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Blatche to start

Wizards (21-48) at Pacers (25-46)

Wizards starters: Shaun Livingston, Mike Miller, Al Thornton, Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee

Pacers: Earl Watson, Brandon Rush, Danny Granger, Troy Murphy, Josh McRoberts

Line: Pacers by 9

Coach Flip Saunders missed the team meeting on Wednesday with a migraine headache, so he was unable to hear what Andray Blatche had to tell his teammates the morning after Saunders's scathing assessment of his behavior against Charlotte. Saunders said that Blatche essentially quit on his team for refusing to speak with him after he was benched late in the first quarter.

After the game, Saunders said that it was "unlikely" that Blatche would play, but he announced about 90 minutes before tipoff addressed his other headache by stating that Blatche not only was going to play, but he would start against the Pacers.

"He's going to start," Saunders said. "As I told him, when he came out of the game, it was a situation that if he wanted to go back in the game he had to talk to me, accept coaching. We talked about the situation, he didn't want to talk during the game about it, so he didn't play. We talked. It's over with. You move forward."

When someone mentioned to Blatche before the game that he was going to start, Blatche said, "I wonder why."

He said he never worried about not playing. "I wasn't worried at all," Blatche said. "I didn't do nothing wrong, so I didn't have anything to worry about. It was a situation that occurred. It should die down within time. Most important thing right now is to try to get a win."

Earlier in the day, Blatche said that Saunders's critique after the game was "not true." Saunders refused to go back at him. "The bottom line is, the coaches [Sam Cassell and Gene Banks] went and talked to him. If he wanted to play, he should've come and talked to me. He didn't feel it was important, in order to do that," Saunders said. "Everybody has to understand, when you have a situation where you agree or disagree, you have to respect the position of a coach. As I said, whether you think the coach is right or wrong, the coach is right in those types of situations."

Blatche said he fully expected to get back into the game. "I had the heat pack on my leg. Shoes was tied up, everything was laced. I was waiting to hear my name, but my name wasn't called."

Saunders said he thought that his relationship with Blatche was fine, but Blatche said there will need to be a healing process. "Right now, it's not too good for me," he said. "I don't appreciate what was said about me to the press and in the papers, because I never said those kind of words. Over time things will heal. I know exactly what happened, I know exactly what was said. The only thing I'm going to do right now is to try to be positive. And see it as a misunderstanding."

By Michael Lee  |  March 24, 2010; 6:57 PM ET
 
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Next: Saunders explains how Wizards have lost 13 in a row

Comments

Interesting the Comcast replayed Flip's comments at tip-off from last night but didn't mention Blatche's strong and public rebuttal. What will be, will be.

Posted by: Firuz1 | March 24, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

seems like someone may have "misspoke" ,to quote roger clemens, during their postgame tirade. I'm not saying that Dray didn't apologize, but it's funny how it goes from he's suspended and the biggest dissappointment of the last 15 yrs because he's a quitter, to starting the game. major miscommunication eh.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 24, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

james singleton ballin no chemo

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 24, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Dray still doesnt have alot of pep in his step tonight. He's not even playing that well and I think he still has 16. Thats how easy it is for him. If he gets the energy level that he had before the ankle injury, he couldve got 40 tonight but pretty much no one has energy except for Singelton as usual

Posted by: dlts20 | March 24, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I said the whole time that I think the story was really that Blatche ignored him, Flip told him if you want to play then you have to talk to me but Blatche kept ignoring him so Flip took that as him not wanting to play. Thats where I think the misuderstanding is.

Even in the tirade Flip said himself that he told Blatche that if he wants to play then he has to talk to him so evidently he didnt want to play. No one payed attention to that part. I dont think Blatche ever said he didnt want to play. I think he just ignored Flip and the consequence to that was him not playing by the ultamatium Flip put up

Posted by: dlts20 | March 24, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Even in the tirade Flip said himself that he told Blatche that if he wants to play then he has to talk to him so evidently he didnt want to play. No one payed attention to that part. I dont think Blatche ever said he didnt want to play. I think he just ignored Flip and the consequence to that was him not playing by the ultamatium Flip put up

Posted by: dlts20 | March 24, 2010 8:32 PM

Unfortunately, Flip said Blatche refused his advances three times and, from all appearances, that's not true.

Posted by: Firuz1 | March 24, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Great communication skills this "Flipper" guy, huh? Lives up to his name too.

Posted by: horace1 | March 24, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Even in the tirade Flip said himself that he told Blatche that if he wants to play then he has to talk to him so evidently he didnt want to play.

