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Thoughts on Brendan, LeBron and Rashard


Brendan is going to have a lot to talk about on Friday. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)


I won't be able to catch Brendan Haywood's debut on his sports talk radio show tonight from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on 106.7 The Fan because I'm in Florida and plan on attending the National Association of Black Journalists convention in Tampa. I'm interested in getting your feedback on how Haywood does.

From what I hear, this is a one-time deal and Haywood will get invited back this summer based on his performance and the response from fans. He should do all right, since he has always been an underrated quote and his yardbarker.com blog is pretty good. Nothing compares to Gilbert Arenas's once popular blog, but Haywood has some strong opinions and his recent take on Stephon Marbury is rather hilarious.

I would've liked to have been in Tampa on Thursday when the NABJ Sports Task Force scored a sit down interview with LeBron James. James finally opened up about the dunk video that Nike confiscated from his basketball camp (says he had nothing to do with it), not shaking hands with the Orlando Magic (says he still wouldn't), not talking to the media after Cleveland was eliminated from the playoffs (wishes he could take it back), playing with Shaquille O'Neal (says it's great) and his future with the Cavaliers (he hopes to return after this season).

The only problem I saw with James's comments was how he still doesn't understand that snubbing the Magic was not a good look. He said, "I think sometimes people want you to accept losing, and I will never accept losing. There's ways to handle it certain times, and shaking hands may be it. But I will never accept losing, at anything that I do."

Shaking hands is not accepting defeat; it's acknowledging the victor. There is a big difference. I guess James and I will just agree to disagree.

The funny thing about the whole handshake controversy is that the first player who approached James and got snubbed as James stormed off the court was Rashard Lewis. Maybe James knew something the rest of us didn't, now that the NBA has suspended Lewis for 10 games after he tested positive for a banned substance and violated the league's anti-drug program.

Lewis claims to have taken an over-the-counter nutritional supplement that contained the drug, DHEA, a precursor to steroids that resulted in a spiked testosterone level. Lewis told the Orlando Sentinel's Mike Bianchi that it was "an honest mistake" and added, "I'm skinny as hell. Does it look like I take steroids."

No, he doesn't, but that doesn't mean that this will be something that he will have a hard time living down, no matter how much I would like to believe him. Lewis reportedly took the supplement late the season when he was dealing with knee tendonitis. He's also an undersized power forward. The Orlando Sentinel also reports that Lewis was so shocked by the initial failed test that he took another during the NBA Finals and failed again.

Lewis is not at the top of the list of players that I would suspect was on a performance-enhancing drugs. I used to think that PEDs were big in power sports such as track, baseball and boxing and weren't a problem for basketball. But steroids aren't just used to get bulked up; they are also a means to recover quickly. With a sport that has so many back-to-back games and is such a physical grind, I'm a bit surprised that more players aren't (haven't been caught) using them as a means to cope. Lewis's suspension doesn't necessarily mean that there is a need for a witchhunt (especially since there is no indication that there is an NBA's version of Jose Canseco who will surface and put players on blast), but it does raise suspicions, given his status as an all-star -- and $118 million man -- in this league.

And, will you be able to look at the latest Nike commercial (with DJ Quik and a rapping Lewis, Mo Williams, Andre Iguodala and Kevin Durant) the same?



The Lewis suspension won't impact the Wizards because the teams won't meet until Jan. 8. But it could cause the Magic to get off to a slow start on the season ---- even with their tissue-sort schedule the first 10 games against Philadelphia, New Jersey (twice), Toronto Detroit (twice), Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Charlotte and Cleveland) -- and cause a bit of an adjustment period when he returns, since Orlando has added so many new pieces this offseason.

As for the Wizards, they will have training camp in Richmond for the sixth consecutive year. They will also open up the preseason schedule against the Memphis Grizzlies on Oct. 6 in Richmond. The rest of the schedule has yet to be released.

By Michael Lee  |  August 7, 2009; 2:25 PM ET
 
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Comments

Keep-up the great work Mike.

Posted by: closg | August 7, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Lebron is a whining ego-driven self-absorbed crybaby. He's a great player, though.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 7, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Michael:
Do you know if the NBA tries to avoid situations like the Rashard Lewis situation by issuing to players a list of acceptable/approved supplements? And perhaps make them available through the players' teams? That would seem to protect players as well as undercut their arguments should they take something not on the list.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | August 7, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

"I'm skinny as hell!"

