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Gilbert Arenas's fall, Blatche's start, Wizards' 13th straight loss

Morning brew

On the eve of Gilbert Arenas's sentencing, Michael Lee examines how it all went wrong for the point guard and the team during the last five years. Here's a database of Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison's tenure as the "Big Three."

Meanwhile, last night the Wizards lost a record-tying 13th game in a row, 99-82, to the Indiana Pacers. Not only was Andray Blatche not suspended for his behavior during Tuesday's Bobcats game, he started and played 39 minutes.

Columnist Michael Wilbon says:

" ... the Washington Wizards have learned nothing from the Gilbert Arenas debacle, nothing about professionalism, nothing about establishing who's in charge, nothing about being accountable."

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports has a similar opinion:

Management told the coach it was his call, league sources say. They would've gone with a suspension, a benching, whatever Saunders wanted. The coach backed down, again. Story of his career. Story of this franchise. The message is unmistakable: Anything still goes here.


Truth About It's Kyle Weidie also weighed in on the Blatche situation.

Back to the game: Blatche scored 21 points and grabbed 6 rebounds, while James Singleton came off the bench for 19 points and 21 boards.

Dan Steinberg looked back to the last time the franchise lost 13 in a row, in 1995. Steinberg's D.C. Sports Bog also provided an excellent summary of Blatche's interview with Mike Wise yesterday on 106.7 The Fan.

Around the League ...

There were 11 games last night. Highlights are below, courtesy of NBA.com.

By Alexa Steele  |  March 25, 2010; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Singleton: "I'd rather hit somebody than get hit"
Next: Should Blatche have been punished?

Comments

Driving home last night listening to 106.7 (around 6:40 PM) not sure how to spell his name Holden Kushner? and Liz Draybek (sp?)...both said Blatche was an out and out liar multiple times. Both stated our own Michael Lee affirmed three coaches had talked to Blatche and that Andray simply lied and lied again....Not sure if anyone else heard this but they could not have been harsher. Still second hand but they directly brought up how Blatche had challenged the media and then said Michael Lee had verified Flip's position with the assistants and Blatche was a liar.

Seems to me the Wizards just want this to go away because they need to be able to get something for him before next season. Challenging enough given his inconsistencies, team cancer tag would not be helpful.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | March 25, 2010 10:40 AM | 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

Or it's another case where EG backed the player over the coach. He did it to EJ several times. EJ wanted Haywood gone, Ernie said no (which was reasonable). Coming off of his injury, Gil announced he was going to start before ever talking to EJ about it. Not to mention several other issues that apparently came up with Gil that were never addressed by the team.

I'm not saying that's what happened here for sure, but you have to at least account for the possibility given how things have been run here in the past.

But you know, everything worked out how it should have. AB was free to not apologize and have his rep intact and then go out and get out-hustled by Troy Murphy and Josh McRoberts. Well played, AB, well played.

Posted by: ts35 | March 25, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"Seems to me the Wizards just want this to go away because they need to be able to get something for him (Blatche) before next season."

Bingo. The immediate return to the lineup with no further headlines from Flip or management says exactly that. Have to assume Blatche is gone. Better market value on a guy with some flashy, though mostly meaningless, end of the season stats, rather than a known, locker-room poison, with a bunch of DNPs on a last place club, sitting out a suspension for feuding with the coach.

Flip's mistake to have gone to the media with it, should have kept it all in the locker room.

Posted by: midlevex_ | March 25, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I figured Flip is EGs guy and therefore wouldnt get the EJ treatment.

But that yahoo article is even more damning, says it was Flip's call and he decided to start AB and pretend nothing happened.

I find that very hard to believe given what Flip said publicly and how AB responded publicly. Either Flip is completely spineless (as yahoo article says and the 'migraine' may imply) or the stuff about AB refusing to come back in was not true.

Either way, everybody involved sucks.

Posted by: divi3 | March 25, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Or it's somewhere in between, where Flip made AB returning to the game conditional on talking to him, and when the two asst coaches talked to Blatche he said he didn't want to talk to Flip which Flip extrapolated as not wanting to play. Who knows? I still at the very least wouldn't have started him for blowing off the coaching coming out of the game. AB admitted to that part of it, so that would have been a safe middle ground. Make him sit the first four minutes or something. Whatever actually happened, Flip comes off looking spineless or cut off a the knees, and Blatche, who precipitated this whole thing by slacking on the court continues to slack on the court and now has zero reason to listen to his coach.