Posted by: dlts20
-------------------------------------------

That is exactly what I heard. Flip was "inferring" that Blatche did not want to play by refusing to talk to the coach. He didn't say Blatche "told him" that he didn't want to play.

Posted by: sagaliba | March 24, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

As tsch38301 observed several threads ago this morning: "This is a very good reason to go forward with more performance based contracts. when you give some young kids a ton of cash and they don't have to worry about unemployment....bad news. For most, they would perform better if they were rewarded based on perfromace.

Posted by: tsch38301 | March 24, 2010 12:09 PM

I'm inclined to agree. One problem that occurs to me: agents and their percentages. They don't want their incomes contingent upon the performance of their clients. But it's in the team's interests to link pay to performance, especially with young guys. Why can't Wiz mgt. do more of this?

Posted by: 7snider7 | March 24, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 24, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Great communication skills this "Flipper" guy, huh? Lives up to his name too.

Posted by: horace1 | March 24, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

I guess "OUR TIME" was code for if you are not a vet players it's my way or the highway?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 24, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

"I'm inclined to agree. One problem that occurs to me: agents and their percentages. They don't want their incomes contingent upon the performance of their clients. But it's in the team's interests to link pay to performance, especially with young guys. Why can't Wiz mgt. do more of this?"

Really? Can you name one player in the NBA with an incentive based contract??? No? You want to know why? There are none. ALL NBA contracts are guaranteed and they can't even get out of the contract if a player brings guns to work or chokes his coach. NBA contracts are definitely very one-sided in the player's favor, but that is why the Wiz can't do what nobody else can either.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 24, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

That was a silly game they just played in Indiana. I guess it's fitting.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 24, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Didn't see the game and I don't know why ESPN doesn't want to put the Wizards/Pacers game on versus the Denver/Boston game?

My question is NBA.com stats had McGee playing 12:05 and Livingston playing 11:27 in tonights game was it because hey didn't tell Flip what a great job he is doing as they walked off the court?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 24, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Another question is who did Flip blame the loss on?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 24, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

By the way, it's sad that Blatche got to start tonight. The culture has got to change. Wilbon just ripped Blatche a new one in his blog and he is dead on in this instance.

Have to say the Pacers announcers are not bad at all. Here is one good quote - "it was clear to me earlier in the season that the Big 3 probably liked each other off the court, but they hated playing with each other." I have to say that is pretty spot on from an out of town guy. Another good one - "EG has his hands full rebuilding this team not unlike the Pacers a few seasons ago, but he is a very astute personnel man and one of the better GM's in the league." Lol, wasn't it just a few threads ago when someone asked me who around the league thought EG was a good GM? My response - many people whose career's revolve around NBA basketball. Case in point!

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 24, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

That is exactly what I heard. Flip was "inferring" that Blatche did not want to play by refusing to talk to the coach. He didn't say Blatche "told him" that he didn't want to play.

Posted by: sagaliba | March 24, 2010 9:33 PM

No, he only said three coaches asked Blatche if he wanted to play and Blatche told them no. That's all he said. Nothing wrong with that, huh?

Posted by: Firuz1 | March 24, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

divi3, how's your boy McGee doing these days? He stinks!!!! Too bad you had him ahead of BH already - lol. I hope he gets it, but he is playing HORRIBLY right now. There is not a player in the NBA that takes dumber shots than McGee. And misses more rebounds bc he is too worried about being little bunny foo foo and NEVER boxes out.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 24, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Ernie has undermined another coach, and Blatche has killed his trade value. I don't see a bright side here.

Posted by: djnnnou | March 24, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

That's the issue. Flip said Blatche TOLD him he didn't want to play. Blatche said he never said that.

The coaches issue isn't inconsistent either. Flip said coaches went to Blatche on three separate occasions asking him if he wanted to play. Blatche said that didn't happen. Probably didn't. Does that mean that Sam and Geno didn't talk to him? Not at all. Two many issues, and they're not interchangeable.

Posted by: Fief1 | March 24, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Ernie has undermined another coach, and Blatche has killed his trade value. I don't see a bright side here.

Posted by: djnnnou | March 24, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Bright side is Blatche is playing and Flip will be fired

Posted by: Blurred | March 24, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I think the trouble is, Blatche can't do it all, and he is getting down. They need to bring in another big man on a 10-day contract, who can back up Blatche and McGee productively. Fab isn't producing when he gets minutes.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | March 24, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

I think the trouble is, Blatche can't do it all, and he is getting down. They need to bring in another big man on a 10-day contract, who can back up Blatche and McGee productively. Fab isn't producing when he gets minutes.

