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Arenas, Butler talk and claim to resolve differences

I wanted to give you guys an update on what happened since my last blog post. The drama with these Wizards has to be charted in real time, it seems. I spoke with Caron Butler shortly after I wrote about how Gilbert Arenas said that 14 of the 15 players on the team get along and two of the three captains -- Arenas and Antawn Jamison -- would help the team heal the rifts in the locker room.

Butler, one of the team's three captains, was shocked to hear about Arenas's comments and refused to say anything in retaliation. He told me that he has no problems with anyone on the team and understood that guys start pointing fingers when things go poorly.

"It's crazy, losing and everything. Man, it's tough," he said, "but in the midst of all of this, we've got to remain positive. That's all you can do. That's what I'm going to do. You got to find the silver lining in every situation. Collectively, we got to find a way to win games and work hard in practice. We'll see what happens."

Shortly thereafter, Butler called Arenas to discuss the comments that Arenas had made to reporters that afternoon. The conversation eventually grew into a discussion about how the team can get better, according to Butler and Arenas, who called me a few hours ago to confirm the talk. After the phone call, Butler texted me to tell me that the two had resolved their differences and added, "I never had a problem with him."

Both guys made it clear to me that they want to help this team to get back on the right track and start winning again. We'll see if they can get it together. The Wizards really need them to.

In his conversation with reporters, earlier this afternoon, Arenas explained the reasons why the Wizards have been unable to click offensively. He said Flip Saunders's system is not the problem.

"It's not difficult to pick up the offense. It's difficult to get the guys the ball without killing the rest of the team," Arenas said. "If I want to get Antawn off, just like I did in Cleveland, I just do pick-and-roll. If I want to get Randy the ball, I just call two plays. If I need Mike Miller to shoot, I call the play. Certain people just need certain plays.

"That's the easy part, but they're telling me to be in attack mode while getting them the ball," Arenas said. "They want me to attack more than I already am. They say if I go and do what I do, everybody will score easy. But if I attack all the time, I'm going to take away from everybody else. It's not like Chris Paul in his offense where he is the offense just pick-and-rolling everything. It's different. But, like I say, Antawn, he comes back and he has [31 points] because I know what he needs because I've been playing with him the longest: pick-and-roll. Caron, he needs isos. But how do I get him the ball without cutting other players out? That's been the problem."

When you hear stuff like that, you realize that it might be too much to expect Arenas and Butler to have everything figured out when they've only played together 11 games this season. Arenas really is like adding a new piece since he's been out the past two seasons. And, in that time, Butler got accustomed to being one of the primary go-to-guys with Jamison. They aren't the same players they were when they last played regularly. These are just the truly agonizing growing pains of getting re-acclimated with one another.

Butler will be a game-time decision on Tuesday after an MRI showed no structural damage on the right ankle injury that has been causing him problems the past week. Mike Miller's MRI showed that he has a strained right calf muscle and will miss the next three to six weeks.

"It does hurt because when he came off that screen, he made everything happen," Arenas said. "Either he'd get a wide-open jumper, or he'd drive or kick or drove and hit Brendan [Haywood]. But Randy can do the same thing, and somebody else just has to step up."

Randy Foye and Arenas had developed some good chemistry in the first few games, but Foye has had difficulty regaining his rhythm after missing nearly a week with a sprained right ankle. "He can't push off the way he wants. That's why I just said I need him to hurry up and get back to where he was in the beginning."

Leave it to Jamison to serve as the voice of reason for this bumpy start to the season. "It's only 12 games into the season. If the season was based on what happened the first 12 games, then okay, it's a done deal. But 82 games, we still got a long way to go," he said. "We've been in this situation before. The most important this not to let this linger any longer to the point that its really hard to get out of the win-loss column. It's a sense of urgency already. I hope it can be a good holiday weekend for us, get a little turkey and gain some weight."

By Michael Lee  |  November 23, 2009; 10:56 PM ET
 
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Comments

Great reporting. You get the award for best NBA beat writer.

Here is my take.. . Gilbert is NOT a PG and that is not a bad thing. You dont ask Kobe or Carmelo to play PG. He is one the most gifted scorers in the leauge and this team is trying to turn him in Jose Claderon.

If the Wizards are going to be good team it will be with Gilbert scoring the basketball and not being asked to be something he is not. Turn him loose and lets win some games!

Posted by: iuryan | November 23, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

wonder if gil and caron took it upon themselves to call that meeting and clear things up in the press, or if flip not-so-subtly suggested it. first sign of maturity i've seen from these guys during this tough stretch. fingers crossed.