It is a big mess, no doubt. Haven't seen anything that corroborates the Yahoo piece. Yahoo seems to get a lot of stuff early, some of which doesn't always pan out. I'm curious if they have better sources, or just a lower standard for what they are willing to put out there.

Posted by: ts35 | March 25, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"Whatever actually happened, Flip comes off looking spineless or cut off a the knees, and Blatche, who precipitated this whole thing by slacking on the court continues to slack on the court and now has zero reason to listen to his coach."

The worst of both worlds outcome i.e. par for the course with this franchise.

Posted by: divi3 | March 25, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Sadly true. It was depressing watching them get handled by the Pacers.

Posted by: ts35 | March 25, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Ernie backed Blatche because the deal for Augustine is still in the works ;-).

Posted by: ts35 | March 25, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Derrick Favors, what?

Posted by: jon_quest | March 25, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Driving home last night listening to 106.7 (around 6:40 PM) not sure how to spell his name Holden Kushner? and Liz Draybek (sp?)...both said Blatche was an out and out liar multiple times. Both stated our own Michael Lee affirmed three coaches had talked to Blatche and that Andray simply lied and lied again....Not sure if anyone else heard this but they could not have been harsher. Still second hand but they directly brought up how Blatche had challenged the media and then said Michael Lee had verified Flip's position with the assistants and Blatche was a liar.

Seems to me the Wizards just want this to go away because they need to be able to get something for him before next season. Challenging enough given his inconsistencies, team cancer tag would not be helpful.


Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | March 25, 2010 10:40 AM |

Has Michael Lee stated on the record or written that three coaches confirmed Flip's account of what transpired Tuesday night?

Posted by: Firuz1 | March 25, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

stephen jackson now begging to be included in trade, Flip pre-planning migraines.

Posted by: divi3 | March 25, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Not that I have seen and I don't expect to. Simply stating what was being directly attributed to him...they said they both talked to Michale Lee. I know they have podcast of their show so you can listen to what I heard if you wish to download.

I am sure Michael Lee would not like to be futher involved and I am not sure if what he reportedly said was intended for the record...certainly was used that way though.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | March 25, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Driving home last night listening to 106.7 (around 6:40 PM) not sure how to spell his name Holden Kushner? and Liz Draybek (sp?)...both said Blatche was an out and out liar multiple times.
Seems to me the Wizards just want this to go away because thy need to be able to get something for him before next season. Challenging enough given his inconsistencies, team cancer tag would not be helpful.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | March 25, 2010 10:40 AM |

Has Michael Lee stated on the record or written that three coaches confirmed Flip's account of what transpired Tuesday night?

Posted by: Firuz1

Yeah, it's really hard to base anything off of what you hear on any talk radio. Especially with sports radio, you rapidly realize that most of these guys don't have inside sources, they're just reading the same stuff off of the internet that we are....and their opinions are usually about as speculative as ours.

Posted by: ts35 | March 25, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Obviously, the quickest way to resolve it would be to hear directly from Sam Cassell and Gene Banks, but you have to figure that isn't happening, or if it does, they'll be spouting the same bland, vague company line and not directly addressing what was said. Theres no percentage in it for either of them to be forthright.

Posted by: ts35 | March 25, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

If Mike Lee is going to talk to radio people, he should do the people who read his blog the courtesy of speaking directly to the same matters here. Or change the name from Wizards Insider, to "Wizards page for links to other sources"

Posted by: divi3 | March 25, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Of course EG backs his players. If EG owned a hot dog stand, he'd say his dogs were "all beef franks" not "pre-processed meat". EG is just protecting his assets by not calling out Blatche as a first class wiener.

If that translates into maximum trade value for next year, he's done his job.

Posted by: jon_quest | March 25, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

can you imagine Cassell as a coach? i'm surprised AB wasnt avoiding him on the bench, he has something to say to EVERY player after EVERY dribble in the game.

but i guess avery was the same way.

Speaking of which, holy crap he would have shipped AB to Mars at halftime

Posted by: divi3 | March 25, 2010 12:03 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?

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!

