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Javaris Crittenton attempting NBA comeback with Charlotte


I just want to play again. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE/Getty Images)


Javaris Crittenton is hoping to return to the NBA after accepting an invitation to try out for the Charlotte Bobcats in training camp, his agent Mark Bartelstein said on Tuesday.

The other half in the infamous altercation with Gilbert Arenas involving guns in a Verizon Center locker room, Crittenton is coming back after missing all of last season, with the final 38 games lost as the result of a season-ending suspension from NBA commissioner David Stern. But that embarrassing incident -- which led to Crittenton receiving one year of unsupervised probation and a $1,250 fine after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge in January -- overshadowed the fact that the 6-foot-5 point guard was going to miss the entire year anyway because of a severe left ankle injury.

Crittenton, whom the Los Angeles Lakers drafted with the 19th overall pick in 2007, had exploratory surgery last October that uncovered a double bone bruise and two strained tendons in his left ankle. He injured his foot playing pickup basketball in his hometown of Atlanta two summers ago, which led to a frustrating season in Washington that began with the team refusing to pick up his fourth-year option and making him a free agent.

He had hoped to participate in summer league with the Lakers last July but later backed out because his ankle still hadn't fully healed. "But he's healed now," Bartelstein said. "He's a 100 percent and he's going to go to training camp with Charlotte. He's excited about it. It's going to be a good opportunity for him."

The Wizards acquired Crittenton in a three-team trade in December 2008 with Memphis and New Orleans and averaged 5.3 points and 2.6 assists in 20.2 minutes in 56 games after arriving in Washington. Bartelstein said that now that his foot has healed, Crittenton is ready to move on his career and possibly gain a reputation that goes beyond his dispute with Arenas over an unpaid gambling debt.

"He's very excited to get back to playing," Bartelstein said. "It's been a long year, with what happened in D.C., then the surgery. But he feels great now, got his game back and he's 22 years old. He's got a lot of potential ahead of him. He's a great kid."

Crittenton has maintained a low profile since pleading guilty to the gun charge, but Crittenton spoke about the situation in a radio interview last February with his former college coach at Georgia Tech, Paul Hewitt.

"I just want to put this behind me. It was definitely a mistake," Crittenton told Hewitt. "A mistake that shouldn't have happened, but you know everything happens for a reason and really opened my eyes and I just want to move forward. Positive thoughts and positive people around me and doing the right thing."

When asked if Crittenton was prepared for the negative backlash that could came as a result of the gun incident, Bartelstein said, 'We're not going to deal with that. It's over with. He's been penalized and he served his penalty and there is nothing more to talk about with that."

The Bobcats are stockpiling former Wizards this offseason, after signing Kwame Brown, Dominic McGuire and Shaun Livingston.

By Michael Lee  | September 21, 2010; 6:45 PM ET
 
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Next: Training camp concerns Part VII: Will the Wizards be any good?

Comments

McGuire, Brown, Livingston, Crittenton...Charlotte is pulling a Detroit!

Posted by: djnnnou | September 21, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

If any team has learned anything is don't get players from the wizards because you lose in one round of the playoffs earlier. Butler, Haywood, Stevenson, and Jamison plagued playoff teams. But if anyone can win with the misfits its Larry Brown.

Posted by: jefferu | September 21, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow, why would they pick up Critt if they already had signed Livingston?

If Charlotte gets Alonzo Gee, I will be crushed.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | September 21, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Absoluted happy for J-Crit. He's a great kid and a humble person. He made a mistake and that's ok. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I expect him to put the situation in Washington behind him and move on. He's a young kid with a lot of talent and upside. He's got the potential to be like a bigger version of Steve Francis. Hope he makes the team along with Darius Miles and Sherron Collins. God Bless. Love is Love.

Posted by: michaelwarren1 | September 21, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

"Wow, why would they pick up Critt if they already had signed Livingston?"Posted by: PostSubscriber

Maybe they think they need another PG?

You know, with all those ex-Wiz players on the roster, maybe Larry Brown and Jordan could be convinced to take on a former superstar with a slightly damaged reputation at League headquarters...

Posted by: Samson151 | September 22, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

The Bobcats need as many point guards as they can get.

Is there anyone out there who seriously thinks that Livingston is going to stay healthy for an entire season? It is well known that Larry Brown despises weak defenders and we all saw that Livingston can't move. His was a curious signing to say the least.

