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Al Thornton discusses getting hit by a car, Wizards practice in the dark

Al Thornton had a brief encounter with the woman who hit him with a car on Thursday evening. He hopped on the hood, wrapped his arms around a side to hold on, then looked at her through the windshield. Thornton had an understandable reaction when the woman told him that she didn't see the 6-foot-8, 225 pound forward.

"I was looking directly in the window," Thornton said. "I was like 'You didn't see me? What are you doing? A tall black guy walking and you didn't see me?' "
Thornton said he was walking from practice at George Mason's Patriot Center, wearing his shorts and sandles, and heading up a hill toward the team hotel on campus when he saw the car approaching. It was raining, but Thornton said he assumed that she had seen him. "But she didn't," he said. "She was in a rush. I think she was late for class."

Thornton said the car was traveling at about 20 miles per hour when it nicked his right knee. If the woman had been driving faster or his natural instinct to just jump out of the way hadn't snapped in, Thornton possibly could've been seriously injured.

"Seriously, that could have been my career," Thornton said. "Neither one of us got hurt, so that was a blessing."

He didn't miss any practice time, and he was the last player to leave the court on Saturday, shooting jumpers for nearly an hour. Since he survived unscathed, Thornton has been hearing numerous jokes from teammates and coaches.

"They was giving me a hard time," Thornton said. Wizards assistant Randy Wittman "said, 'Out of 20 years I've been coaching basketball, that's the first time I ever heard that happening. One of my players getting hit by a car.' "

Coach Flip Saunders said Thornton has been fine since the accident. "He's just Superman. Jumps over cars, I guess."

If Thornton getting hit by a car wasn't exciting enough, the Wizards had another interesting afternoon on Saturday, as they went from practicing after midnight on Monday to practicing in the dark.

The electricity went out at George Mason's Patriot Center, forcing the team to run drills using the limited light provided by the arena carousel, which is powered by a generator. Practice was cut short by an hour, with the players unable to scrimmage, as originally planned.

"I guess you could say we shot the lights out," Saunders joked. "We shot better without the lights than with them. So we might have to change the lighting at the arena. Won't be good for TV."

Saunders said the team only ran skeleton offensive drills, but added that the players were probably more focused, calling it a "cerebral practice." I'm assuming they had to be, lest somebody get hurt tripping over another player or hit in the head with the ball. "I'd say, actually we had pretty good concentration. Some things we got accomplished that we better than when the lights got on," he said.

Andray Blatche participated in the team scrimmage on Friday and Saunders said he looks "okay. He's working hard, trying to get his body in shape and that. He's taking his time to get his body ready. He's going through every drill and he's had no restrictions on what he's doing."

Saunders also said that Gilbert Arenas sat out of practice on Saturday after tweaking his right ankle in the scrimmages on Friday night.

By Michael Lee  | October 2, 2010; 6:36 PM ET
Categories:  Al Thornton  
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Comments

Should have never left VCU. We would have been able to keep the lights on!

Go Rams! Go Wizards.

Posted by: patrick15 | October 2, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Man I wish the practices were televised! I've watched that dang Midnight Madness I don't know how many times! When is the 1st preseason game!!?

Posted by: Darnell1 | October 2, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking we may see alot of Yi at center this year. Armstrong could get alot of run at PF.

I really havent heard any mention about Cartier Martin in camp, not a good sign for him. I'm thinking Hudson and Hamady NDiaye may be the keepers. If anything I've heard more mentions of Morrison, and I don't get why cant keep 15 anyway if we need the spot later for a trade can't we still just waive someone if we need to?

Although I would like to keep an eye on other teams final cuts to see if there's anyone we'd rather grab over Hudson/Morrison/Martin.

Posted by: Darnell1 | October 2, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

I cant wait to see the new Red White and Blue unis! I bet they already got a design on it... someone's gotta leak it!

Posted by: Darnell1 | October 2, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

We probably dont need Cartier Martin anyway when you consider Thornton, Howard, Booker, Young.