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

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

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 25, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

How about it Mike Lee or Alexa Steele, care to address the statements attributed to Mike on 106.7 last night?

I agree with divi3, we should at least have the same access as anything provided to local DJs.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | March 25, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I am sure Michael Lee would not like to be futher involved and I am not sure if what he reportedly said was intended for the record...certainly was used that way though.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | March 25, 2010 11:56 AM

Michael Lee has quoted anonymous sources before on other stories and this situation would seem to be tailor-made for that sort of approach. I'm inclined to believe that he'd rather give his employer the scoop as opposed to talk radio hosts. Just my opinion.

Posted by: Firuz1 | March 25, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Hustle, desire, cleaning the glass and popping the occassional jumper. Resign this dude!

Posted by: Rocky420 | March 25, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Maybe he learned a few things from the owner while with the Mavs.

The Wizard players reflect their owners?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 25, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

This was a season where I thought we were going to be at least a 50 win team. Now Gilbert is committing crimes, Butler and Jamison are traded and our best player doesn't even want to play in a game to stop the longest losing streak in team history. This organization from top down is over and I'm pretty much through with it. Maybe the new owner can fix things but this is probably as pathetic a franchise as the Raiders only we don't have the same history as that franchise so its even worse. As for Blatche just get rid of him, we're not winning with him so what's the point if the dude is a jerk as well.

Posted by: rahsriv | March 25, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Of course EG backs his players. If EG owned a hot dog stand, he'd say his dogs were "all beef franks" not "pre-processed meat". EG is just protecting his assets by not calling out Blatche as a first class wiener.

If that translates into maximum trade value for next year, he's done his job.

Posted by: jon_quest | March 25, 2010 12:02 PM

Tough to see where suspending AB for 2 games or whatever would have affected his trade value. Other teams already know the score, and if/when EG starts shopping Blatche he'll be lowballed anyway

Posted by: divi3 | March 25, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mike, thought I would post my last ever comments. I have been one of the most avid fans for several years now, but today is officially the end. Letting Blatche get away with this is another sign of disrespect to us as fans. The Wizards clearly do not want us, so they win. I resisted for a long time. But i have deleted every Wizards beat writer from my Twitter and am unbookmarking this site. While it will be impossible to quit watching hoops for me, I am just gonna try to catch some Mavericks games. Most of my favorite players were shipped there anyhow.
GOODBYE FOREVER WIZARDS
You alienated the biggest fan you ever had! (not that you care about us)

Posted by: djnumb | March 25, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Driving home last night listening to 106.7 (around 6:40 PM) not sure how to spell his name Holden Kushner? and Liz Draybek (sp?)...both said Blatche was an out and out liar multiple times.
Seems to me the Wizards just want this to go away because thy need to be able to get something for him before next season. Challenging enough given his inconsistencies, team cancer tag would not be helpful.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | March 25, 2010 10:40 AM |

Has Michael Lee stated on the record or written that three coaches confirmed Flip's account of what transpired Tuesday night?

Posted by: Firuz1

Yeah, it's really hard to base anything off of what you hear on any talk radio. Especially with sports radio, you rapidly realize that most of these guys don't have inside sources, they're just reading the same stuff off of the internet that we are....and their opinions are usually about as speculative as ours.

Posted by: ts35 | March 25, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes they are only reading what's in the paper itself and not on the internet. At 6:45pm after it had been reported that Blatche was starting 980 host Andy P was talking about how long Blatche would and should be suspended.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | March 25, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't know how you figure Flip lied. Cassell, Banks and Flip...that's three coaches. Whether it's 3 times or 3 coaches...he refused. It's cut and dry.

When your "star" doesn't come to the huddle, gazes off into space...the list goes on...that screams "I DONT WANT TO PLAY & I DONT REALLY GIVE A DAMN"

You people really can't be serious. That behavior went on the entire game.

A player openly disrespects an ENTIRE coaching staff and you side with the player. That's never okay.

No way Blatche should've started.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | March 25, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

If it was cut&dry AB would not have played let alone started last night. But he did, after he called the coach a liar, demanded an apology, and boldly predicted he would not be disciplined.

Given all that, why is it that Flip's postgame tirade holds so much water? Because he's a crotchety, middle-aged, man that people like Andy Pollin directly relate to?

