I have no idea where this came from or what it means, but it’s time for some must-read links.
Tired of Caron Butler yet?
Washington Post: Michael Lee provides even more insight on the crazy year in Washington from Caron Butler’s perspective. Great read.
A couple interesting tid-bits & quotes:
“It was a team where the expectations were severely high and we obviously underachieved.” – Caron Butler. For the record, Caron was one of the first, if not the first, to declare championship aspirations, saying “people shouldn’t be scared to mention championship,” late last August. Of course, Antawn Jamison followed with his own claims in mid-September and I defended the proclamations of both. Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood opted not to speak about any championship potential during the preseason media day. The issue: Caron’s use of the word “severe” implies that the expectations were unjustified and placed upon the Wizards by someone else.
In regard to not getting his contract extended by Ernie Grunfeld last summer, Butler says he “wasn’t upset about it.” Yet, in the quote that follows, Caron uses phrases like, “you’ve got to give credit where credit was due,” “you should be compensated and rewarded,” and “you expect certain things.” Sounds like someone had a complex about making less money to begin with.
The Bring Back The Bullets Movement
Mike Jones Sports: Mike Jones writes about one of the foremost requests fans will be approaching the publicly accessible Ted Leonsis with in the coming months … getting rid of the incomprehensible team name “Wizards” and bringing back the Washington Bullets.
I can’t see Leonsis considering a team name change during the onset of his ownership. The “we have other things to concentrate on” excuse is already built in. Also, some will argue, not I, that returning the team name to “Bullets” would dishonor the memory of Abe Pollin. I think Leonsis could be hyper-sensitive to such concerns.
Other the other hand, a name change could be the marketing splash Leonsis has desired in the past, but with far less risk than signing Jaromir Jagr for $77 million or inviting Michael Jordan to the ownership table. As Jones mentions, Leonsis might stand to make a nice chunk of change on the sales of new jerseys and other memorabilia that a name and team colors change would bring, which would likely cover any costs of changing the team logo on stationary, etc. with profit to boot.
I’ve long outlined that Pollin likely incurred some financial gain by switching from Bullets to Wizards, and that it wasn’t just a public relations move against violence — especially since the team had no problem selling Bullets ‘throw-back’ gear. Besides, could anyone really prove that eschewing the name ‘Bullets’ led to less violence in the first place?
WNBA Attendance Banners
The Washington Examiner: Rick Snider calls for several action items from Leonsis as he takes over the Wizards/Verizon Center/DC-Baltimore Ticketmaster franchise. An interesting one is to bring back the Washington Commandos, the Arena Football team that played in the Washington area for a couple seasons in the late-80s/early-90s. I’d be down with that.
Another move I’d agree with is removing the WNBA attendance banners hanging in the Verizon Center. It just seems silly, and condescending, to put up banners celebrating the fact that people attend Mystics games. But alas, I doubt removing them is on Leonsis’ bucket list either. Taking them down, as much sense as it makes, would cause more of a public relations backlash than continuing to leave them up.
Speaking of NBA Ownership …
True Hoop: Henry Abbott has an in-depth piece about the current state of the NBA ownership market. He begins:
For most of my life, the general consensus has been that owning an NBA team was one of the sweetest deals out there. Almost no matter what you did, you would make money. Even the Clippers were in the dough! Even if you had to dig in your pockets now and again for a free agent, you’d make all that up and more — the story went — whenever you decided to sell.
Things change, though.
A Mount Pleasant Sunday scene, Washington, D.C.
- Slate: Dave McKenna chronicles how Redskins owner Dan Snyder failed as chairman of Six Flags, mostly because he tried to run it like he runs the Redskins. Oh, and McKenna also explains how Snyder conducted shady dealings and is a bad businessman all around. Really, a must-read article. I walked by Johnny Rockets, another Snyder “venture”, in D.C.’s Dupont Circle area this past Sunday. Granted, it was at 2:30 in the afternoon, off-peak hours, but the joint had absolutely zero customers … only two visible employees hanging out. Every other restaurant in the area had a decent number of customers.
- Washington City Paper: Kwame Brown is the undercover councilman. No, not that Kwame Brown.
- Bullets Forever: Mike Prada does the research, consults with those in the know, and goes into great detail how the Wizards now have two trade exceptions as a result of the maneuverings they made to jettison Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison at the trade deadline. I’m still kinda confused, but that’s probably why I’m not a collective bargaining lawyer.
- Brain On Funk: Twitter funny man, @docfunk, who briefly contributed to Truth About It.net once upon a time, breaks down Kobe Bryant’s recent fashion statement on his blog, Brain On Funk. BTW, check out Brain On Funk all the time, every time for hilarious NBA playoff commentary via pictures.
- DC Sports Bog: Michael Wilbon takes a shot at Alex Ovechkin, Dan Steinberg shoots Wilbon down.
- On Frozen Blog: I guess you could call me a bandwagon Caps fan, but a D.C. sports lover. Hence, I’ve always rooted for the Caps, but I don’t know all the intricate details surrounding the team. On Frozen Blog does a great job of breaking down what went wrong and makes a plea for “Piss-’n-Vinegar Hockey.”
- Peter Robert Casey and Andy Pawlowski of Digital Hoops Blast are digging through the online presence of each NBA team. Click here to see what he learned about the Wizards.
Straight cash homey.