Links: Arenas Wants Respect Back & A Thumbs Up to Ernie Grunfeld | Truth About It.net

Links: Arenas Wants Respect Back & A Thumbs Up to Ernie Grunfeld

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Updated: March 15, 2010

This week I’m on vacation, but not a vacation from the computer/writing about the Wizards because, well, this is something I really like to do. No, this is a vacation from regular work … relaxing, seeing some family, and eating some very good New Orleans food at the tail end of the trip. And yes, my vacation was scheduled around the Wizards’ four-game West Coast swing.

I might not be as active on this site, as I’m not sure if I’ll be able to watch some of the Wizards games, but there will be some guest posts covering the team, so stay tuned …

{Links}

Next time I see Ernie Grunfeld, I may flash him a thumbs up. Sure, he’s taken some heat, and justifiably so, but Shaun Livingston could be a nice addition to Grunfeld’s resume (and yes, it’s early).

Also, I’ll leave you with a quote from Behlehem Shoals of NBA FanHouse that will make you nod your head in approval:

“To be sure, it was a long-term investment: Taking Blatche in the second, then waiting around for him to mature and the situation to change. When all’s said and done, though, who exactly from the [Rookie] Class of 2007 looks better than Andray Blatche right now?”

Shoals’ entire article on Blatche and buying into the lottery is a must-read, so go check that out.

After becoming the 66th person to call Gilbert Arenas “Six Shooter,” the DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg cuts Gilbertology no slack for some comments in a yet-to-be-released Esquire article.

The piece on Arenas, via the AP, which received an advanced copy, also via ESPN.com reads:

“I called Mrs. Pollin and said, ‘If Abe was still with us, I would’ve had to talk to him, so I’m gonna give you the same respect. I want to say sorry to you. I deserve to be punished. I’ll do everything it takes to get back your husband’s respect.’”

Seems reasonable, if not understood, that doing so better be amongst Arenas’ comeback intentions. Steinberg writes:

“Attempting to gain back the respect of a man who was already gone when the incident happened? Like I said, pure Gilbert.”

Ok, Gil will continue to deserve harsh treatment, or at least a skeptical eye, until he proves himself … and justifiably so. But unless Gilbert has a time machine, I’m not sure when he’d otherwise get a chance to right the wrong of disrespecting the memory/legacy of Abe Pollin. Maybe his new nickname can be Marty McFly

Steinberg also covers Arenas’ words about Tiger Woods, which includes the Gil quote,  “Say it’s all true … at the end of the day, that’s [the infidelity] not the reason I love Tiger.”

Steinberg writes:

It’s an innocent notion of why fans love athletes, and it was likely true a decade ago. But now? Does Tiger’s bio ever not include the women? Does Gilbert’s bio ever not include the guns? Doesn’t matter how much you love the guy.

Ok, and Bill Clinton’s bio includes a stained blue dress. Michael Jackson’s bio includes purportedly diddling kids in his bed. Ted Kennedy’s bio includes Chappaquiddick. Tony Kornheiser’s bio includes a “Holden Caulfield fantasy.”

Polarizing figures, and not just athletes, will always have blemishes from their past for detractors to point out. I don’t think the bios of Arenas and Woods are necessarily coming in an age where innocence has been lost, rather an age where guilt is more easily recalled. What can you do? … public figures are humans too.

I recently criticized a piece in Off the Dribble, the NBA blog of the New York Times. One of the blog’s writers, Joanne C. Gerstner, used an incident and the surrounding backlash, which she did not observe first-hand, to make an assumption of increased drama in the Wizards’ locker room.

More recently, Jonathan Abrams, another NYT writer and contributor to Off the Dribble, spun a more positive Wizards story, one of Shaun Livingston.

And not to say that negative stories can’t be written about the Wiz, I’ve done so plenty of times. I guess the difference is that Abrams’ piece was of a first-hand account while Gerstner’s was not. I suppose that’s what happens when “blog”-like material creeps onto a main-stream media’s website.

What a world/Go figure.

{Wizards-Magic Game Links}

[Gene Wang - Washington Post]

Dwight Howard put the Wizards in a matchup predicament from the outset, as they sent JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche and Fabricio Oberto at the all-star center to little avail. Howard finished with a team-high 28 points on 11-for-13 shooting and added a game-high 15 rebounds and five assists.

[Philip Rossman-Reich - Orlando Magic Daily]

Philip Rossman-Reich

Blatche had a big scoring night (he shot 14 of 23) but Howard and Bass did a good job keeping both Blatche and McGee of the glass. The two combined for seven total rebounds. And three of Blatche’s four rebounds came on the offensive end. It would prove difficult for Washington to score the upset when they were struggling to secure rebounds.

[Ben Q. Rock - Orlando Pinstriped Post]

So the real takeaway here, in a mid-March game against a lottery opponent, is this: the bench bailed out what was a poor first effort from the starters. Redick’s uncanny ability to draw shooting fouls on the perimeter, thanks to that ball-fake of his, proved invaluable today. That he managed to shoot well away from the foul line–5-of-9–was icing, really. Orlando needed his efficiency from the wing, as Vince Carter needed 18 shots to score 18 points and failed to get to the foul line for the first time in three weeks.

All Photo Credits: Adam Douglas – Truth About It.net


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