Posted by: thickman22 | November 23, 2009 11:49 PM | Report abuse

So now that we are done with the Days of Our Lives crap, can we play some winning basketball now?

Posted by: wizardsextreme1 | November 24, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

This game is going to be a true measure of whether this team can get it together. Eddie Jordan back home, the feuds supposedly calmed down. The Wizards either get totally blown out by Philly, or they control the game entirely like they did in Dallas or against Cleveland. It's time to start moving the ball, hitting open shots, and playing defense.

Posted by: NWDC3 | November 24, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Blatche v. EJ = 24,14 tonight

Haywood v. EJ = 8,16 tonight

Two points to be made.

Posted by: Izman | November 24, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

This kinda underscores why I wanted to trade CB a year ago when his value was at its highest...

CB is a very good player, no doubt. BUT..... If he needs iso's to be able to score, he's probably not the kind of guy who is going to help this team get over the hump and win a lot of games. Let's just say that he's probably not a good fit in this system. I am not advocating a trade now. But if we are expecting him to approach what he did last year or the year before, it's not likely. He's more Juwan Howard than Chris Webber. On a bad team, he's great because he gets lots of touches and iso's. On a good team, he's just above average because he struggles to find his game when he's not the focal point.
CB has the ability to be very good within this system if he adjusts his game but iso's don't tend to lend themselves to ball sharing.

As someone else pointed out yesterday, we play better in an uptempo game. At least our two best players (AJ and Gil) and our most talented player (AB) do. We need to try to push the ball on offense yet still integrate good defense into the mix. Flip has his work cut out for him.

Posted by: original_mark | November 24, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Caron's game can work in this system, he just needs to be more decisive with the ball. Every time he gets it, he goes right into that size up move. Size up, two or three dribbles and contested jumper.

If you going to attack do it, whether you're going to the basket or pulling up.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 24, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Agreed about Butler SDMDTSU. He reminds me of the baseball player that comes to bat and points to the fense.

Just attack. Forgetabout the theactrics.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 24, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Yep...you gotta keep the defense off balance...it stops the ball and gives the defense time to reset too.

When Mike Miller comes off a screen or gets the ball he keeps moving...whether its driving or shooting. It should always be some constant movement.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 24, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

What Gilbert said about attacking and getting other people involved not working well is how I see it two.

This needs to be resolved. In order for him to successfully to that, IMO this team would have to seriously UpTemPo.

That way the involvement comes from beating your man down the floor for open shots.

It will also keep Gibert in the attack mode. By design a showtime type of offense is an attacking offense by committee.

It is I think the only way for them to accomplish what they want Gilbert to do.

But, this does not appear to be the type of system that Flip is teaching and if it isn't then they would be better having someone else handling the point role while Gilbert concentrates on getting his 30 ppg.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 24, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

True. Mike Miller is in constant motion when he gets the ball. It's the reason he's the best assist guy on the team right now.

It's almost like he's the only one who really knows how to play team ball. I hope that's not the case.

Posted by: original_mark | November 24, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

well, larry bird aint walkin through that door! not for 3-6 weeks anyway, so gotta get it done without him.

i dont know what's up with CB. He was an all-star when NOT the focus of the offense a few years ago. Now it's that he just cant shoot/score anymore. All these iso's wouldnt be an issue if he was making something happen with them, but he hasnt shown the ability this season to consistently beat his man, or make a good pass out of the iso.

he's plain strugglin

Posted by: divi3 | November 24, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

wow.. can we waste any more time talking about this? Seems like your talents would do best for TMZ there Mike.

Posted by: unkonchus | November 24, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Izman: It's not Haywood or Blatche vs.EJ,Jordan was trying to get them better and to reach their potential as big men not retard them, Blatche wanted to be a 6-11 jump shooter and for the most part still is,Haywood had his own conception of how a big man is supposed to play and if you look at his career stats well you can draw your own conclusions,Jordan got the most out of this team which most NBA experts said and i quote this is not an NBA playoff roster with or without Gil, tonite is not a referendum on EJ and his coaching although i still feel EJ was treated unfairly by Grunfeld and Jordan is still a better coach for the Wiz than Flip so tonite will be interesting.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 24, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Someone else pointed this out yesterday how many times Gil talks about himself during an interview...

Arenas said. "If I want to get Antawn off, just like I did in Cleveland, I just do pick-and-roll. If I want to get Randy the ball, I just call two plays. If I need Mike Miller to shoot, I call the play.