---

Singleton is playing better than anyone else.

Back up McGee? I'd just sit McGee at this point. He's good for occasional entertainment but sure isn't showing signs of learning to play basketball.

Posted by: nmik | March 24, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

And for the WIZARDS, the hits just keep coming. Absolutely the most disfunctional Pro franchise around.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 24, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Did not see the game. Butchaknow' it was said earlier in one of the earlier blogs that the Wizards after the trades won because teams did not know what to expect from them.

Once teams figured them out, then quite naturally they would not surprise teams. That is such a dumb excuse for this team not winning any games.

Teams figuring them out has less to do with winning and more to do with style of play.

You can't figure out UpTemPo, Fastbreaking, Sharing the Ball, Swoop To The Hoop, style of ball. Ain't nothing to figure out about that. You either put your running shoes on or git' out' da' way'.

That is the syle of ball that dey' was playin' afta' da' trades.

Then Flip comes in with his traditional approach to the game and dey' don' play dat' way no' mo'.

Being short on talent don' keep you from swoopin' to da' hoop. Havin a bunch of D'League playa's don' keep you from runnin a fastbreak.

It's only coachin' that keep you from runnin' da' flo' lik' dars' no tomorrow.

Yawl folks dat' don' thank' style of play means evar' thang', then we got ta' get rid of every playa' that can't play like Flip wants.

And by the way, Good Luck finding some first rate NBA talent that plays like Flip wants.

Good Luck. Good Luck to you.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 24, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Blatche was a victim of a robbery/carjacking. "

He was shot while in a neighborhood known to traffic in prostitution, a neighborhood nowhere near where he lived with no plausible real reason for him to be there at that time of night. Why was he there?

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 24, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Wrong again! Hey, what are the odds?!!! (Rhetorical question, of course.)

But hey, other than getting all of the facts utterly and completely wrong, good job!

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 24, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

. . . sorry, but I’m still a clueless moron.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 24, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 24, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

The heading to this article should have been, " BLATCHE to start, SAUNDERS to leave." This guy's no good for a young team. Send GRUNFELD with him.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 24, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I think the trouble is, Blatche can't do it all, and he is getting down. They need to bring in another big man on a 10-day contract, who can back up Blatche and McGee productively. Fab isn't producing when he gets minutes.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | March 24, 2010 10:25 PM

It is simple. Blatche and McGee have to play together. Blatche is the PF and McGee is the Center.

Flip is only giving token minutes to the both of them on the floor together and they both know it.

They have to know that Flip's strategy is to have them both on the floor at the same time for major minutes/crunchtime minutes and money minutes.

Once they know and the team knows that those are the two big dog horses pulling the wagon then everything changes.

Flip hasn't shown he is smart enought to realize this.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 24, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Check this pattern out:

Miller was hot early on until teams figured him out.

Boinkins was hot early on until teams figured him out.

Gee was hot early on until teams figured him out.

JaTravel was barely hot until he got figured out.

AB is still hot.

Nobody knows for sure whether AB did pull a Scottie Pippen, but what we see is that the Wiz have not fined him or suspended him.

Either AB is getting the star treatment, or Flip has flipped his lid and is going koo koo because of this crazy season.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 24, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

"By the way, it's sad that Blatche got to start tonight. The culture has got to change. Wilbon just ripped Blatche a new one in his blog and he is dead on in this instance." - rphilli721

Come on man, Wilbon is one of the biggest non-intellects in the history of sports casting in any media. If it happend as Flip said, Blatche should be suspended, but Blatche stood up for himself; Flip had to back off his BS, and Blatche is starting. There is no way that Blatche is going to play, let alone start, if he did what Flip claimed. I think that Flip frequently goes off his meds and does/says crazy things.

Posted by: getabigboyoffense | March 24, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon must get really backed up and spews it all over ballers he does not know because if he had any credibility, he'd share some of that on Cheetah, MJ (suckee GM), Barkley, and all the black coaches that he's supported in pro sports who ended up getting fired because they sucked.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 24, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

AB getting the start tells you all you need to know about Flip's little hissy fit postgame last night. For him to call AB out like that, absolutely trash his rep so publicly, then pull "i've got a headache" the next morning, and start AB tonight....Saunders absolutely lost it last night. He knows it, AB knows it and has said it all day, and EG knows it.

