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Blatche apologizes, Thornton agonizes

Andray Blatche was defiant the day after Flip Saunders blasted him for his behavior during a loss to the Charlotte Bobcats. He called Saunders's accusations that he quit on the team by refusing to go back into the game "a bald-face lie" and even said he did "nothing wrong."

After the Wizards completed practice on Thursday, which is rare following back-to-back games, Blatche took a slightly different tone when asked what he's learned over the past few days. Blatche was apologetic and remorseful after clashing with Saunders during what he called a "winnable game" that the Wizards lost in overtime.


My bad, y'all. Forgive me. (AP Photo/Tom Strattman)

"It was petty on my behalf," he said. "I heard him talking to me and I didn't stop. I regret doing that. I could've dodged the whole situation between me and him. It took some time, but I was wrong, I see that now. It could've easily been defused and I just want everything to be back how it was."

Blatche was allowed to start the next night, scoring 21 points in a loss to the Pacers, but he realizes that this latest incident has marred the progress that he has made since the Wizards began running the offense almost exclusively through him. While Blatche accepts responsibility for the way he handled his dispute with Saunders, he is adamant that he didn't quit on his teammates.

"I didn't say I didn't want to play," Blatche said. "I did walk past [Saunders] -- or I didn't stop when he called my name. They can look at me as a bad person on that one. But I didn't say I didn't want to play. Stuff happens. Nobody is perfect. I apologize to him, the organization, my teammates and the fans. If they forgive me, I'll love that. If not, I'll have to regain their trust back."

The Wizards could be without another offensive weapon on Friday, with Al Thornton questionable after suffering a strained right hip flexor in Indiana on Wednesday. He was limited to just six points in 23 minutes and was unable to practice on Thursday. He winced as he ran the floor against the Pacers.

"I couldn't go," Thornton said. "I couldn't do a full out a sprint. I was trying to play through it, but I decided, I'm not going to be able to help the team like this."

Thornton made the three-pointer that forced overtime against Charlotte on Tuesday. He didn't rule himself out of Friday's game. "I have to see how I feel," Thornton said. "It's one of those weird injuries that really hurts."

Saunders said Alonzo Gee will likely start in place of Thornton, even if Thornton is able to play.

By Michael Lee  |  March 25, 2010; 6:46 PM ET
 
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Next: Saunders defends his decision to start Blatche

Comments

"I didn't say I didn't want to play," Blatche said. "I did walk past [Saunders] -- or I didn't stop when he called my name. They can look at me as a bad person on that one. But I didn't say I didn't want to play. Stuff happens. Nobody is perfect. I apologize to him, the organization, my teammates and the fans. If they forgive me, I'll love that. If not, I'll have to regain their trust back."

Will Flip apologize for saying he said he didn't want to play?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 25, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Of course he want 78, why would he apologize when he already said that the coach is always right.

And you know, I get a big kick when he said he never saw anything like that in all his 15 years of coaching.

Whadupwitdat?

Is he for real? Please.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 25, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

won't instead of want. sorry.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 25, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Flip,

Everybody makes mistakes. It's when someone else proves you're wrong and you refuse to acknowledge it and continue to act like you're not wrong that you look like a d0uche bag.


Posted by: kalo_rama | March 25, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 25, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Blatche is backtracking as fast as he can go. If only he could move like this defensively on the floor.

He says he "Didn't say he didn't want to play" but he refused to talk to the assistant coaches - after blowing off Saunders - that tried to talk to him.

Ignore the head coach, go to the end of the bench, ignore the assistants trying to talk to you....if that's not a sign of someone not interested in playing then I'm Alexei Ovechkin.

He was already dismissed from one practice for not paying attention. Eddie Jordan couldn't get to him, Tapscott failed, Jamison failed, he blew off Nick Young's advice.

He's got a record.

Posted by: SteveMG | March 25, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

This story was already fading into the background with the news of the Leonsis deal.

How about getting a win now guys and this whole thing will disappear.

Posted by: ts35 | March 25, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

I should have added, good for him for apologizing. Very good.

He's got a real solid chance - with his ability - of having a terrific career. Make a lot of money, be set for life, and have a good one.

It's a sport to us but a livelihood for him. Let's hope - and I mean it - a light bulb goes off and he recognizes the terrific future he has potentially in front of him.

C'mon Andray, look!! Don't throw it away.

Posted by: SteveMG | March 25, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I'd much rather talk about the Leonsis deal and the sale and the particulars and the specifics. But, I don't think Mr. Lee has any interest in that.

I'd much rather hear how the Pollins felt when they realized that they will only net 170 mil instead of twice that much or more.