Thats such an ignorant comment to make about steroids. He doesn't even understand steroids and their multitude of uses for the human body. LETS GO WIZ!

Posted by: BurgwithaU | August 7, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

As long as Lebron insists on a sycophant for a coach, he'll never be a winner. It doesn't matter how much talent the GM puts around him. It's a team sport. Everybody has to have a role on coordinated offensive and defensive sets.

Lebron is the center of his own universe. That doesn't work on the court for a full season and 4 playoff series.

This year, the Wiz will be 9 deep and Flip will have each player bought into his role.

Posted by: Izman | August 7, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

great video. has it been aired yet. i follow the homie KD on twitter and he hasn't even mentioned doing the vid yet. Very exclusive Mike.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 7, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Well, I don't believe his DHEA claim whatsoever. You can get DHEA at Walgreen's for crying out load and I've taken it as a supplement before too and it has very little effect if any on the body, but it also would not seem capable of raising your testosterone levels to the point of getting popped on a test. I'm not a doctor, however, so maybe I'm wrong on this point, but I don't think so. I think there is more to the story. He wouldn't be the first to come up with a supposed harmless supplement mistake story when popped on a drug test.

The suspension sure doesn't hurt our chances of jumping out in front for the division lead. I don't think we need to concede the division to them, regardless.

Posted by: rphilli721 | August 7, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

i can see orl losing 5 or more of those first ten games with or without lewis. but the wiz would have to win'em all and keep winning consistently for the 10 game suspension to mean anything to us at all.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 7, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

As far as LeBron is concerned, he seems to be losing respect in the sports pundit community and the population at large. Therefore, he makes his comments at the NABJ convention where he has a friendly audience to try and change hearts and minds. While that was probably a very shrewd/clever move on his part, I don't think it changed much especially when he reiterated his views on what is simply poor sportsmanship.

Funny, I think Washington fans got an early start on having lost respect for LeBron the person with our "rivalry" the last few seasons. I love when he gets booed the way he does here bc he still has a lot of maturing to do and he could use a little more humility. He is "king" of nothing yet if not a great player.

Posted by: rphilli721 | August 7, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Mike, can you suggest to the Wiz to get out of Richmond? They should shake things up a bit and bring training camp to College Park for a year.

Posted by: CBell29 | August 7, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Mike, can you suggest to the Wiz to get out of Richmond? They should shake things up a bit and bring training camp to College Park for a year.

Posted by: CBell29 | August 7, 2009 4:53 PM
Yeah Mike,
While you're at it ask them to provide a block of courtside seats for all the posters here.

Posted by: VBFan | August 7, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

yawn

Posted by: jenksredskins | August 8, 2009 4:20 AM | Report abuse

NEXT.

Posted by: glawrence007 | August 8, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

I think NBA still need to be on LJ.I do not believe in collecting money from him.panishiment is not the only way. NBA need to understand that LJ is just a high school kid, non privilage since he is handled by a single mother with a lot of problems. I had a great respect to his strength in turning around all these odds but suspect him for some sort of immaturity in handling situations such as win and loss."i will never accept loss". These two are together , it does not make sense to say that.Hand shaking is accepted by most sport players including haging.What is his problem? If he is trying to be diffrent that means he need to be educated on it.NBA need to take some responssiblity to educate these high school kids who has no clue how to interect in public.

Posted by: gtefferra | August 8, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

"Mike, can you suggest to the Wiz to get out of Richmond? They should shake things up a bit and bring training camp to College Park for a year.

Posted by: CBell29 | August 7, 2009 4:53 PM "

Party every night at AB's Pee Gee Cty. home.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | August 8, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Richmond. Isn't TC in Carolina?

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 8, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I listened to most of Brendan yesterday on the show. I thought he did a great job answering questions and speaking as candidly as possible. He seemed like a natural.

Posted by: kuruption_20877 | August 8, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Missed it. Brendan is a winner though. Knew it all along. 4-yrs of being average-good at Carolina is blue chip.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 8, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Richmond is a good place for the Wiz to do training camp. There is nothing to do there and the bars close at 2am., so no all night parties.

The hookers are either fat, junkies or men, so no worries there, either...unless Rod Strickland and Tracy Murray were still on the team.

No one in Richmond gives a rats patootie about the NBA, much less the Wiz, so no undue distractions. Heck, the only paper in town will be too busy talking about Univ. of Richmond football to notice they are in town. Plus, Richmond metro area is home to Oakley, Ben Wallace, Hubert Davis and Moses Malone, so maybe the hard working big man thing will rub off. OK, also home to AJ English, so...

