Under the Hoop: Wizards Game 72 vs. The Utah Jazz | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Under the Hoop: Wizards Game 72 vs. The Utah Jazz

Updated: April 2, 2010

[Editor’s Note: Truth About It.net photographer Adam Douglas once again brings you an excellent edition of “Under The Hoop” — because Wizards games aren’t just about basketball, they’re about the whole fan experience, and Adam brings you that experience from up close with pictures and commentary. The below post is from last Saturday’s game against the Utah Jazz.]

Andray Blatche, NBA, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards

Andray Blatche knows who might butter his bread at the free throw line.

‘Dray and his best boy Nick Young shake it out during introductions.

Military Night


The Wizards honored our brave men and women of the armed forces with military night. Not to sound like a partisan shill for the team but it was an impressive display by the whole Wizards organization. Although a tad bit too much of a downer for my personal tastes, the homecomings of troops reuniting with a family members were very touching.

Ukrainian native and Jazz reserve Kyrylo Fesenko found some time to brush up on his English by browsing the Wizards program during the pre-game shoot around.

Carlos Boozer — making Alaskans and Duke fans proud.

Mehmet Okur is a notorious Wizards killer.

Shaun Livingston continues to amaze with sneaky ups after his devastating knee injury.

Former Virginia Governor and current DNC chairman Tim Kaine sat courtside. Watching the lowly Wizards is definitely not as entertaining as how the RNC chairman rolls out in California.

{Deron Williams}

Williams spent most of the game griping to the refs and was finally T’d up with 8:45 left in the 3rd.

{Kiss Cam}

For those unfamiliar with how the Kiss Cam segment operates, they basically find random women and men sitting next to one another and pressure them to kiss by putting their faces up on the Jumbo-Tron. Sometimes the pairs are not really couples and their reactions are amusing. The man above tried to play peekaboo with the Kiss Cam.

These two were actually together but the woman wanted nothing to do with any smooches. The crowd eventually started booing, but the woman refused to give any ground. Poor Sap.

Kiss Cam usually concludes with putting up players on the opposing team. Kyle Korver and Sundiata Gaines cracked up hysterically when their images appeared.

NBA ref Bennett Salvatore took part in the ever-popular burrito giveaway and had quite a chuckle that he was able to toss his Chipotle treat deep into the crowd.

As a life long white boy b-baller, I always find it intriguing when two domestic Caucasians guard each other in a NBA game. Does it get any more middle Americana than Mitchell, South Dakota (Miller) vs. Pella, Iowa (Korver)?

One of the perks of living in America’s capital city is the diverse international representation. Turkish fans waved their country’s flag and cheered for fellow countryman Mehmet Okur throughout the game. Their favorite applause line was “We Love you Mehmet!” as he shot free throws, which could be a bit distracting.

The rowdy Okur fan club befriended the Turkish media that was covering the game.

I was quite impressed with Deron Williams’ ability to lull defenders with a slow dribble and then immediately blow by them. Guess that’s part of the reason why he’s one of the three best point guards in the NBA.

Part of the military night festivities was handing out free hats to fans. Wizard Girl Caitlin sported a camo lid in beautiful style.  Color me smitten.

Being a Midwesterner from Nebraska and Iowa, Creighton University basketball star and Pella, Iowa’s Kyle Korver has rock star status in those communities.  Fans made a sign to show their Pella pride.

Andray Blatche’s high school brother Tre’ was in attendance, he’s a promising basketball player in his own right. Tre’ Oliver plays for the Greer High School Yellow Jackets in Greenville, South Carolina and will be a senior next year.

Being this close to the floor has really made me sympathetic toward the plight of NBA refs. I still have deep concerns that the best athletes in world are being monitored by men in their 50s and 60s with dwindling reflex abilities, but man they put up with some bitching.

Both players and coaches are harping relentlessly. It feels these refs are almost babysitters between spoiled brats and overbearing parents. Here, rookie Wes Matthews is acting like a vet and getting a lesson.

There is an elder gentleman who does the “Sprinkler” move during Dance Cam time at every single game. The crowd always eats it up — applause continues to reign down regardless of how repetitive and stale his shtick continues to be. It’s mind numbing.

Some have dubbed Mike Miller, “Mr. Glass,” due to his fragile makeup, his continual gimpy on the court demeanor and over the top facial expressions. Here Mr. Glass is all wrapped up … turning 30 hasn’t really helped him tame down this behavior. But I guess you have to give Miller a lot of credit for always being willing to hustle and dive on the floor.

Former Wizards guard Chris Whitney was floating around the phone booth.

Carlos Boozer picked up two quick fouls and sat out the majority of the first half. Like D-Will, he was routinely griping at the refs.  He still ended up with a double-double, 22-10.

These kids have no idea how lucky they are to be this close to NBA basketball players.

The ball dudes work their asses off.

CNN power couple John King and Dana Bash took in the Jazz beat down.

Comcast Wizards TV duo, Ron Thompson and Chris Miller, chat up with NBA journalist David Aldridge.

This was my first near Dennis Rodman camera experience as Blatche dove for a loose ball and almost landed on me. Blatche isn’t a prick like Rodman, so no groin kicks were involved.

Kyle Korver’s fly Converse shoes.

Utah guard and in-season D-League call up, Sundiata Gaines, nailed a three in mop up time. His large cheering section erupted with one of the loudest ovations of the evening. Gaines was a standout baller from Jamaica Queens and my guess is his family and friends came down from NYC.

Dray struggled with the length of Utah’s front court.

Wizard Girls Dawn and Tenii

Coach Saunders dressed in a Johnny Cash “man in black” outfit, and sans tie. This depressing season reminds me of Cash covering Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt.”

{More photos …}

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Adam McGinnis
Reporter / Writer / Media at TAI
Adam is a bro from the Midwest who's been bopping around the District of Columbia for years. He's down with a range of sports, etc. and has covered the Washington Wizards for TAI since 2010.