6 I's

Arenas said. "They want me to attack more than I already am. They say if I go and do what I do, everybody will score easy. But if I attack all the time, I'm going to take away from everybody else. But, like I say, Antawn, he comes back and he has [31 points] because I know what he needs because I've been playing with him the longest: pick-and-roll.

7 I's

Arenas said "Foye can't push off the way he wants. That's why I just said I need him to hurry up and get back to where he was in the beginning."

Gil glad to hear "YOU" need Foye to hurry back since you knew coming back too soon was the best thing for "YOU"?

This is why the guy will never be a point guard.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 24, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

It seems that Butler is used to being the Alpha male on the team and the offense has run through him for the last 2 years . Now that Arenas is back in the fold, Butler is struggling to find his rhythm. I agree with the other bloggers that he either needs to take the open spot up jump shot or drive to the basket to score or draw a foul. One thing I've always loved about Jamison is that there is no wasted motion in his game. It's either one dribble and a quick flip shot OR he takes the open jumper off the pick and roll.

The bigger concern is that Arenas would call out a co-captain and team leader in the media. If he and Caron are having trouble jelling on or off the court, discuss it in private. I still think Arenas is immature and not a leader. The real leader on the team both on the court and in the locker room is Jamision.

I'm not convinced this team will ever be a contender with Arenas as our best player even if he is surrounded with good talent like he is this year.

Posted by: wizfan89 | November 24, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Here we go.

When Gil said "we" aren't clicking "we" have to do better. Posters on here were saying....that's Gil making excuses...he needs to say "I'm" not getting it done. "I need to..."

I've basically realized...you can't win with people.

When he wasn't talking it was "grow up" now he's talking and it's "shut up"

None of those "I's" were selfish...he was talking about TEAM goals and as the point guard and the one responsible for running the team. It's no winning with some people.

"But if I attack all the time, I'm going to take away from everybody else."

and I read in an interview where he said he "can't play that way and he wants to get people involved."

It just is what it is.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 24, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I made a comment over the summer and got blasted by some people for it:

Gilbert Arenas is the second coming of Steve Francis - a quirky combo guard who does one thing and that is score.

He doesn't play D.

He's not a true facilitator.

He's not a "leader" in any other category except being a self-conscious stat-minder. He's not passing the ball to Caron b/c Butler won't pad GA's assist stats?? That says it all.

He's a captain?? What a joke.
Gilbert is a $100 million child who needs a round-the-clock sound byte editor to make sure he doesn't say something to destroy team chemistry.

Posted by: p1funk | November 24, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Why happened to the team from 2 years ago, when Gil was out? Haywood, Jamison, Butler, Stevenson eventually found a reliable way to win? What happened to the season opener against the Mavs? Gil had it goin..driv'n, dish'n, hit'n the hot..it really seemed like "let the good times roll"..but then it stopped? What really happened? Butler came back, Foye got hurt, Jamison back in, injuries, Gil definitely was not doin' what he did the first 3 games...is it all of these things? Man..its really tough to be a wiz fan these days....I'm struggl'n.

Posted by: leopsan | November 24, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

P1 Funk - Thought I'm not happy with everything Gil is doing, he has been playing D..not lock down D, but D and good help D...he's getting in people's faces when they shoot and doing some small things...which is more than he used to.

Is his knee really holding up?

Posted by: leopsan | November 24, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

P1 Funk - Thought I'm not happy with everything Gil is doing, he has been playing D..not lock down D, but D and good help D...he's getting in people's faces when they shoot and doing some small things...which is more than he used to.

Is his knee really holding up?

Posted by: leopsan | November 24, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse


He's not playing max-contract-center-piece-of-the-franchise D.

He CAN'T play that kind of D, and neither can Antawn. And there's the rub. You need both of those guys on the floor to play your game, yet having both of those guys on the floor exposes you defensively. And we all know this is a fact b/c we've been watching it for YEARS.

Which is why my original gripe is really with Ernie Grunfeld who maxed-out Gil and extended Twan and is selling the fanbase fool's gold like a snake-oil salesman.

Posted by: p1funk | November 24, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

There are no perfect situations in basketball. There have been championship teams where players didn't even speak to each other off the court [Kobe and Shaq].

Arenas IS immature. But, he is on point regarding Caron Butler's game. Caron needs iso's. Caron is a "catch-and-shoot" or "catch-and-drive" player. That's where Butler is most effective. Watching him trying to run the offense by posting up defenders is painful to watch.