Posted by: divi3 | March 25, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

btw, the yahoo who guy makes a great point here:

"Essentially, Blatche was given an apology. His coach backed down, walked away and let down the franchise in a way no 23-year-old could ever do."

Posted by: divi3 | March 25, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

The credibility goes to flip and the coaches because blatche has a streaky record in the locker room. Remember when he was suspended one game for conduct detrimental to the team.

Posted by: jefferu | March 25, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Flip seems confused in handling this young group.In such situations , the player is allways wrong,I am sur AB is responsible for disrespecting his coaches and the game, flip made the worset mistake in his life by going out to media.
AB is not an important player for trade. he can not take responsiblity to be consistant, no one is going to gamble. He will play until his contract is over and will be the jorney man.

Posted by: gtefferra | March 25, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Flip seems confused in handling this young group.In such situations , the player is allways wrong,I am sur AB is responsible for disrespecting his coaches and the game, flip made the worset mistake in his life by going out to media.
AB is not an important player for trade. he can not take responsiblity to be consistant, no one is going to gamble. He will play until his contract is over and will be the jorney man.

Posted by: gtefferra | March 25, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Michael Lee is quickly becoming the most biased, shoddy reporter at the Washington Post. His anti-Arenas agenda has been taken to new levels recently.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 25, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

A player openly disrespects an ENTIRE coaching staff and you side with the player. That's never okay.

No way Blatche should've started.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | March 25, 2010 12:32 PM


But he did. And, to the best of my knowledge, no one has corroborated Flip's version of events about Blatche refusing on multiple occasions to go back into the game. Blatche's version has been implictly verified due to his not only not being suspended, but actually STARTING last night. Flip is clearly off his meds.

Posted by: Firuz1 | March 25, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

While Blatche's attitude can be a problem, in fairness to Blatche, I think he is still hampered by the ankle injury. He does not appear to have the lift ever since he twisted his ankle, and that affects his performance (in getting shots blocked, and not be able to come up with rebounds). Coincidence?

Posted by: sagaliba | March 25, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

While Blatche's attitude can be a problem, in fairness to Blatche, I think he is still hampered by the ankle injury. He does not appear to have the lift ever since he twisted his ankle, and that affects his performance (in getting shots blocked, and not be able to come up with rebounds). Coincidence?

Posted by: sagaliba

My problem with that is that it really doesn't seem to affect his ability / willingness to spin, drive, or run on offense. Didn't seem to hamper his lift on that jam against Charlotte. And if he can do those things, not sure why he wouldn't be able to box out for rebounds.

Not saying his ankle isn't still hurting, just saying if it is, he's being a little selective with how much it affects him.

Posted by: ts35 | March 25, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Blatche's version has been implictly verified due to his not only not being suspended, but actually STARTING last night. Flip is clearly off his meds.

Posted by: Firuz1

Which Blatche version? The one where he said he didn't do anything wrong? Or the one where he admitted he blew Flip off going to the bench? The one where he said no coaches talked to him? Or the one where he said only Gene Banks talked to him at halftime? Or the one where he admitted that in addition to Gene Banks, Sam Cassell also tried to talk to him?

All that was implicity verified is that the Wiz are a weak organization and that AB is not 100% clear on his level of blame in this debacle.

Posted by: ts35 | March 25, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Which Blatche version?

Posted by: ts35

The one where he goes, "I never refused to go back in the game." That one.

Posted by: Firuz1 | March 25, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

1. With discussion after discussion ad nauseum, we're still losing sight of the fact that the issue between Flip and Blatche never had to occur. You think Blatche is missing assingments; take him out of the game; let him sit for a few minutes; put him back in the game, but before you do, explain what he did wrong and what he should do. At halftime, go into detail about the problem. Who in their right mind takes a seemingly simple exercise and turns it into a power struggle? Both guys get their backs up and winning the game became secondary. The possibility does exist that Flip's ultimatum was lost on Blatche. Someone here already asked: did Flip extrapolate from Blatche's actions that he didn't want to play or did Blatche say he didn't want to play. Big difference, especially since Blatche is adamant about never making such a statement, although he is willing to admit to other wrongdoings on Tuesday night.