I hate LeBron.

Posted by: Blurred | August 8, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I listened to the first hour and a half of Haywood's radio show last night. By far, that's the most talk regarding the Wizards I've heard since their first playoff run back in 2004/2005!
He has a very good "on air" persona.
I checked to see if podcasts were available but they aren't.

I enjoyed hearing from Gilbert Sr. who did mention that GilZero is playing basketball in a Pro/Am league,though he never said which one, and that GilZero wants to be a triple double threat this upcoming season.

Haywood also had Phil Chenier and David Aldridge call into the broadcast.

Not a bad listen for a big time Zards fan.

Posted by: bozomoeman | August 8, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

While the effect of DHEA is disputed, it is not recommended for people under 35. Why Lewis is taking it is beyond me.

Posted by: sagaliba | August 8, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Lewis doesn't look like your bulked-up anabolic steroid user, but then, who would have suspected Raffy Palmeiro? He's almost delicate.

I think several folks here have it right: these guys are hoping to recover from minor injuries and get caught. Which goes back to my argument that the season is too long, especially with playoffs tacked to it.

To me, it's like the cheating scandals at Navy. You shamelessly overload the cadets and then act surprised when they start taking shortcuts.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 8, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

LeBron James needs to get some advice from Lance Armstrong on how to gracefully accept defeat.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | August 8, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Mike,

It looks like nobody cares what Brendan has to say. With this team the new motto should be put up and shut up!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 8, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Samson151,

I agree that the season is too long. If players are smart, they should negotiate less games and maybe with less pays (since owners need tickets sales and TV rights, etc. to pay them). They are already making enough money, health should be more important.

Posted by: sagaliba | August 8, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Richmond! Richmond! When did they move from Carolina.

LarryInClintonMd.

By the way. The seasons not too long. If they played even a longer season, coaches might figure out how to use 12 men in a game instead of just 8. Ha! Ha!

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 8, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Look out BulletsFan78. I think this Team is putting up, so there just might be a whole lot of folks shutting up.

Don't you be the one leading the pack my friend.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 8, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Richmond! Richmond! When did they move from Carolina.

LarryInClintonMd.

At least 4 years ago, I think 5. Fall of 2004, maybe?

Posted by: Blurred | August 8, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

"Ricky Rubio will reportedly remain with DKV Joventut. After endless comings and goings, Ricky Rubio is finally where he is. After many speculations about its future, the player decided to put an end to the issue of their transfer and will be announced at DKV Joventut, where he still has two more years (on his) contract."

...yes, apparently Ernie is indeed the evil genius.

Posted by: oddjob2 | August 8, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

This from the OSN...LeBron James Claims Smoking Marijuana In High School Gave Him Idea To Go Pro
CLEVELAND—In his new book Shooting Stars, Cavaliers superstar LeBron James confessed that the effects of smoking marijuana during his junior year of high school inspired him to pursue a career playing professional basketball.
"I was smoking up in a hotel room with my teammates, from my basketball team, and I was like, 'Wouldn't it be crazy if your job was to play in the NBA?'" an excerpt from James' book read in part. "I don't even remember how I thought up something so out there. I mean, an NBA player? That's crazy. Until then I figured I'd just go to college and become a lawyer or waiter."
James said he hopes this admission will help young people make better choices about drugs and their careers, and he also admitted that smoking marijuana while watching television late at night motivated him to one day serve his country in World War II.

Posted by: oddjob2 | August 8, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

James said he hopes this admission will help young people make better choices about drugs and their careers, and he also admitted that smoking marijuana while watching television late at night motivated him to one day serve his country in World War II

He musta been smoking that Time Machine Weed.

Posted by: VBFan | August 8, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

What is LeBron doing? If the book stuff is true, man, he is not helping his reputation any. While I could care less if he smoked weed and I'm sure most have in the NBA and elsewhere, I don't think it's good someone of his stature is admitting something like that. So much for being a role model to all the kids who look up to him these days. Way to go LeBron! Is he trying to improve his "street" cred?

Posted by: rphilli721 | August 8, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

It's from the Onion so it must be true. LeBron will probably be a millionaire when he improves his "street" cred.

Posted by: djnnnou | August 8, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

vbfan i'd give u a dollar right now if i could. time machine weed. super funny

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 8, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

"...yes, apparently Ernie is indeed the evil genius.

