Washington Wizards On Wale and Pregame Music | Truth About It.net

Washington Wizards On Wale and Pregame Music

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Updated: November 20, 2009

As it’s becoming apparent, this Wale/Wizards thing has become a pet project. I “exchanged” tweets with Wale once (more like baited him into responding), sending a reply when he tweeted his support for the Cavaliers during the playoffs last May.

Recently, Wale confessed in an interview on Passion of the Weiss that he doesn’t root for his hometown team.

Yeah, but I gotta be honest, I’m not the biggest Wizards fan. I usually root for the Nuggets and the Cavs.

Since the initial exchange, he’s answered nary a baiting tweet from @Truth_About_It

Wale can root for whomever he wants. That doesn’t mean he’s any less of a lyricist … and he’s a damn good lyricist. And his fandom regarding the Wizards doesn’t affect my fandom of his music. Still, if you’re going to rep D.C., might as well go all out and get behind the Wizards.

But if Wale is not rooting for the Wiz, I naturally wanted to see if any of the players rooted for him. I was able to ask three in the locker room before the Cleveland game; one who recently turned 23, one who turns 30 soon, and one who turned 34 this past summer.

Subject A:

Got the new Wale CD yet?

Who?

Wale …

Nah.

He’s the rapper ….

Yea, I know who he is, I just never got into him like that.

Why’s that? Is it because he’s from D.C., but roots for the Cavs?

I didn’t even know he did that. He’s not my style of rapper. I like Drake, Jay-Z … Wale’s a little different feel.

Ok, so what’s on your pregame playlist … what gets you jacked up?

Right now I’m heavy on Drake … ummm Lil’ Wayne, anything Lil’ Wayne, Drake, T.I., Jay-Z. Those are the main four. If I’m real angry, I’ll go old school 2 Pac. But I got to be angry though … real angry.

You’re not angry tonight? 2 Pac is not going to get you up? It’s the Cavs, right?

It’s against the Cavs in November. I’m going to go with some Drake. But hey, if we see them late April or May, might have to be Pac.

Subject B:

Who’s on your pregame playlist, who do you usually get hype to?

Ok, I do ‘shuffle’ and right now, Arrested Development, “Tennessee” is on. And then, when I go to the next song, it’s Jay-Z, “Thank You”.

How big is your playlist?

It’s 756 songs. Then it’s Donnie McClurkin, “That’s What I Believe” … then it’s The Brat, “That’s What I’m Looking For” … but I’ll probably fast-forward that one, I probably wouldn’t listen to that one.

What about some of the new stuff … like Wale?

Who?

Wale.

No. Oh … “Things Done Changed”, Notorious B.I.G.

Wale is the rapper from DC. Everyone is talking about him because he’s the first hip-hop artist to rep the city.

No, I don’t know who Wale is.

Subject C:

Who’s on the pregame playlist? Who’s getting you hype tonight?

I’m going to tell you honestly who the best rapper out right now is … The best rapper alive is 50 Cent. Hate ‘em or Love ‘em, Underdog on Top … 50 Cent, Gucci Mayne … anything, still maintaining. But my mind is already straight, got my 5-Hour drink (Blatche chugs a 5-Hour energy drink) … I need to get paid for that advertisement.

But the label is off of it.

You’re right.

What about Wale, the guy representing DC … have you checked him out?

Yea, Wale is good. Me and him are kind of cool. He lives by me, so …

He says he roots for the Cavs and the Nuggets, and that he’s not really a fan of the Wizards.

He’s a fan of the Wizards … don’t let him fool you.

Are you going to convince him to turn (his fandom) around?

Alright listen, we’re going to let his decision be based on after this game.

Who is who? The results are below.

Subject A: Brendan Haywood

Subject B: Mike James

Subject C: Andray Blatche

So Seven Day Dray laid down the challenge and the Wizards won. Your move Wale.


And now …

{choice cuts from dc v. cleveland}

[Mike Prada - Bullets Forever]

Excitement?  Sure, anytime you beat Cleveland, you’re excited.  LeBron James bugs me more and more every time these two teams play.  From all the whining to the officials, the self-promotion, the way he freezes out his teammates (ok, that’s a good thing for us, but it’s frustrating as a basketball fan), he’s just not fun to watch.  The guy might be the nicest dude away from the cameras and the media, but he’s so aggravating in those settings that I find him hard to appreciate.  I’m not dense enough to make a personality judgment simply from soundbytes and on-court play, but anytime the Wizards beat his team, it makes me very excited.

[Jarrett Carter - Stet Sports]

Caution yourself against classifying this win as “season-saving.” Yes, the rotations were better for Flip Saunders, the defensive commitment in the second half was more noticeably solid, and there was fun to be had on the floor even in tense moments. But there are miles to go before the Eastern Conference can be called out for sleeping on the Wizards; specifically within a Wizards west coast road trip with games against Oklahoma City and San Antonio over the next few days. They still have injuries, they still have trust issues, they still have quite a few problems.

[Michael Lee - Wizards Insider, Washington Post]

The Wizards will continue to need a complete team effort, because it’s obvious that Arenas is not ready to carry the team as he once did — not yet. He is still fighting with his mind, which is telling him that he can still dominate, while his body is saying otherwise. He seemed to really get stubborn in the third quarter, when he decided that he was going to shoot himself out his funk, no matter how many missed shots it took. Coach Flip Saunders said afterward that Arenas is still trying to regain his form and that it might take a few months before he truly resembles the old Gil. Arenas admitted the same after the game.