If my memory serves me correctly, even though it wasn't verifiable, but did not Ted's initial offer would have eventually netted them more than that.

Ha Ha!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 25, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

No, I think the initial estimates / questions had to do with the overall value of the franchise -- which he already owned a piece of -- and the stadium.

Posted by: ts35 | March 25, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Andray did learn something from all the politicians in DC.

Sounds like Bill Clinton.

Posted by: VBFan | March 25, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

I wonder, when all is said and done, how much the bizarre events of this year have cost the Pollins.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | March 25, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Man I'll be glad when Flip leave. If not for Ernie Flip would not have a job.
1 horrible game coach
2 don't know his players
3 poor sub pattern
4 always blames someone else for his mistakes
5 rides he back of others.
I could write more but I'm tired of stating the obvious.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | March 25, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Man I'll be glad when Flip leave. If not for Ernie Flip would not have a job.
1 horrible game coach
2 don't know his players
3 poor sub pattern
4 always blames someone else for his mistakes
5 rides he back of others.
I could write more but I'm tired of stating the obvious.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | March 25, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

"I could write more but I'm tired of stating the obvious.Posted by: rnbrown4"

Thanks for small favors.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 25, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

You know what did it, don't you? They were calling him Andray Bee-yatch on the radio.

It's just too awful.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 25, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

No, I think the initial estimates / questions had to do with the overall value of the franchise -- which he already owned a piece of -- and the stadium.

Posted by: ts35 | March 25, 2010 8:04 PM

Butchaknow,

For some reason, and I am sure that I should be wrong, but based on the Pollins handling of the matter, I don't think they really understood what the real value of their 56% was.

Even some here when I was blogging about the price thought I was luny.

But Fortune and the NBA when they give a number on franchise values always consider the Team and the venue minus the debt.

So when I was quoting there number of 3-350 million some thought I was making it up.

That number already had factored in the 250 mil in debt. Thus, when you subtract out Ted's 44% you get the 170 mil.

I should be wrong about this, but it seems the Pollins overestimated their hand.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 25, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Anyway, I'm glad to see Ted Leonsis finally getting the deal he wanted out of the Pollins. Nobody likes assuming 250 mil in debt, but that's the real asking price. Everything else in gravy.

I didn't realize Pollin had so thoroughly screwed Leonsis in that Verizon Center deal. No wonder the Caps were losing money. They become instantly profitable, at the best possible moment. Wouldn't surprise me if that became the NHL's most successful franchise in another season or two. All they need is a Stanley Cup.

I'm no predictor, but seems to me that given the salaries divested so far, Gilbert's atrocious contract is less of an albatross than just a few months ago. In ordinary circumstances, that would take some of the pressure off in terms of a potential trade. I know he still has his fans, but when I think of him now it's not as the superstar he once was, but more as a mountebank in a basketball uniform. It's the turd in the shoe. I know Shaq did it too, but somehow Gilbert's feeble attempt at a prank has convinced me that on some level, he's a complete idiot and not worth my time.

Too bad, because he really did come back quite a ways. Not to where he was, but after a two year layoff, to perform like that is pretty remarkable.

Hey, maybe we get John Wall.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 25, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Yes, when it was revealed that Ted was loosing money on the Capitals, I was perplexed especially since he already owned 44% of WS&E, but as noted in the article today he got no revenue from the VC.

But end the end he gets the last laugh. He gets all the revenue now. And he will probably generate more profit than the Pollins ever did.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 25, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

The estate's trustees -- Pollin's widow, Irene; their son, Robert; and Abe Pollin's longtime attorney, David Osnos -- hired Goldman Sachs?

Goog Job in picking a company that's having problems

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 25, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

LarryinClintonMD = moron.

Posted by: efdelaney | March 25, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Two things: First, as someone pointed out earlier, Blatche didn't have to say "I don't want to play" to say that he didn't want to play. Actions always speak louder than words and the way he acted clearly demonstrated he didn't want to have anything to do with the game.

Secondly, are there any other instances in sports where two sports have the same owner and are both successful? I'm all for Leonsis getting control of the Wizards, I'm just curious to see if there are any other owners out there that have been successful at rebuilding 2 franchises in 2 different sports.

Posted by: covertops26 | March 25, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

$550 million says Blatche doesn't even know what the word "defuse" means.

Posted by: RedskinsWiz23 | March 25, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

$550 million says Blatche doesn't even know what the word "defuse" means.

Posted by: RedskinsWiz23 | March 25, 2010 10:26 PM |

lol probably thinks it's a defensive scheme

Posted by: covertops26 | March 25, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

What happened to chain of command? Respect for authority? If Flip says something, Blatche should listen. End of story. Blatche is an insolent and immature boy. Saunders is a pro coach with a track record and players who have loved him.