Posted by: oddjob2 | August 8, 2009 7:01 PM "

Clearly, any manager whose team just went to the lottery shouldn't be called a genius.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | August 8, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

By the way. The seasons not too long. If they played even a longer season, coaches might figure out how to use 12 men in a game instead of just 8. Ha! Ha!


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 9, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

i saw oberto, haywood, and jeff green at shadow room last night...haywood looks at least 4 inches taller than oberto...

Posted by: jasonma1 | August 9, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

will there be a different eight each game depending on the matchups. the first five would stay the same obviously to make the opponent play to our strengths. break the eight would keep the mojo high

Posted by: Rvf0509 | August 9, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

...yes, apparently Ernie is indeed the evil genius.

Posted by: oddjob2 | August 8, 2009 7:01 PM

I believe Ernie is the greatest GM in NBA history. He much better than pops, who cares how many championships the Spurs have won they just got lucky in the draft when they got Duncan, Parker, Ginobili, traded for Jefferson and signing Mason instead of Dixon?

i saw oberto, haywood, and jeff green at shadow room last night...haywood looks at least 4 inches taller than oberto...

Posted by: jasonma1 | August 9, 2009 10:32 AM

jasonma1

Height has nothing to do with the fact San Antonio traded him or the reason Detroit cut him. It's because he sucks, but the free spending Wizards signed him instead of McDyess, R. Wallace, D. Gooden or any other player that can still play and be produtive.

Let's see why did they sign him....maybe because it didn't even cost them the amount they got from the Spurs for selling their 2nd round pick.


Face the facts people the reason Haywood is willing to hang out with the guy is because BH isn't worried oberto is going to take playing time away from him the way E. Thomas did!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 9, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"Ricky Rubio will reportedly remain with DKV Joventut."

Translation:

Ricky Menudo is all hype and needs to stay in a league where behind the back alley-oops are possible since everyone is running in slow motion.

Posted by: divi3 | August 9, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Translation:

It's a business decision.

I believe he can come to the NBA in three years as a free agent if he doesn't sign with the T-Wolves. And WTFU with the Rubio haters. The kid was a stud at the Olympics, there's every reason to want him in the NBA.

Posted by: djnnnou | August 9, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Face the facts people the reason Haywood is willing to hang out with the guy is because BH isn't worried oberto is going to take playing time away from him the way E. Thomas did!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 9, 2009 12:00 PM

100% agree with this. I hope Haywood has a career year. That would put him at about the 18th best center in the league. he is petulant and is always worried about his playing time because he should be worried. He is a serviceable NBA center, but serviceable NBA centers usually play for 5-6 teams over their careers because they never play well enough for you to be 100% satisfied with them but play well enough that somebody always wants them to fill a hole.

Doesn't matter though, because all we need him for is 2 blocks, 8 pts, 9 boards and 5 fouls in 30 minutes. By the end of the season, McGee will be eating into his time and next year McGee will be the starter.

Posted by: Blurred | August 9, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

That news makes the decision to trade the pick look that much better. No reason to think Rubio would have made any different decision had the Wizards drafted him.

Collective bargaining rules limit what a team can do to help a player buy himself out a Euro-Contract. Can you imagine the Cheap Abe comments we'd be hearing right now if the Wiz had got nothing for that 5th pick?
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | August 9, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

'The kid was a stud at the Olympics, there's every reason to want him in the NBA'

uh, no he wasnt. 2 field goals in 45+ minutes of play against USA. 6 assists. That's not anything the guards in this past draft couldnt have done playing alongside a spanish team with multiple nba players. Worked out for one nba team and was described as "underwhelming" and they drafted tyreke evans instead.

I'm not saying he cant be a solid nba player. He's a great rebounder, great handle and vision. But when it's all said and done, he wont be the best guard in his draft and the talk of him as a potential #1 overall will be looked back at as lunacy.

Posted by: divi3 | August 9, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

On our team so loaded with offensive talent, haywood can be everything we need just by being a powerful paint presence defensively and finally getting himself to double digit rebs.

Laughable when he tried to take credit for some of 'tawn's rebounding numbers on the theory people "don't see" how often he blocks everyone out and lets Jamison pull down the board.

Right.

Posted by: divi3 | August 9, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying he cant be a solid nba player. He's a great rebounder, great handle and vision. .Posted by: divi3 | August 9, 2009 2:45 PM

Ricky Menudo is all hype and needs to stay in a league where behind the back alley-oops are possible since everyone is running in slow motion. Posted by: divi3 | August 9, 2009 12:20 PM

Now this is lunacy.