CB [along with Jamison] became the focal point of the offense during Gilbert's absence. As wizfan89 stated "Caron is used to being the Alpha male on the team."

I'm glad that all of this is out in the open and we can get on with playing some winning basketball.

Posted by: musicmanjr | November 24, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Izman: It's not Haywood or Blatche vs.EJ,Jordan was trying to get them better and to reach their potential as big men not retard them, Blatche wanted to be a 6-11 jump shooter and for the most part still is,Haywood had his own conception of how a big man is supposed to play and if you look at his career stats well you can draw your own conclusions,Jordan got the most out of this team which most NBA experts said and i quote this is not an NBA playoff roster with or without Gil, tonite is not a referendum on EJ and his coaching although i still feel EJ was treated unfairly by Grunfeld and Jordan is still a better coach for the Wiz than Flip so tonite will be interesting.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 24, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

not that dray is dirk, but i wonder where the guy who tried to change dirk from a 7 ft jump shooter is today. If u have a talented player why not use him to the best of his talents. it had to irk dray that he has basically the same skill set as AJ (minus the consistent 3ball and flippy shot) but was chained to the post as a C. u said it best Blatche was trying to play like a 6'11 jump shooter, "which he still is". that's eddies fault for trying to get blood from a stone. AB has definitely worked harder to get better and be more of a contributor since EJ left.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 24, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Flip better realize that the Wiz should be focusing on outscoring people and ditch this halfcourt offense as the overwhelming mode on offense.
Our defense has slipped badly in the three games that Antawn has been back and Gil can't defend anything either.
Unfortunately, the 76ers' two best players, Lou Williams and Elton Brand, play directly against those two.
If we don't do some running or somehow get hot in our set offense, we're sunk with Cap'n Gil at the helm.

Posted by: and_1 | November 24, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

agree 100%, push the damn ball

Posted by: divi3 | November 24, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: musicmanjr | November 24, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, right.

Start comparing our situation to the Kobe-Shaq Lakers...

Marbury-Francis Knicks is more like it...

Posted by: p1funk | November 24, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

@p1funk,

Here we go again. Sigh. So, what should we have done? Started all over with us in complete rebuild mode right now and then having yourself and others like you griping that we suck and we should have signed x. The fact is there is talent on this squad. More talent than the team that was leading the Eastern Conference before the injury bug hit a few years ago. So, what were you saying then? I bet you were basking in the fun of a successful basketball team. We can pick this team apart sure. You can do that to virtually every team in the league besides the top few. So what? Let's just hope that Flip gets things going in the right direction. That's another thing. We have a coaching upgrade as well!

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 24, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"it had to irk dray...."

it had to irk ej that blatche was (is?) so sometimey. If he had brought it every night, my guess is Ej would have been ok with the jumpshots.

haywood is playing really well and has for a couple seasons, but sucked ballz for a big portion of his career and doesnt have too much room to whine about eddie

Posted by: divi3 | November 24, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"Unfortunately, the 76ers' two best players, Lou Williams and Elton Brand, play directly against those two. "

Hmmm...am I missing something? I thought Andre Igoudala was there best player.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 24, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Gilbert's comments lately are starting to remind me of a certain somebody else who was in DC for 2 seasons, who thought that everything he did was gold, and anytime there was a problem with the team (e.g., losses), it was somebody else's fault. The example here is that he thinks HE's the one who got AJ going in Cleveland. If i remember correctly, AJ did a lot of the work himself in that game. Why go there? Is there a shred of humility left in the NBA? I wonder what AJ thinks about that. Actually, no I don't. I just want these guys to go out and play and win some ballgames for awhile. Jeez.

Posted by: PopeyeJones | November 24, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

"AB has definitely worked harder to get better and be more of a contributor since EJ left."

And his failure to work hard to get better when Jordan was here is exactly why Jordan was (justifiably) unhappy with him.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 24, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Finally, a moniker that I like ... Cap'n Gil. Thanks and_1

Posted by: original2cents | November 24, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

It's so ironinc!!! it's funny, Cap'n Gil.

Posted by: original2cents | November 24, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 24, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse


Here we go again? I'll tell you what I'm tired of hearing on the "here we go again" front - I'm tired of hearing how for a few months years ago, the Wiz were first in the Eastern Conference.

Get over it!!

It was obviously a flukey couple of months when everyone was playing out of their minds at the start of a season. Did they sustain it? No. Have they ever recaptured that kind of play? No.

