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Morning brew, Thanksgiving edition

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

If you're looking for a break from football (or family) today, we've got some stuff here to look over. In Thursday's Post, Michael Lee takes the temperature of the team after its practice Wednesday, with Caron Butler expressing hope that Abe Pollin's death can serve as a rallying point. And in the D.C. Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg remembers the night Butler won one for Mr. Pollin.

Columnist Thomas Boswell remembers what the Bullets' 1978 title run meant to the Washington metro area at the time, and how it seemingly kicked off a run of success by some of the local teams.

As we mentioned here on Wednesday, complete coverage and rememberences of Abe Pollin can be found here.

Elsewhere, Mike Prada of Bullets Forever remembers Abe Pollin.

Nationally, SI.com held its weekly NBA roundtable, with Gilbert Arenas the first topic of discussion among SI's NBA scribes. And in case you're curious, here are Marc Stein's weekly power rankings from ESPN.com.

Around the league...

Busy night on the court, but the big news was the report that Allen Iverson appears set to retire. Four scoring titles, a playoff scoring average of 29.7 points per game and an MVP run to the 2001 NBA Finals with the Sixers. Here's our favorite Iverson piece from that season, a Sports Illustrated cover story by Gary Smith.

On a personal note, I saw him once in person (Dec. 28, 2005 in Portland's Rose Garden) and that game cemented him as one of my favorites. It was a game that was part of a long Western swing over the holidays of an otherwise forgettable season (the Sixers finished 38-44). After playing 40 minutes and scoring 36 the night before in Denver, Iverson went all 48 against the Blazers and scored a hard-earned 28 in a four-point loss.

But what stood out (besides his height) was how tough and relentless he was when it would have been easy to downshift on the second of a road back-to-back.

He took plenty of flak for how he handled himself in Detroit and Memphis, but most basketball fans will agree that watching him in person was always an experience, what Bill Simmons in the recently-released "Book of Basketball" called the "I need to see that guy" factor. He certainly fit the bill on that night, in an otherwise unremarkable game.

Here's NBA.com's Daily Zap to get you caught up on Wednesday's 12-game slate:

By Ed Guzman  |  November 26, 2009; 8:07 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  | Tags: Washington Wizards; NBA; Abe Pollin; Gilbert Arenas; Caron Butler; Allen Iverson  
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Comments

first

Posted by: daigunder | November 26, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Am I alone in finding Caron's statement LOL ridiculous? AP has been at death's door for months and they have fought and bickered. Now he's actually gone they'll rally around and do it for him. Makes a lot of sense....

Caron, if you need any more motivation, rest assured that you and your bickering buds are slowly killing us all with your play this year....

Posted by: ArchieTambo | November 26, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Allen Iverson appears set to retire and even though he won four scoring titles, has a playoff scoring average of 29.7 points per game and an MVP run to the 2001 NBA Finals with the Sixers nobody wants him since he only plays for himself.

Wake up Gil this will be you after your Wizards contract expires unless you are willing to change your game and play some TEAM basketball.

But than again I don't think you or AI are able to understand that.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | November 26, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"He cared about this franchise and us winning and moving forward; everybody knows that's what he would've wanted - for us to continue to build and have success," said small forward Caron Butler, who was forced to sit out Tuesday's game with a sore right ankle. "This was his baby - he built it from the ground up. He wanted another championship. He put us together. He loved all of us - but myself, Gil and Antawn like sons - and he kept us together, and he wanted us to be together for a reason, and that's to bring something special to Washington."

Never pass up an opportunity to elevate the "big 3" above the rest of the team, Caron.

Posted by: tgif11 | November 26, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Caron comes across as a mature, no nonsense, work hard kind of dude. No unnecessary drama, especially not created by him.

Caron is one of the 3 captains on the team, with only 2 of them really assuming the leadership role. I'll let you figure out which two I'm referring to.

Teams need character guys like him on the team. That's why he gets so much respect from his fellow NBA ballers.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 26, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

RE: Allen Iverson

It is odd that a man who can still score 25+ and get 6 or 7 assists is unwanted in this league.

All the teams jumped on the bandwagon to effectively ban him after he refused to come off the bench. But, honestly, so what? The man is still a starter and his play defies his age. I am just shocked no one in the whole league wants a starting guard who can produce the way he can.

Admittedly, he screwed up by refusing to be a 6th man. I guess he doesn't want to get lumped in with the likes of Ginobli and Kevin McChale. If he were willing to be a 6th man a championship contender would have picked him up for his scoring prowess.