Posted by: djnnnou | August 9, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Look out BulletsFan78. I think this Team is putting up, so there just might be a whole lot of folks shutting up.

Don't you be the one leading the pack my friend.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 8, 2009 5:08 PM

Larry,

If this team wins a championship under Abe I will be the first one on here admitting I was wrong.

How many people will admit I am right if the organization refuses to resign Haywood and Miller and sign players nobody elses wants like Oberto and Juan last year when they still have their MLE available?

GM,

The Wizards didn't have to draft Rubio if they kept the pick...but they would have had to sign the player at about 4 million and that would have cost them more than what they got from the Spurs for their 2nd round pick and I believe that's the real reason why they traded the pick!

Time will tell...if they don't get past the 1st round of the playoffs will you be willing to at least admit I could be right about the way this organization thinks about running the team. Cash versus championships?

Look at what LA was willing to do (spend money on good free agents) to try and win another one while Kobe is still in his prime.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 9, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

"Players nobody elses wants like Oberto"?

"Oberto chose the Wizards over Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Sacramento and the Lakers."
Michael Lee, Wizards Insider, 7/23/2009

We project to be one of the better teams in the league for the next few years. Shut up and enjoy the ride.

It's sad when someone doesn't appreciate how good they have it.

Posted by: yop32 | August 10, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

78', No they wouldn't have had to drafted Rubio at the 5. Apparently the Wiz had their board looking very similar to Minn.

So the Wiz would have drafted a 5'11" point guard? And how would that have addressed improving this year's team? I'd agree that the Wiz need some degree of insurance at point in case Gil pulls up lame.

But Foye just makes a whole lot more sense since he's a combo guard that can play beside Gil. AND slide over and run the point when Gil's on the bench.

Miller addresses the team's #1 need. With Gil out the Wiz are a terrible 3 point shooting team. Foye and Miller are both better from 3 point range then their numbers from last year indicate.

Now with Miller,Foye, Jamison, Butler, Young, Stephenson?, and a healthy Arenas, Flip will be able to keep 2-3 shooters on the floor at all times. This team suffered badly from a lack of floor spacing last year, and really has ever since Hughes left.

When Butler first came here he always caught the ball and drove looking for the midrange shot close to the lane. Now he's expanded his range somewhat, so with the other shooters on the floor everyone's going to find better driving lanes.

On paper the trade vastly improved the Wizards, but I'm not one of those count 50 wins before the first tap guys, Flip's still got to put it together on the floor.

But the only way the "Cheap Abe" chant fits with this trade would be, if the Wiz let both Foye and Miller walk at the end of the season and failed to use the cap space to go after a FA.

Grunfeld's manuver is two pronged, he improved the team quickly, but if things don't work out, he created more flexibility to manuver next summer if needed.

Once a team is in Luxury Tax territory, selling a pick that is for a player that is deemed not to be in the rotation is a common practice.

There were a couple of players out there that I would have tended to have taken, but are any worth the cost when Ernie knew he needed to sign a veteran big for insurance too?

That's why he makes the big bucks and we're blogging...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | August 10, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

'How many people will admit I am right if the organization refuses to resign Haywood and Miller and sign players nobody elses wants like Oberto and Juan last year when they still have their MLE available?'

If Foye, Miller, and Haywood all have big seasons...no team would keep all 3 given how far over the lux tax that would push us. Decisions will have to be made.

Posted by: divi3 | August 10, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

"CHEAP ABE used MJ to sell out the place and when he got done playing fired the guy!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 6, 2009 12:24 PM "

"but the free spending Wizards" - Posted by: bulletsfan78 | August 9, 2009 12:00 PM

Has someone finally seen the light? Pray tell, what lead to your conversion in a mere three days? What did you learn in just 71 and a half hours that you would so willingly repudiate the only opinion you so steadfastly spouted for months on this forum?

Actually, never mind, I don't really care. You are a fraud and a hack. Beat it, and beat it hard.

Posted by: mabkhar | August 10, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

"If Foye, Miller, and Haywood all have big seasons...no team would keep all 3 given how far over the lux tax that would push us. Decisions will have to be made."

Which goes back to the idea that McGee's performance could hold the key to Haywood's future in D.C. If McGee shows that he could conceivably handle the starting C job going forward, then Haywood is most likely out of the picture. They aren't going to spend big money on a 30-year old journeyman C if they think they have a better, younger, cheaper replacement already on deck.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 10, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

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