In any dispute between two people, the FIRST person to get the story out is perceived to be telling the truth. The second person is assumed to simply be defending his actions. This is precisely the case here. Once again, Flip goes on a rant on TV to skewer Blatche (remember the Boston post-game presser)and EVERYONE accepts Flip's story because, well, Flip said so, and after all we all "know" Blatche is lazy, a bad teammate, a cancer in the lockeroom, blah, blah blah. We know nothing of the sort; we know only what we have been told and what we choose to believe. MORE

Posted by: Fief1 | March 25, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

2. Maybe we should ask ourselves why Flip put his ego ahead of the team (that was trying to break an 11 game losing streak at the time), refusing to play Blatche in the 3rd and 4th quarters. Couldn't this issue had been resolved (quietly) at halftime? Blatche thought it had been. Why, then, unless Flip was pulling an Al Haig, was Blatche not put back in the game? The Wiz could have beaten Charlotte on Tuesday, going away. Has it occurred to anyone that Flip had to make Blatche out to be the really bad guy; otherwise, he has to answer questions about why he didn't have his best player on the court in a winnable game. Flip was HOPING to win the game. He didn't coach to win the game.

Since the trading deadline, Blatche has been nothing but complimentary of Flip. He's worked hard, and he's produced. However, listen closely, Flip never gives Blatche unqualified praise. Blatche scores 36 points and grabs 15 rebounds. Yeah, BUT he turned the ball over X times. Blatche has his third double, double... Yeah, but he's having trouble passing out of a double-team. Maybe Flip's trying to challenge Blatche, and maybe it's working, but everyone needs uqualified praise and support every once in a while. MORE

Posted by: Fief1 | March 25, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

3. It's inconceivable that Blatche said he didn't want to play Tuesday night. He played on a sprained ankle in Portland, putting up good numbers in a "meaningless game." When Blatche's last shot was blocked (he WAS fouled), and Roy (who travled) made the winning basket, Flip's post-game comments went something like this, ". . . stars make the shots that win the game."

I can't imagine what was going on in either man's mind on Tuesday night, but this truly was a molehill that grew into a mountain. Flip NEVER should have used the media as his megaphone. He has a quarrel with Blatche, keep it in-house. You want to include, players, coaches, management, hot dog vendors, fine. But keep in in-house. MORE

Posted by: Fief1 | March 25, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

4. Maybe Blatche had had it when, after the Boston game, instead of giving Blatche a pat on the back for playing a solid game AND holding KG to ZERO (0) points, Flip IN THE MEDIA paints Blatche as ridiculous and weak. Do you really blame Blatche for defending himself this time? How many times would YOU let someone berate you, unchallenged?

I'm happy that most of you work in envrionments where no one back-stabs; no one lies; no one distorts facts; and the boss is ALWAYS right. I want to work where you work. How would any of us like to work somewhere where our current transgressions are reported to the media so they can be rehashed over and over and over by every conceivable source -- by sources that don't even have a vested interest in the event, other than to pile on; yet, derive their information from other sources that got their information from . . . Flip.

If Al Sharpton weighs in on this, I'm done. END

Posted by: Fief1 | March 25, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

So he's changed his story already a few times, but we're just supposed to accept this at face value? It makes no more sense than taking Flip's statement at face value.

I'm actually assuming that the truth is somewhere in between and Dray starting last night has little or nothing to do with who's telling the 'truth' at this point.

Posted by: ts35 | March 25, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Which Blatche version? The one where he said he didn't do anything wrong? Or the one where he admitted he blew Flip off going to the bench? The one where he said no coaches talked to him? Or the one where he said only Gene Banks talked to him at halftime? Or the one where he admitted that in addition to Gene Banks, Sam Cassell also tried to talk to him?

Exactly! Or when he said he thought Flip was going to talk to him about shot selection and HE felt it was too early to talk about that. That's enough there.

Hell this says it all.
http://www.truthaboutit.net/2010/03/to-all-the-blatche-defenders.html

Blatche skipped huddles. Yeah...that says coach I'm ready to play.

He refused to play by acting like a 2 year old. No matter how you look at it.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | March 25, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I think it's time for the architect of all of this mess to be fired...bye bye Ernie Grunfeld...thanks for the miseries.

I am not sure what Ted is thinking wanting to purchase this horrible, miserable, putrid franchise. Ted, run away! Run away!

Posted by: dcfan1 | March 25, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

fief1: "1. With discussion after discussion ad nauseum..."