It's like friggin Steve Spurrier coaching the Redskins constantly reminding us how well his team played in one preaseason game in Osaka.

What I was saying when GA and AJ were free agents was "let them walk".

GA's knee injury aside, I felt like we saw what a team built around those guys was capable of - getting bounced in the 2nd round.

I felt like it was way too much $$ to invest in a couple of one-dimensional players, one of which was getting old and the other who was suddenly an injury liability.

Posted by: p1funk | November 24, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for keeping us updated on the "drama". Hope this crap gets cleared up soon enough.

Take a look at JMG from WizardsExtreme's take on this.

http://www.wizardsextreme.com/talk-is-cheap.php

Posted by: LooseCannon1 | November 24, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

One good victory against a quality opponent and all would be well.

BTW, what happened to AB? He started a bunch of games, played well and now he gets little time off the bench? We HAVE to find a way to get the guy 25-30 mpg somehow. He's playing the game the right way and you need to reward guys when they change their ways and start doing the right thing. The last thing we need is for him to be discouraged. Same with NY. I'm glad to see NY getting the start tonight.

Posted by: original_mark | November 24, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

When analyzing the current squad, it's probably best not to rehash the fact that the Wizards briefly led the Eastern conference, what, 3 years ago. It was sublime ball, but a mirage, a fluke. Worse, it seduced a lot of people, most importantly EG, into thinking that health was the only problem to be overcome. Even a healthy Gil, AJ and CB of three years ago had a pretty low ceiling of how high they could rise come playoff time.

Posted by: mugsybol | November 24, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

One good victory against a quality opponent and all would be well.

Posted by: original_mark | November 24, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse


That's probably true at this stage.

Sadly, though, all it took was a 3-9 start for the true character of this team to get exposed, with prima-donna Arenas leading the way.

I just hope Flip, Sam Cassell, and the coaches can learn from this, flex their leadership muscles, and realize what they need to do to keep a hold on this team and Gilbert in particular.

If they let Gilby run amouk with his mouth and attitude, then 3-9 is just the beginning...

Eddie Jordan's comments about Gil were very telling. He's someone who has worked with Gil up close and personal for some time.

Posted by: p1funk | November 24, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Uh..to me this isnt good. Glad Caron and Gil talked it out but what happens the next time they have a "miscommunication" on the court? All those old feelings come right back. Its like a relationship, you're on your best behavior for a little while, then back to your old habits. This aint good.

Posted by: TeTe1 | November 24, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Great post, mugsybol. Hit it right on the head.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 24, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

dargregmag,

EJ is not a big men coach, and hasn't develop any big man. He just got to Philly, and he is already feuding with Dalembert.

I appreciate what EJ had done for the team, but let's face it, his system does not favor big men in a traditional way. Brad Miller probably would be ideal for EJ, but how many big men have the skill set of Miller? Any if you are not that type of player, what can you do? Change your DNA?

Posted by: sagaliba | November 24, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Very few systems favor "traditional" big men because there are very few of them left in the NBA. Impact big men with big time low post games are few and far between in the NBA, and most of them are over 30 and coasting towards the end of their careers. Jordan's system was designed to work around the fact that he didn't really have an inside post threat, and it worked pretty well.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 24, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Caron is an enigma.

I've listened to John Thompson make comments about how extremely talented he is yet being puzzled by why he fails to have more of an impact in games.

This is not new to CB. He was the same in LA playing along side Kobe. Once Kobe went down with an injury during Caron's only season in LA, he was sensational. Yet, the Lakers dealt him for the proverbial "ham sandwich".

What did they conclude about Caron after only one season?

I don't want to put the struggles on this team just on CB either.
The cohesiveness of the Dallas game, and the spurts of organized play this team showed in Atlanta, Cleveland, in Miami and in OKC proves they can play well.

I can say this much though, the fewer minutes Blatche has played, the worse the Zards have looked.

Posted by: bozomoeman | November 24, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

kalo_rama,

Even less big men fit EJ's system!

Besides, I am not talking about "great" or even "good" traditional big men, but just your average NBA big men. IMO, the skill set required for a big man to run EJ's system is higher, not lower.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 24, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"just your average NBA big men."

In which I mean centers who can rebound some, block shots, and guard the basket; but don't really have a great post game (your "traditional big men") or great passing skill (as required by EJ's system). Most NBA centers fall into this category.