Posted by: MeviousMan | November 26, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse


"Never pass up an opportunity to elevate the "big 3" above the rest of the team, Caron."

It would have been nice if he'd said, "Abe loved us all." and left it at that. I don't really see the need to point out that the owner had a special love for AJ, GA and himself.
That said, I respect the fact that he was a big enough man to reach out to GA with AJ apparently facilitating. Maybe there is a glimmer of hope for the team.


Posted by: and_1 | November 26, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

"Caron is one of the 3 captains on the team, with only 2 of them really assuming the leadership role. I'll let you figure out which two I'm referring to."

Why do you think that is the case?
Seems like they always refer to Caron as one of the leaders of the team, notwithstanding Gil's statements earlier this week.

Posted by: and_1 | November 26, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

"It would have been nice if he'd said, "Abe loved us all." and left it at that. I don't really see the need to point out that the owner had a special love for AJ, GA and himself.
That said, I respect the fact that he was a big enough man to reach out to GA with AJ apparently facilitating. Maybe there is a glimmer of hope for the team.


Posted by: and_1 | November 26, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse "

Maybe because the team is like a revolving door....FA's come and go....draft picks come and go.

Abe probably had special affection for these three dudes b/c they were his highest paid employees.

If you had a fiero and a ferrari in your garage, which one would you have special affection for?

Leaders should handle business within the team, not take it to the media and call people out, especially not players like Caron who's really the last person who should be called out.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 26, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

It's great to be the king!!

In SI power rankings it's mentioned that Lakers get 17 of their first 21 games at home to start the season. Wizards sure could've used that in view of the early-season chemistry woes.

Posted by: 2020doc | November 26, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Caron comes across as a mature, no nonsense, work hard kind of dude. No unnecessary drama, especially not created by him.

Caron is one of the 3 captains on the team, with only 2 of them really assuming the leadership role. I'll let you figure out which two I'm referring to.

Teams need character guys like him on the team. That's why he gets so much respect from his fellow NBA ballers.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 26, 2009 11:55 AM

DC_MAN88! You said something good! (my ears are tearing up) I'm prouda you;-)

Posted by: jistutz | November 26, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Caron comes across as a mature, no nonsense, work hard kind of dude. No unnecessary drama, especially not created by him.

Caron is one of the 3 captains on the team, with only 2 of them really assuming the leadership role. I'll let you figure out which two I'm referring to.

Teams need character guys like him on the team. That's why he gets so much respect from his fellow NBA ballers.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 26, 2009 11:55 AM

DC_Man88! You said something good! (my eyes are tearing up) I'm prouda you;-)

Posted by: jistutz | November 26, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I am saddened by Abe's passing.
I am happy Antawn is back.
I am going to miss Mike Miller.
I am encouraged by Nick Young last nite.
I am disappointed in Randy Foye all season.
I am seeing the same ol' Blatche.
I am not seeing the same ol' Caron.
I am sure Flip didn't see any of this coming.
I am not sure Gilbert knows what he says until he says it.

Posted by: blackman1 | November 26, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"DC_Man88! You said something good! (my eyes are tearing up) I'm prouda you;-)

Posted by: jistutz | November 26, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse "

Without breaking a sweat....you clearly impress easily.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 26, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

"I am saddened by Abe's passing.
I am happy Antawn is back.
I am going to miss Mike Miller.
I am encouraged by Nick Young last nite.
I am disappointed in Randy Foye all season.
I am seeing the same ol' Blatche.
I am not seeing the same ol' Caron.
I am sure Flip didn't see any of this coming.
I am not sure Gilbert knows what he says until he says it."

Pretty good. Except if you are seeing the same ol' Blatche then you haven't been watching this season. The only thing I've seen that can be construed negatively is that his mins have been cut in light of AJ's return, which means his impact is lessened through no fault of his own. His energy, focus, and new found professionalism has not dwindled yet to my eyes.

Posted by: rphilli721 | November 27, 2009 6:41 AM | Report abuse

I've said it before and I'll say it again, if Les BouleS want AB to develop, then they need to give him consistent minutes.

This team has a lot of weapons, and most of them are mediocre to just above.

In order to get a consistent lineup where people will excel at their set roles, EG is going to have to trade away some of the talent on this team because the talent on this team doesn't gel well.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | November 27, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Nick's game is butter now because he's wearing those armbands that Dwade and Mello wear :-0.

Posted by: ptp23 | November 27, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Back to back Heat and Bobcats need to win both to put last weekends ambush behind them and to honor Abe,let's go time to turn this season around!!

Posted by: dargregmag | November 27, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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