Really, you should have stopped there.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 25, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

fief1: "but this truly was a molehill that grew into a mountain"

Please stop climbing it.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 25, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"I'm done. ENDPosted by: Fief1"

We give thanks, o Lord...

Posted by: Samson151 | March 25, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

1. With discussion after discussion ad nauseum, we're still losing sight of the fact that the issue between Flip and Blatche never had to occur. You think Blatche is missing assingments; take him out of the game; let him sit for a few minutes; put him back in the game, but before you do, explain what he did wrong and what he should do. At halftime, go into detail about the problem.

That's all well and good...until the player decided he doesn't want to hear what you have to say and blows you off.

It's never a power struggle. You don't disrespect a COACH. In that form...Flip is right...the coach is never wrong. A player doesn't dictate when you're allowed to talk to him or coach him.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | March 25, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Blatche skipped huddles. Yeah...that says coach I'm ready to play.

He refused to play by acting like a 2 year old. No matter how you look at it.

Posted by: SDMDTSU

Why did Saunders start Blatche, given Grunfeld's decision to let Flip make the call?

Posted by: Firuz1 | March 25, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"I'm actually assuming that the truth is somewhere in between and Dray starting last night has little or nothing to do with who's telling the 'truth' at this point."

More likely the case. My guess is that Ernie talked to both sides and basically said, "cool it, let's move on" because more drama is the last thing this franchise needs. Right now it's in the team's best interest to let Blatche go out and continue to put up his meaningless numbers so that they'll be able to raise the asking price when they deal him.

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

Blatche did NOT skip huddles.

Posted by: Fief1 | March 25, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jefferu | March 25, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Suspending AB for a game or two would have no negative effect whatsoever on his trade value. On the other hand, starting AB last night equates to 1)Flip playing the situation like a guy caught in a lie who backed off what he said or B)a spineless coach who let's a 23yr old nobody of a player dog him out as publicly as you'll ever hear a player talk about a coach.

there is absolutely no way to spin this to where 1)AB isnt at fault nor 2)Flip doesnt look like a lousy excuse for a $4mill coach.

Posted by: divi3 | March 25, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I think that Fief1's post is right on the money. Looks like Fief1 might have some inside info.

Posted by: getabigboyoffense | March 25, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"Has it occurred to anyone that Flip had to make Blatche out to be the really bad guy; otherwise, he has to answer questions about why he didn't have his best player on the court in a winnable game."

Good point, he may have coached himself into a corner by leaving AB out, though I'm sure we would have lost somehow anyway

Posted by: divi3 | March 25, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"I don't know what he was trying to tell me. I went to the bench and sat down," Blatche said in a brief telephone interview.

Although Blatche said, "No coaches ever tried to talk to me," he later admitted that assistants Sam Cassell and Gene Banks both approached him. Banks spoke to him at halftime.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2010/03/what_andray_blatches_benching.html

Blathce did miss huddles.

That's the definition of a "bold-faced lie"


Posted by: SDMDTSU | March 25, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

The overall difficulty with your breakdown Fief is that we have no way of knowing what actually happened two nights ago, but also what other things have built up to it behind the scenes.

You present a decent case for the instances where Blatche may be tired of Flip, but what about the case for Flip being legitimately tired of Blatche. Clearly, shot selection has been an issue. Hustling back on D has likely been an issue. Why does AB get a pass for blowing off his coach's comments, even if he thought it was about something else?

Flip has said good things about Blatche. Most of them I have caught in the pre-game. And that comment about passing out of the double-teams wasn't a critical comment, at least the one I heard. He was talking about how Blatche's improved offense was causing him to get more attention from opposing defenses, and how he was going to have to adjust because he wasn't used to getting double-teamed. As I recall it ended something like "he'll have to get better at passing out of the double-teams, but he'll get there."

If we're asking why Flip's ego got in the way of putting Blatche back in, why did Blatche's ego get in the way of talking to his coach? And Flip had more to say about the Portland game than that. He complained loudly during the end of the game about the missed foul on Blatche and the travel. He complained about the missed travel call in his post game comments, and then just ended with the comment you mentioned.

The corollary to your theory that people believe whoever spoke first is that people also tend to believe the last thing they heard.

Posted by: ts35 | March 25, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game. Blatche DID NOT miss huddles; he could also be seen cheering from the bench.

