When Andray Blatche changed his number from 32 to 7 in July, little did he know his action would result in a tribute to who is likely the best power forward in NBA history.
Blatche told the DC Sports Bog, “I’m wearing 7, and that means 7 days [a week] of hard work, 7 days of being focused.”
I’ll refrain from being snarky in this instance, this post is not about Blatche. I’ll just imagine Haywood or Jamison putting Andray in a headlock, rubbing him on the head, and bellowing, ‘Whatever you say kiddo,’ as ‘Dray is shuffled away like a little scamp.
When Blatche chose to go with number seven, the Wizards’ latest signee, Fabricio Oberto, having worn seven during his four-year career with the Spurs, was left to search for a new number.
Oberto opted for #21, the same number worn by past franchise players Dave Bing and Ledell Eackles. Not only was Oberto born on the 21st day of March, but he tells Spanish publication, Olé, that the number was also selected to honor Tim Duncan.
If you have a chance, fire up your Google Translator and go read the full interview with Oberto, “Me quieren para que los haga más inteligentes en la cancha,” or “I want to make them smarter on the field.” You’ll also find out that Flip Saunders’ calls make Oberto “feel important.”
[tip of the hat goes to 48 Minutes of Hell]
Coincidentally, the Wizards officially introduced Oberto with a press conference today. The highlights via paraphrases:
- Fabricio: Teamwork is the most important part of my game.
- Flip Saunders: Start asking other coaches what they are going to do to guard us.
- Grunfeld: We feel that we’ve added 6 to 9 different players than we had last year (additions, injuries, and changes in current players’ games).
- Flip: Gilbert averaging 44 points per game in the Chicago Pro Am (according to Gil).
- Flip: In the past, we’ve played an 8-9 man rotation because that’s the players we had capable to play … if you have more of those players, then we’ll see.
- Flip: Everyone will need to make sacrifices.
- Finally, some reporter asked Oberto for a wine recommendation (because Oberto is part owner of a winery). Oberto responded “Malbec” (I’ve been to Argentina a couple times, even visited a winery in the Cafayate region … the Malbecs in Argentina are to die for). Anyway, the reporter responded, “Is that one of the cheap ones?” Oberto should have slapped him across the head after that question.
Also … Flip Saunders made an appearance on the Mike Wise Show on 106.7 The Fan today.
- Flip calls Mike Wise “Gasoline” for fueling the Shaq fire.
- Flip says that with Shaq, the lane won’t be as open for LeBron (and that LBJ might struggle with Shaq a la Steve Nash).
- Flip: “Gilbert has to be an extension on what I want to have done.” (from offense to defense to leadership … how Flip thinks the game has to be played)
- Flip says Gil was known as a defensive player coming out of college.