Posted by: Darnell1 | October 2, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

We really did stack up in a hurry at C/PF with alot of youth and size when you consider McGee, NDiaye, Blatche, Armstrong, Yi and Seraphin.

We definately have more size than last year with our Jamison/Butler front line.

Posted by: Darnell1 | October 2, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

When healthy how do you compare Jamison/Butler vs Blatche/Howard ? Wall/Arenas vs Arenas/Stevenson ? McGee vs Haywood ? Bench of Yi, Seraphin, Thornton, Hinrich vs Oberto, Blatche, Miller, Foye ?

Posted by: Darnell1 | October 2, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Being hit by a car is no excuse for being late to practice" - FLIP SAUNDERS

LESTER HUDSON and ADAM MORRISON should be added to the squad. N'DIAYE should find a slot in Europe.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 3, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

I can see a starting front court of McGee and Blatche with Thornton.

Backing them up will probably be Yi, Armstrong and Booker.

NDiaye wont see action. Armstrong is probably ahead of Seraphin at this point. Booker has to see the court and SF is where the pt is available for him.

Once Howard gets back he probably cuts Thornton's and Booker's pt at SF and Young's at SG. But those 3 will get their opportunities before then. Thornton can also get some run at the 4.

Posted by: Darnell1 | October 3, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

LESTER HUDSON AND HAMADY N'DIAYE !!

Posted by: Darnell1 | October 3, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

I figure at Center McGee will start. From there we could see any mix of Blatche, Yi or Armstrong.

At PF Blatche starts. From there we could have anyone from Thornton, Yi, Seraphin or Armstrong.

At SF Thornton. Howard once back, elsewise we got Booker or Young there.

SG of course Arenas. From there we can go Hinrich, Howard, or Young.

PG Wall... backed with Hinrich or Gil.

I mean look at our backcourt. We can throw any kind of combo from Wall/Arenas, to Hinrich/Arenas, to Arenas/Howard, to Wall/Hinrich, Hinrich/Howard, Arenas/Young, Wall/Howard, etc, etc.

Frontcourt we can go McGee/Blatche/Thornton, or Blatche/Yi/Howard, or Blatche/Seraphin/Thornton, or McGee/Seraphin/Booker, or Armstrong/Blatche/Young or McGee/Armstrong/Booker, or Blatche/Armstrong/Thornton, or McGee/Blatche/Howard, or Blatche/Thornton/Howard ... etc, etc

Posted by: Darnell1 | October 3, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

I figure at Center McGee will start. From there we could see any mix of Blatche, Yi or Armstrong.

At PF Blatche starts. From there we could have anyone from Thornton, Yi, Seraphin or Armstrong.

At SF Thornton. Howard once back, elsewise we got Booker or Young there.

SG of course Arenas. From there we can go Hinrich, Howard, or Young.

PG Wall... backed with Hinrich or Gil.

I mean look at our backcourt. We can throw any kind of combo from Wall/Arenas, to Hinrich/Arenas, to Arenas/Howard, to Wall/Hinrich, Hinrich/Howard, Arenas/Young, Wall/Howard, etc, etc.

Frontcourt we can go McGee/Blatche/Thornton, or Blatche/Yi/Howard, or Blatche/Seraphin/Thornton, or McGee/Seraphin/Booker, or Armstrong/Blatche/Young or McGee/Armstrong/Booker, or Blatche/Armstrong/Thornton, or McGee/Blatche/Howard, or Blatche/Thornton/Howard ... etc, etc

Posted by: Darnell1 | October 3, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Yi/Seraphin/Booker, McGee/Yi/Howard, Yi/Blatche/Thornton, Yi/Blatche/Howard, Armstrong/Seraphin/Howard, Blatche/Seraphin/Young, McGee/Thornton/Howard, etc, etc

Posted by: Darnell1 | October 3, 2010 12:43 AM | Report abuse

When healthy how do you compare Jamison/Butler vs Blatche/Howard ? Wall/Arenas vs Arenas/Stevenson ? McGee vs Haywood ? Bench of Yi, Seraphin, Thornton, Hinrich vs Oberto, Blatche, Miller, Foye ?