Posted by: dcmusician2 | March 25, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

I like Dray. I think he's a lot smarter than people give him credit for. But he's young. He definitely has the potential to blow it, but he's not afraid to hold himself accountable, which is the key to maturity. My money is on him succeeding.

Posted by: IrenePollin | March 26, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

$550 million says Blatche doesn't even know what the word "defuse" means.

Posted by: RedskinsWiz23 | March 25, 2010 10:26 PM

After you light defuse the firecracker make debang.

Posted by: VBFan | March 26, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

efdelaney, I'd say LarryinClintonMD passed "moron" many many comments ago. He's even put "full retard" in his rear-view mirror. He's in uncharted territory now.

Posted by: spunkydawg1 | March 26, 2010 2:18 AM | Report abuse

"I should be wrong about this . . ."

Based on precedent, odds are good that you are.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 26, 2010 2:25 AM | Report abuse

the leonsis deal ushers in a new era...i believe it will be a positive one. if he does half of what he is doing for the caps then the wiz will be an actual pro org. and competitive throughout the league...the blatche thing is water under the bridge...anybody who has played in organized sports has seen that scenario before...take him aside man to man talk it out...move on...this team has more serious issues than blowing up a spat between a player and coach...if blatche is all that bad they would have traded him a long time ago...it's history. congrats ted!! now put your mojo on the wiz and make washington a respected basketball area again!! you gots a lotsa work to do!! :-)

Posted by: ronniecope106 | March 26, 2010 5:45 AM | Report abuse

Blatche is an insolent and immature boy.
Posted by: dcmusician2 | March 25, 2010 11:01 PM

this is a totally ignorant statement...you don't know the facts and you conclude the worse...why? is it because he responded in a negative way to a particular incident (ye who is without sin casted the first stone...) or is it because a young black MAN (ballplayer) decided that this one time he was not going to listen to his white coach? listen...the wiz are going thru a very rough negative time right now...i am surprised this has not happen before (probably has in practice)...stop acting like he broke a law...let it be and move forward...ted leonsis will build something we all can be proud of as the head of the wizards organization...my first suggestion...CHANGE THE NAME!!!!!

Posted by: ronniecope106 | March 26, 2010 5:56 AM | Report abuse

On the one hand, it's encouraging. He said it was petty and he apologized for his part in it.

Now, Flip and Ernie better get on the same damn page about everything from in-house communication to dealing with problem players to personnel if they have a chance of staying under Steady Teddy once he officially gets the keys.

Posted by: kahlua87 | March 26, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Who Cares?

Another season gone and the team is in the same position. LOSERS

Posted by: shamken | March 26, 2010 6:46 AM | Report abuse

"Who Cares?

Another season gone and the team is in the same position. LOSERS"

I hate to agree with this but.....

Again, I just want Ted to take over the team. After that I'll start paying attention once again.

I can't ever remember a more painful season then this one. But I will say enough with the apologizing already. This organization is so uptight right now. They can't walk on to the floor without someone apologizing to someone.

"I apologize for my shoe squeaking on the hardwood."

"I apologize for that bead of sweat that hit the floor."

"I apologize for looking at the cheerleaders backside."

Well, you know. :)

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | March 26, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Who would have thought that a team 35 games out of first place could still stir up so much emotion over a spat between Blatche and Flip Saunders? Wait until we get word of Gilbert's sentencing. The Washington Post's email server might explode!

"Blatche was apologetic and remorseful..." is the main point of the article. You could also say that Andray is "young and dumb." But he apologized and said all the right things. The team needs to move on, and focus on building a nucleus for the 2010-2011 Wizards.

Posted by: musicmanjr | March 26, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I think Andray's remarks show insight and I believe he's sincere. This fan forgives him. Now, Andray, can you avoid making this mistake again? Even if you think the coach is dead wrong, at least make it seem that you're listening to him in public. If you disagree with him, you can talk it out in private.

Posted by: 7snider7 | March 26, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

LarryinClintonMD = moron.

Posted by: efdelaney | March 25, 2010 10:00 PM

Have you ever posted anything of substance here before. I don't recall ef' delaney posting anything hear before now.

The nerve of some.

Did you know that hollering baby killer in the halls of congress dosen't make it so. It is like hollering fire in a crowded theater.

Here you come out of nowhere calling somewhere a moron 'Ef'Delaney.

Did I say something that hurt your feelings or better yet something that you don't have the intelligence to refute.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 26, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

The same for spunkydawg1.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 26, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

"I should be wrong about this . . ."