Posted by: Fief1 | March 25, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

ts35. You're right. Timing is everything.

Posted by: Fief1 | March 25, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"Has it occurred to anyone that Flip had to make Blatche out to be the really bad guy; otherwise, he has to answer questions about why he didn't have his best player on the court in a winnable game."

Good point, he may have coached himself into a corner by leaving AB out, though I'm sure we would have lost somehow anyway

Posted by: divi3

The flaw with this is that they were playing better with him on the bench. Or Flip could just have easily said that he thought Dray's ankle was holding him back a little. He had a lot of other covers he could have used. Whether he ultimately went too far or not, I think Flip was genuinely pissed that AB blew him off.

Posted by: ts35 | March 25, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game. Blatche DID NOT miss huddles; he could also be seen cheering from the bench.

I've heard from people that said he missed the one before the start of the 3rd. Even still the pictures say it all. Standing at the huddle and looking off into space doesn't say... "I want to play."

Posted by: SDMDTSU | March 25, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game. Blatche DID NOT miss huddles; he could also be seen cheering from the bench.

Posted by: Fief1

This is why the NBA needs to put all of its games on On Demand, so we can go back and frame-by-frame these things Zapruder film-style.

Posted by: ts35 | March 25, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I think Flip was genuinely pissed that AB blew him off.

Posted by: ts35 | March 25, 2010 3:04 PM

that's exactly what I think too, and also why I think Flip completely overeacted and basically lied in the postgame. All that nauseating KG crap, most disappointed in 15yrs, blah, blah, blah...he was furious AB blew him off and that's understandable.

But he lost his cool and effed up in the process and he knows it. Migraine? Please.

almost unfathomable that AB received no disciplinary action whatsoever, truly absurd. Flip's a bum despite what's on his resume I'm afraid.

Posted by: divi3 | March 25, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"there is absolutely no way to spin this to where 1)AB isnt at fault nor 2)Flip doesnt look like a lousy excuse for a $4mill coach."

Sure there are. but the effort would obviously be wasted on you, since you've already anointed Blatche as your new God.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 25, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

can you read? I said Blatche IS at fault.

Posted by: divi3 | March 25, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"The corollary to your theory that people believe whoever spoke first is that people also tend to believe the last thing they heard."

In the study of psycology and communication it's called the primacy and recency effect.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 25, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

In the study of psycology and communication it's called the primacy and recency effect.

Posted by: kalo_rama

See? I knew my 7 years of undergrad wasn't wasted.

The more I think about it, the more I think Kalo may have hit it right earlier (and I think someone else did a few threads ago) that AB and Flip met with EG and EG essentially said "We're 21 and 48 and you two are arguing about which one of you is the bigger a-hole. How about you both shut up and we try to tank the rest of this season as quietly as possible."

Posted by: ts35 | March 25, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

kal and the other poster's scenario was one in which AB wasnt suspended or disciplined solely to raise his trade value. I guess in that scenario Flip fell on his sword for the sake of the team's future moves.

the problem with that scenario is it's based on wishful thinking for purposes of maintaining the delusion Flip is a high quality coach.

Posted by: divi3 | March 25, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I have no idea why Blatche wasn't suspended by Flip. It seems like Flip made a tactical error there, but that really depends on how Blatche responds over the rest of the season. If this repairs the relationship and doesn't work to the detriment of the team then he made the right call. That seems highly unlikely though.

I simply stated the obvious about EG. His job isn't to coach the team. His job is to assemble the best team to accomplish the team's goals. Right now, the assumed goal is to pump of the value of the players he expects to be able to trade for young talent that will fit in over the rebuilding period. It seems like Blatche is better as trade value than as a building block. Giving him tons of minutes and having a large portion of the offense run through him will certainly increase his trade value. Competing for the most improved player award will do the same.

Posted by: jon_quest | March 25, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

In my scenario, Flip isn't falling on his sword as much as both he and AB are being told to squash it, if for no other reason than EG has had a really long and eventful season and would prefer no more drama in a season already long on it and short on results.

Between the team's bad play, Gil and Crit, the death of Abe, blowing up the team, and down the line, I'm sure EG just wants this season to end quietly and doesn't want to hear from any of his knuckleheaded players or knuckleheaded coaches.

Posted by: ts35 | March 25, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

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