J-Crit chose his comeback location well and I wish him the best.

Posted by: gimmedat | September 22, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

"Absoluted happy for J-Crit. He's a great kid and a humble person. He made a mistake and that's ok. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I expect him to put the situation in Washington behind him and move on."

I don't know about the 'great kid' part, but he seemed to handle the situation better than Arenas. Kept his head down, etc. Of course, he was much lower profile than Gilbert, and the team wasn't handcuffed by a burdensome contract. Still, he's a talented player. Not sure he's going to be an NBA regular in the long run, however.

But I bet Arenas is mildly envious of the chance to start over in a new town.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 22, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

"Just glancing at the Wiz roster, who shoots the 3 pointer well?

You've got Nick at around 40%, Hinrich at 37%+, Yi at 36.6%, Thornton at 35.5%, Arenas at not quite 34.8... then there are some real weak sisters like Josh Howard (26.7%)."

At SG, 40% ranked Nick 7th in the league last season and 40% at SF (if that's where he plays this season) would have ranked him 3rd in the league. Not too shabby.

Posted by: divi3 | September 22, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

At SG, 40% ranked Nick 7th in the league last season and 40% at SF (if that's where he plays this season) would have ranked him 3rd in the league. Not too shabby.


Posted by: divi3 | September 22, 2010 8:23 AM

The only thing that was shabby was his inability to remember plays that were drawn up for him. No big deal, right?

Posted by: gimmedat | September 22, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

What was the deal with the forgotten play? I dont remember that one. Did it happen for reals or was it one of Flip's lies a la the AB mishap?

Posted by: divi3 | September 22, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

He also locked down Dwayne Wade and when given the opportunity he can fill it up. Stop bringing up the ONE time he forgot a play.

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | September 22, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

He also locked down Dwayne Wade and when given the opportunity he can fill it up. Stop bringing up the ONE time he forgot a play.

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | September 22, 2010 9:05 AM

Nick has a learning disability. Flip said Nick's problem last year was blown assignments and it caused him to log a lot of pine time. That hardly sounds like he forgot a play just once.

Like I've ALWAYS said about Nick: He can run fast, jump high, shoot and pass. He just can't play basketball.

At least he smiles a lot.

Posted by: gimmedat | September 22, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Blown assignment is a far cry from forgetting a play drawn up for him. I hear that used a lot and don't remember it....is there an instance where Flip said NY forgot a play intended for him?

Posted by: divi3 | September 22, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

LOL here we go with this again

Posted by: SDMDTSU | September 22, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Crittenton has the raw materials to be a pretty good player. A season under LB's firm hand might be just what he needs to help mold him.

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 22, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/wizardsinsider/2009/11/miller-and-butler-hurting-youn.html?wprss=wizardsinsider

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/wizardsinsider/2009/10/young-lost-in-the-shuffle.html

If you wanna stop bringing up the ONE time he forgot a play...you might wanna forget the ONE time he played good defense.

Hope he can pull it together though.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | September 22, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

http://www.nba.com/wizards/video/2010/09/21/Untitledtrimmedwmv-1420284/index.html if the link ain't right go to the wiz website and check out the videos. they got a couple good vids of the verizon center woorkouts. good looks at Wall,NY, Epic Vale, Booker and i think Seraphin.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | September 22, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Maybe a start of a Wizards-Bobcats rivalry. Interesting if both will fight it out for the last playoff spot.

Posted by: Dave381 | September 22, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"If you wanna stop bringing up the ONE time he forgot a play...you might wanna forget the ONE time he played good defense."

Ha! Well said.

Posted by: kalo_rama | September 22, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Nick Young is as dumb as a bag of hammers.

"Young sometimes forgot the offensive plays - even the ones specifically drawn up for him."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/nov/27/young-has-building-block/print/

"And the last time the Wizards were in Miami, Saunders drew up a play for Young, who got confused; the possession ended with him shooting an air-ball three-pointer as the shot clock expired."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/26/AR2009112601951.html

Posted by: gimmedat | September 22, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I still think Crit has a chance to be a good role player down the road, and the kid is still 22, so he has time. But I've thought for a while that playing overseas for a year or two might serve him better than being an end of the bench player in the NBA.