Posted by: Darnell1 | October 2, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Jamison Butler get the stats but lose the game; Howard/Blatche scare people and Blatche can dish as well as anyone at the PF.

Wall/Arenas is better than Arenas Stephenson by a factor of 4.

Obviously Haywood is better today than Mcgee, but by the end of the season it will be a closer match and for the next 10-15 years, McGee will be a dominant center while Haywood is on the decline from mediocrity.

Foye was a failed experiment. Miller is solid, but only as a 4th option, Oberto is no one's idea of a anything but a 10 minutes NBA player And Blatche is becoming the MAN.

Kirk plays like a shorter version of Miller, but with some leadership skills. As far as Yi, Thornton and Seraphin, we will have to see. I figure at least one of them will be a failed experiment (like Foye - only much taller) and one of them can be as good as Blatche. That means the other guy only has to be better than Oberto for this bench to better than that one.

Posted by: Blurred | October 3, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

"I guess you could say we shot the lights out," Saunders joked. "We shot better without the lights than with them. So we might have to change the lighting at the arena. Won't be good for TV."
.............................................This man is a bumbling idiot.BTW- Seraphin is NBDL bait.

Posted by: jiji1 | October 3, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Looking forward to the fan fest...gonna take the kids out...should be a good time.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | October 3, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

You have to admire the nerve of folks who post these imaginary 'when healthy' comparisons of player vs player, especially when the players have a pretty clear injury history -- Arenas, Josh Howard, Shaun Livingston, et al. That NBA 82 game schedule is basically a war of attrition, with teams routinely depending on a few stars who probably pay tens of thousands in insurance premiums.Things just get worse once you make it to the playoffs and opponents really start beating on your best players.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 3, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Last year's team was running on aging legs and Gil's so-so knee, this year's squad will be more in the recent Atlanta mold. Would probably blow the doors off last year's team on many nights.

Posted by: divi3 | October 3, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Al Thornton

"Slower then a 20 mph automobile and unable to leap a car in a single bound"

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 3, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Unless N'DIAYE improved by bunches no way he makes the team. He looked lost in Vegas.
In order for the Wizzies to win 30 at least a couple will need near breakout seasons. Maybe Young,Yi, Armstrong or one of the other rooks will rise up.
Tuesday will tell us something.

Posted by: VBFan | October 3, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

So, did Thornton jumped on the hood of the car (according to ESPN report), or simply "jumped out of the way?"

Posted by: sagaliba | October 3, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Anyone been reading Michael Lee's tweets? Check them out:


MrMichaelLee Michael Lee
Gilbert Arenas scrimmaged last night but sat out the “practice in the dark” on Sat. with an ankle injury. Flip didn’t know which ankle.

what is lee really trying to say?
-----------------------------------------------


MrMichaelLee Michael Lee
Flip Saunders was asked if he was disappointed that Gilbert Arenas hasn’t been able to practice past 3 days with ankle: “It doesn’t matter.”

MrMichaelLee Michael Lee
Flip said John Wall & Kirk Hinrich were the best players in camp. “If we were to go today, those 2 guys would probably start.”

Posted by: dlts2041 | October 3, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

nevermind, I got that Lee stuff from someone else but now reading the tweets myself, I think Flip just meant that Kirk would probably start at the 2 since Gil is hurt

Posted by: dlts2041 | October 3, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Darnell, (softly) callllllm down. I want you to sit on your hands for 60 seconds and just focus on breathing. That being said, I agree completely with you that there are an almost infinite number of combinations. However, I do have to add that this is the case with ALL of the NBA's 14 or 15 man rosters.

Posted by: WestCoastBullet | October 3, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Darnell, (softly) callllllm down. I want you to sit on your hands for 60 seconds and just focus on breathing. That being said, I agree completely with you that there are an almost infinite number of combinations. However, I do have to add that this is the case with ALL of the NBA's 14 or 15 man rosters.

Posted by: WestCoastBullet | October 3, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Should have had on some Kobe 'HyperDunks' son...would have leapt square over that badboy and kept getting up...LOL

Posted by: kahlua87 | October 4, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

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