the pedal to the floor throughout the regular season because they know they don't have to to get into the playoffs. They also don't give much thought to sending regular season messages in games against teams they know they aren't likely to face in the playoffs. The Wizards beating the Celtics in the regular season mean nothing last season or the one before and it means even less now.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 26, 2009 2:38 PM

The Wiz could be much improved, but their improvement is contingent on so many question marks that predictions are pretty much impossible. A team with playoff aspirations that hinge so much on young, inexperienced players can go south pretty quickly.

And, despite all of the theoretical improvements, they still don't have a half-court low post offensive presence.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 26, 2009 2:47 PM

'They also don't give much thought to sending regular season messages in games against teams they know they aren't likely to face in the playoffs.'

Actually that's not true. We played them back-to-back 2 seasons ago and there was some animosity. After beating them here, they absolutely wanted to take it to us in Boston, and we beat them there.

Then again in Boston when there is no doubt they were juiced for the game. In fact Doc put the starters back in late in the 4th to try and win it.

We matched up well with Boston that year, in part because Brendan and AB bother KG quite a bit.

But at any rate, that was then, and this now.

Posted by: divi3 | August 26, 2009 2:53 PM

Interesting point about the Celtics of two years ago being better then this year's Lakers. Would have been nice to see them go head to head again, but the Celtics lost their best player to injury.

If Kobe goes down, are the Lakers that scary anymore? As Wiz fans can tell you a team can look great and then if you're top three guys get hurt, a team that's first in the East can limp into the playoffs.

I'm not one of those "predict 50 wins in August guys". Lately I've noticed some creeping closer and closer to that really elite 60 win mark. But after three years of terrible injury luck, what if the Wizards are truely healthy?

Kobe shares one thing with Garnett, they both have a lot of NBA wear and tear on their bodies for their age. And Garnett isn't the only Celtic nearing the NBA AARP club. Those guys could all get healthy come playoff time and make one final push. On the other hand chances are they're not going to overcome father time.

I said a couple of weeks ago that this Wizards' team, if healthy, should fear no one. And that this season was going to be a lot of fun. Got the typical snarky replies.

I have a lot more fun watching games when the Wiz are winning, it remains to be seen if this team is fully healthy and will reach it's potential. But it has the highest potential I've seen in years.

I'd compare hiring Flip to when Dick Motta came on board years ago. We've got the players, the Coach, and the GM to make somethings happen.

So Larry, I'm in the Glass is way more then half full club.

Posted by: flohrtv | August 26, 2009 2:54 PM

PG - ALL STAR
SG - Former #5 pick entering his prime
SF - ALL STAR
PF - ALL STAR
C - Solid veteran
6th man - former 6th man of the year

Why should the Wizards fear anyone? Maybe it'll flop, but on paper it looks like they should be able to beat any other team in the NBA.

Posted by: jon_quest | August 26, 2009 5:40 PM

I'm sure this was a proud day in the Muresan family...to be part of the Barnum and Bailey show.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | August 26, 2009 7:45 PM

...I like the Dick Motta camparison.
All the Wiz need now is to fill their gaping hole down low, as Bobby D did at the SF position many years ago--but this time in the form of a big burly and/or really tall dude who can score consistently in the paint and play some strong D on the Elton Brand types at PF. If AB and/or McGee show they can not consistently fill this role by mid January, Ernie will need to make a midseason move to fill this obvious scoring/defending need in the post.

This should not be too hard to do, as by that point in January Ernie and Flip will know which of the talented Wiz backcourt players are expendable due to lack of available playing time. A package of the expendable Wiz front court player(s) combined with a package of AB, plus MJames' expiring contract...should fetch a quality big man from a nonplayoff bound team. Ernie just needs to be patient, which he seems pretty good at so far.

Posted by: oddjob1 | August 27, 2009 12:31 PM

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