As for Young, I was about to launch into the 'mantra' for Wizards of late which is that he is still young. But looking it up, he's 25. That's not young. As much talent as we can see in Nick, it's time to for him become a professional player. Even if he, or anyone else, thinks Flip is a terrible coach or has something personal against Young (I don't think he has anything personal against Young myself), part of being a professional is sucking it up (with apologies to Stephen Strasburg) and doing what it takes to get on the floor and stay on the floor.

Hopefully this is the season he's able to demonstrate that. If he can't, I doubt he'll get cut because they'll be able to retain him (or at least make the required qualifying offer) pretty cheaply, but the writing will be on the wall. Unfortunately for Nick, unlike the situations with Blatche and McGee, where they will get minutes regardless, Young is going to have to work to earn his, especially if Howard is healthy.

Posted by: ts35 | September 22, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Ja-who??

Oh that's right, the guy who lost his job to ahem...Earl Boykins.

I know he was hurt, just saying.

There are about 1,200 people in the entire USA who could tell you who Crit is and for good reason.

Posted by: Blurred | September 22, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

When does camp start?

Posted by: Blurred | September 22, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Now that's just wrong, Blurred.

Posted by: gimmedat | September 22, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Tuesday @ midnight. (Monday night) They're kicking off training camp with a "Midnight Madness" type event at the Patriot Center. At least it's on a college campus, so someone will be able to go :)

http://www.nba.com/wizards/intro_midnight_tip-off.html

Posted by: ts35 | September 22, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

LOL the headline on ESPN reads:

Player in Arenas gun flap gets Bobcats invite

That about says it all.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | September 22, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

LOL the headline on ESPN reads:

Player in Arenas gun flap gets Bobcats invite

That about says it all.

Posted by: SDMDTSU

Ouch! That's cold.

Posted by: ts35 | September 22, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse


http://voices.washingtonpost.com/wizardsinsider/2009/11/miller-and-butler-hurting-youn.html?wprss=wizardsinsider

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/wizardsinsider/2009/10/young-lost-in-the-shuffle.html

If you wanna stop bringing up the ONE time he forgot a play...you might wanna forget the ONE time he played good defense.

Hope he can pull it together though.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | September 22, 2010 10:28 AM

Ok, I hadnt seen that forgotten play thing. However the article is about NY holding Iggy to 2-10 shooting, so I guess that's two times he played good defense ;)

Posted by: divi3 | September 22, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I hadnt seen that forgotten play thing. However the article is about NY holding Iggy to 2-10 shooting, so I guess that's two times he played good defense ;)

Posted by: divi3 | September 22, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Yep I had forgotten about that. It also mentions multiple time he forgot plays...just to be balanced. Really hope he finally gets serious this season. It's his 4th year now.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | September 22, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

. It's his 4th year now.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | September 22, 2010 1:15 PM

His interview on the wiz website sure doesnt sound anymore serious than usual, but he's clearly tearing it up in those scrimmages....which is probably exactly how it's always been unfortunately.

No KH or Gil in the scrimmage vids, wonder why

Posted by: divi3 | September 22, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

His interview on the wiz website sure doesnt sound anymore serious than usual, but he's clearly tearing it up in those scrimmages....which is probably exactly how it's always been unfortunately.

No KH or Gil in the scrimmage vids, wonder why

Posted by: divi3

Aren't both still in Chicago working with Grover?

Posted by: ts35 | September 22, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Nah, they both scrimmaged yesterday.

Posted by: divi3 | September 22, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Nah, they both scrimmaged yesterday.

Posted by: divi3

Maybe they were trying to protect Gil from the embarassment of having KH drop a double-nickel on him? That's what I heard happened. (Ok, it's really not, but let's start the rumor and see how far it goes).

Posted by: ts35 | September 22, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Nick seems like the type to kill pick up games/scrimmages.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | September 22, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

JC is the stupid kid..he just got suspended for guns last season and from what some players say he joined a gang in LA..he got a tatto with a crip sign with a blue flag hanging out of it..wow a classy guy

Posted by: MrNoOne | September 22, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

I salute Jordan for giving this young man an opportunity to compete. I wondered if anybody would. Everybody deserves a second chance. Thank God no one was injured. It is unfortunate that those with born with "halos" around their heads keep "old stuff" alive to keep the onus off their horrible past and their guilty present. I hope he does well- except against the Wizards.

Posted by: esmith4 | September 24, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

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