Posted by: sagaliba | November 24, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

GILBERT... take notes from the NBA greats..the ones that are fantastic closers, like Bryant,James,Wade,Billups, Pierce, and Novwitzki(spell check),

what those guys do is attack and distribute. But in the 4th quarter, unless someone else is hot, they take over the game. and if he has to score on every possesion, or draw double teams to set up shooters or get uncontested layups, then do it!! thats taking over a game. And its as simple as that. If ur trying to get others involved and they arent making plays, then score on every posession. I am thusfar disappoinited in Gil's leadership skills, and in order for this team to turn the corner, he needs to grow his butt up.

Posted by: mrhney03 | November 24, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I guess since I'm always here I'll let you guys know first. I need to get rid of a ticket to tonight's game...7th row. Section 110. I gotta coach tonight and I don't want it to go to waste. Just a heads up.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | November 24, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

mrhney03 some folks might try to have you banned form the site if you're saying agent zero could take a cue from "Tha Kang" Lebron James

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | November 24, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

So Eddie Jordan doesn't like big men who can rebound, block shots, defend the rim? Really? Then why was he always on Blatche for not doing any of those things? As for Haywood, he never had any problem doing any of those things in Jordan's system when he actually focused and committed himself. The only thing Jordan's system actively discouraged him from doing was shooting the ball. Which is a good thing because, as his current FG% suggests, Haywood shooting the ball is not necessarily in the team's best interest.

Posted by: kalo_rama | November 24, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Jordan wanted Blatche to be less of a 3/4 and more of a 4/5 and it was based totally on what Eddie needed, not any particular untapped skill he saw in Blatche, IMO. Hence his semi-permanent residence in Eddie's doghouse.

Posted by: and_1 | November 24, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I notice the post reporters like to give readers the impression that its drama going on withing DC teams in order to get you to read their articles. Wasn't that yesterday that Arenas and Haywood were supposedly having words? Now its Arenas and Butler and throw in Jamison. I guess they expect Mike Lee to come up with something to earn a paycheck.

Posted by: ged0386 | November 24, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Off topic..but.... can we run a Fing play at the end of quarters????? Why have an offense system and at the most critical juncture abandon it completely and run an iso that never works....WTF RUN a Fing PLAY!!! PASS PASS PASS and SHOOT!!!

Posted by: Chocolate_City | November 24, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Dray, the only problem he had under EJ was one that it was impossible for him to correct. As his mother pointed out, he was a boy in a man's world. He needed time to mature and soak in all that he was being told. At 23, he is finally getting it. Growth is not something that can be forced. It happens in its own timetable. The ONLY thing that happens when you try to force growth is that you destroy the object of your attempts. Try to make a seed grow. Tug at a flower to try and make it grow and see what happens. You destroy it. All you can do is water and feed it, and then let nature take its course.

Dray simply wasn't ready under EJ, and there was nothing EJ, Dray or anybody else could do about that. He's ready now, and he should be a starter. That he plays behind AJ is unfortunate, as I am not of the opinion that he should supplant AJ at this point. Dray's time will come, and I, for one, think he is eventually going to be one of the great ones.

Flip needs to find a way to get AJ, Caron and Dray 30 minutes each per game. I personally feel Dray is capable of playing some three in limited minutes.

In addition, when everyone is healthy, I think the most effective team from a personnel standpoint would be MM as our point guard/facilitator, Gil at the two, and Caron, AJ and Brendan at their usual positions. So basically everything stays the same except we flip-flop Mike and Gil.

Posted by: bpybay | November 24, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

It's hilarious to read about Haywood -- of all the Wizards -- popping off. What a joke.

I'm sure Gilbert can rile his teammates, but at least Gilbert delivered and was the man -- when fully healthy.

Haywood has rarely delivered. If he had the heart of Unseld, Haywood would have been a superstar. Instead, Haywood has done far too little with his physical gifts. He has no room to criticize anyone. Just cash your paycheck and be quiet.

The team is already imploding. This season could really turn ugly. Last year, we could at least look forward to Gilbert's eventual return. There's nothing to look forward to right now.

Man, it's hard to believe this franchise went to the Finals four times in the 1970s. I'm glad I was alive to watch and savor the championship in 1978, because it might never happen again.

It's sad to hear about Mr. Pollin. I'll never forget his joy in the locker room after the Bullets (should never have changed the name or those classic uniforms, by the way) nipped Seattle in Game 7 in the 1978 Finals. At least we have the memories.

Posted by: gaspeny | November 24, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

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