[Mike Jones - Wizards Outlet, Washington Times]

Arenas also is aware that his shot selection is pretty bad. Only problem is, he doesn’t realize it until after the shot’s taken.

“That’s been my problem. I’m just not getting in there easy,” Gil said. “These halves when I go through these droughts, I don’t know if I’m settling for the jump shot, or what. I’ve been watching a lot of highlight tapes. Coach gave me a long 45-minute one of me just getting buckets, so I’m just trying to look at the game again to see what I used to do.”

[Aaron Kaplowitz - SLAM]

With 10:30 to play, Earl Boykins blurred toward Mo Williams, spun away, and nailed the long jumper to the crowd’s delight. Three minutes later, he sneaked past Williams and scooped in a lefty finger-roll to push Washington’s lead to 92-78. On the following possession, Boykins drove down the lane before hitting a short pull-up while getting fouled. His free throw pushed the lead to 19, allowing the Wizards relative peace of mind over the final six minutes.

“People don’t realize because of my size that I always have an advantage,“ said the diminutive Boykins. “I never have to change the way I play basketball, and everyone has to adjust to me.”

[Kelly Dwyer - Ball Don't Lie]

After watching Antawn Jamison in this win, I’m convinced that every player should develop a cold after deeming themselves ready to return to action. That way, you don’t feel as if you’re coming right off the shelf, rather, you feel as if you’ve been waylaid by something else (a cold) that is easily overcome. Jamison fit right in, in his first game of the season, only turning the ball over two times in 38 minutes, pouring in 31 points in various styles and pulling in 10 rebounds (six offensive).

[Rashad Mobley - Hoops Addict]

After about eight or nine minutes of Jamison’s press conference had gone by, I began looking around the locker room for someone else to interview. I felt like I had gotten all the quotes from him that I needed and now wanted to look for Caron Butler, so I could wrap up the night and begin writing my game notes. As I began to walk away, I heard someone ask Jamison if this big victory would springboard the Wizards into a more successful season.

At first I casually listened, and then I heard something that reinforced my decision to go talk to him in the first place.

“I’m not going to say everything is fixed. We did what we set out to do and we defended our home court, ” Jamison cautioned. “Now we got two pretty teams that play well at home (Oklahoma City on Friday, San Antonio on Saturday) that play well at home, so now we have to find a way to get it done on the road…but let’s not kid ourselves, we gotta lot of room for improvement.”

Spoken like a true leader. Welcome back, Mr. Jamison.

[Dan Steinberg - DC Sports Bog]

And to be serious for a second, the thing about LeBron that drives so many of us crazy is the self-importance, the lack of self-awareness, the uber-grandiosity with which he conducts himself. That’s why Gilbert’s recent heel turn into an angry, pouting, churlish recluse was so disappointing. If that was D.C.’s standard-bearer, how could we really complain?

Well, look. Gilbert’s smiling again.

{other side}

[Brian Windhorst - Cleveland Plain Dealer]

Being in the building, I felt the whole game turned on LeBron getting out of his game totally by trying to show up DeShawn Stevenson. It seemed obvious to me how he stopped moving the ball and tried to just score right in Stevenson’s face. It could have worked and, in fact, it did work for a minute when LeBron hit a couple 3s. But that actually made it worse, because LeBron kept going to it.

[RockKing - Waiting For Next Year]

In addition to holding a severe edge in rebounding, the Wizards also managed to get to the free throw line 35 times compared to just 15 for the Cavaliers. It would be easy to assume this was a function of poor officiating, but the truth is the Cavaliers simply weren’t attacking the rim at all in this game. It’s tough to shoot a lot of FTs when you’re just sitting back and shooting jump shots. The Wizards, meanwhile, were able to get to FT line frequently as a result of their ability to get offensive rebounds and attempt to go back up for 2nd chance points. The Cavalier defense was generally out of position and reduced to fouling the Wizards in lieu of giving up the easy basket inside.

[John Krolik - Cavs: The Blog]

Then there’s the free throw disparity. Please, let’s not make it about the refs. Yes, the Stevenson jump-ball should’ve been a foul. But that’s one call. You know how many layups the Cavs missed in the second half, according to the play-by-play data I have? One. If the refs were letting the Wiz get away with hacks, there would’ve been more missed shots at the basket. In reality, there just weren’t shots at the basket. The Cavs lived by jumpers off of ball movement early, and died by jumpers off the dribble as the game went on.

[Rashad Mobley - Hoops Addict]

I tried to talk to Delonte West prior to the game, and told me he really didn’t want to talk at length. He said he was handling his legal issues and right now he wanted it to be all about basketball. The journalist in me wanted to probe deeper and ask him more pointed questions, but it just didn’t seem like the time nor the place. People from Michael Wilbon to Lisa Salters (from ESPN) were coming up to him and offering words of encouragement. For me to do anything to the contrary just would have been irresponsible. I’m sure I’ll wrestle with that decision later. As I walked away, West stopped me and said, “No hard feelings man, we’re cool right?”. I said of course, shook his hand and walked away. There’s a world class article to be had with Mr. West, and I hope to one day nab it.

{highlights}


2 Comments

  1. Rashad

    November 20, 2009 at 9:59 am

    How dare Wale not root for the Wizards.who does he think he is?

  2. Mac G

    November 20, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Wale needs to come correct and represent the District. The Wizards need all the help they can get and the world already has plenty of Lebron fans.

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