Based on precedent, odds are good that you are.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 26, 2010 2:25 AM

Okay big Kal, you normally have some substance to back up what spew, or are you just co-signing this time.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 26, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

...bacd up what you spew...

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 26, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

...back up what you spew...

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 26, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse


You can't dump Blatche and Arenas fast enough. Flip is a liberal. They just keep excusing bad behavior. And I'm not a conservative, so keep your shorts dry.

Posted by: hessone | March 26, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I agree 100% with hessone. Tolerate the behavior and you can bet it will be repeated. Have some consequences and things likely change. Do ya think Arenas will ever take a weapon into a locker room again? Nope.

Posted by: shanks1 | March 26, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I've coached young kids in the game of basketball. I've played the game and other sports. It's the same ting from mini-sports up through college and the pros. When some people are upset, you learn how to deal with them, but at no time can they be openly disrespectful to the coach or the team.

Why? BECAUSE THE GAME IS NOT ABOUT YOU!!!!!! It's about team, teamwork and sportsmanship.

That's what you fools do not understand. To he11 with Andray Blatche. He's not the franchise. He's the Wizards newest 20pts and 8 rebounds guy. But they are just as soft if not softer than Jamison's.

If a player takes shots from 30-feet, while you have a teammate open for a layup, that player is not playing smart basketball. He's apparently selfish nor trying to win. so, is it about winning or your numbers. If it's about numbers, go play baseball.

Andray Blatch be-otching over the coach telling him about his shot selection is "girlish." Frankly it is gay. Are we to assume no coah has ever said this to him before? i doubt it. This dude is 6-11 and 240 pounds. He takes Randy Foye's shots. He shoot reverse layups at the basket because he is WEAK. he does not work out to get bigger or stronger to compete with NBA talent. He's a big be-otch!!!!

Did anyone see Cousins and Patterson with Kentucky last night? when they were close to the basket they finished with strong DUNKS! They have more heart than Blatche. Blatche is a spoiled child.

Posted by: oknow1 | March 26, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

TED CLEAN THE HOUSE OUT PLEASE.... I CANT TAKE THIS ANYMORE!!!!

Posted by: horace1 | March 26, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

efdelaney, I'd say LarryinClintonMD passed "moron" many many comments ago. He's even put "full retard" in his rear-view mirror. He's in uncharted territory now.

Posted by: spunkydawg1 | March 26, 2010 2:18 AM

Hey Spunkydog you got that right my friend. Dude can't even type the english language I can only imagine what it would be like to try and talk to the dude. Right. Dre as you call larryinclintonMD is a boy playing on a mens court. Oh he may have the skills but he does not have the brains. Much like yourself. If flip had any type of gonads he sit this boy and run him right out of town. Cut our loses and bring in someone with some type of understanding of what it is like to play on a team. There is no I in team son.

Posted by: efdelaney | March 26, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

All the folks on here who recognize Blatche for what he is, obviously see history repeating itself again and again. More disfunction and nothing but more smart azz trouble coming. I'm sick of this! Mr. Leonsis, just send Blatche on down the road, NOW! He's proven he's not fit human being to be given this kind of opportunity. He's still full of minimizing and excusing and of course wants it all to disappear, well nobody learns by making it disappear. Get rid of Blatche NOW and this whole team will snap to and its troubles will disappear. This team needs DISCIPLINE! All the way around. Warn'em! And the first person who gets out of line again, send him on down the road too! End of all whining smart azz BS! Enough, just play ball! Enough with the overgrown crybabies. I am done putting out $$$ for this team until they have only real men on the court!

Posted by: Jackie18 | March 26, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

him on down the road too! End of all whining smart azz BS! Enough, just play ball! Enough with the overgrown crybabies. I am done putting out $$$ for this team until they have only real men on the court!

Posted by: Jackie18 | March 26, 2010 2:38 PM
__________________________

Maybe we could trade him for Kevin Duckworth, Rod Strickland, Mitch Richmond, & a bucket of KFC.

Seriously, THE WIZARDS need to start running a more professional organization & learning how to treat professional basketball players. There is a reason why the Wizards will not get any of the top guys this Summer.... Lebron, Wade, Bosh, Johnson?? Their not coming here.

Yes, Blatche is very immature, but he is only 23... when I was 23, I had a decent job, but man I liked to party every minute I wasn't at work. Now throw in a few million dollars & there you go.

I mean is there some type of "maturity" seminar for some of these guys to realize that their careers could be over tomorrow due to injury & they better put forth 100% effort now, because in 10 years they will be wishing they had.

Posted by: tony325 | March 26, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

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