Funny how so many were at the ready saying AB should instantly be suspended for the season etc etc. And now it looks as if Flip had lost his mind, despite the fact AB behaved poorly.

So should Flip be railroaded out of town or what?

Posted by: divi3 | March 24, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

rphilli- i said it would take 2yrs for Mcgee to surpass BTH in all aspects of the game.

and in case you didnt see the news today, your boy Haywood is whining and pouting about playing time just like he did here. Only difference is he knows Damp would whip his butt so he isnt going to start a fight

Posted by: divi3 | March 24, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

"and in case you didnt see the news today, your boy Haywood is whining and pouting about playing time just like he did here. Only difference is he knows Damp would whip his butt so he isnt going to start a fight

Posted by: divi3 | March 24, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse "

There's no reason for BTH to cause a fuss since he's going to get PAID this offseason.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 24, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

So should Flip be railroaded out of town or what?

Posted by: divi3 | March 24, 2010 10:55 PM

NOOOOOOOOO Clueless AB should He is a true work of art tottally clueless as to what it takes to be a great team player

Posted by: rnorris6 | March 24, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

There's no reason for BTH to cause a fuss since he's going to get PAID this offseason.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 24, 2010 11:01 PM

yet, here he is acting like a malcontent biatch because Dampier started ahead of him last night. Same old, same old.

Posted by: divi3 | March 24, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

this all played out exactly like AB said it would. He apologized for nothing and was in no way reprimanded, fined, or whatever.

Doesnt that lend itself to his story being the truth of the matter? And Flip with his KG tales and bemoaning being completely full of crap?

Given that, how will the players ever respect the coach at this point?

Posted by: divi3 | March 24, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Given that, how will the players ever respect the coach at this point?

Posted by: divi3 | March 24, 2010


Man at least get your facts straight before you rant on here the coach did not do anything to lose respect of the other players EG stepped in and over stepped Flips authority LOL

Posted by: rnorris6 | March 24, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Quite frankly nobody in here knows why AB started tonight. So discussing it is pure conjecture and fantasy as some of you seem to revel in - i.e. Larry. Whether AB actually said he didn't want to go back in or if FS inferred he didn't by his attitude towards getting coached in game does not matter to me. This is on AB and his young punk azz. Read Wilbon's blog as to what other teammates have said about AB. Terrible! So, it's laughable to me people ignore all reasonable evidence as to who to trust - a young irresponsible basketball player or a middle aged professional coach with a winning track record...hmmmm. He ego is already out of control judging by his stupid comments since the incident.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 25, 2010 1:18 AM | Report abuse

"Come on man, Wilbon is one of the biggest non-intellects in the history of sports casting in any media. If it happend as Flip said, Blatche should be suspended, but Blatche stood up for himself; Flip had to back off his BS, and Blatche is starting. There is no way that Blatche is going to play, let alone start, if he did what Flip claimed. I think that Flip frequently goes off his meds and does/says crazy things."

Blah blah blah. Non-intellects? What? He graduated from one of the best journalism schools in the country. He's written books. He writes for one of the biggest papers in the country. He's co-host of one of the most popular sports programs ever. He's an analyst on ABC's basketball coverage. Need I continue?? That's not to say I agree with Wilbon 100% of the time, but it's hard to refute that basketball is his forte and he knows what he is talking about when it comes to the NBA. I agree with him on this subject wholeheartedly. Get AB outta here pronto! Another high 1st round pick would be nice. Just go all-in on the rebuild.

And, nobody knows why he started tonight and I won't pretend I do either as you did.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 25, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

@divi3,

Spare me. A couple of games of 14pts and 10rbs and you were going gaga over McGee. Oh my god, "he is already ahead of BH" when the truth is he is far behind and may never get there. He may have the lowest basketball IQ of any player in the NBA. Some of his shot attempts are absolutely embarrassing. I am rooting for the guy bc it would be nice for him to blossom, but he is an embarrassment right now.

By the way, I could care less what BH is doing in Dallas. If he is whining, he may have a point. Dampier is a stiff and should not start over BH. He's probably having flashbacks. I don't know a single thing that Dampier does better than BH on the court.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 25, 2010 1:36 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe that someone that calls me delusional has something good to say about Haywood and spoke up for him.

RP, if you got Brendan's back you can call me delusional all you want.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 25, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

And, nobody knows why he started tonight and I won't pretend I do either as you did.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 25, 2010 1:30 AM

All of your previous comments imply that you do know what happened (Flip's version is akin to gospel). Stop this flip-flopping nonsense.

Posted by: Firuz1 | March 25, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

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