A D.C. pic, some Michael Jordan commentary, and links …
[Cavalier Liquor - 14th St. & Parkwood Pl. NW - Washington, D.C. - K. Weidie]
Not All For Nothing, Perhaps.
Michael Jordan, as owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, is trying to do things the right way, this time … so it seems. There’s a must-read on TrueHoop right now called, “Michael Jordan’s Bobcat Comeback.” This induced several thoughts:
- I’m not privy to all the insider knowledge of the disconnect between Jordan’s “people” and Abe Pollin’s “people” during Jordan’s tenure as a player and executive in D.C. — However, just as inept as Jordan seemed to be, or rather, bad at building a team/community environment, one could easily lay blame on both sides of the track. Pollin, a great man for his community and his employees, was also known to be a bit fickle and set in his ways.
- For instance, it seemed to be well-known that “agents” weren’t high on Pollin’s list of likable figures, especially David Falk (Jordan’s agent). One could insinuate that Pollin generalized the nature of agents as “inherently evil,” which might be taking a little too far. Pollin was a man who instead opted for handshakes and looks-in-the-eye in a changing environment that called more for established protocol, and hence, agents as intermediaries. He couldn’t separate the issue of “old school trust,” dealing directly with players, in which Pollin, being the older, smarter, richer man, would have had the advantage, versus the fine print of crossing Ts and doting Is on a legal document as a CYA contingency needed on the part of the players (and teams).
- Of course, I’ve also shared some of Pollin’s sentiment regarding agents.
- So, Pollin might not have always had optimal relationships with agents (although I’m sure there were some he got along with) … but still, it’s easy to deduce how being slow to adopt the necessities of a changing league, or an unwillingness to let bygones be bygones and build more holistic unity, served to the detriment of the Wizards franchise for a long time.
- Which circles me back to my point about Jordan … what if he’s learned his lesson? Or at least has become more willing to see things from a different perspective? Or, has just become a nicer guy to deal with? People can change. It’s a scientific fact. And not saying that Pollin didn’t change, or learn lessons, during my tenure closely following the franchise for the past 20 years, I’m just saying that the “set in his ways” idea is not baseless.
- I recently appeared on a sports talk radio show in St. Louis, At The Buzzer with Brian Doolittle (Episode 17). Brian asked me to comment about the recent signing of Kwame Brown by Jordan’s team … and I wasn’t exactly sure how to answer. How should Wizards fans feel about the reunion between Jordan and Kwame? Should they not care? Should they hope they both fail together? Should they hope for redemption? It’s easy to not be a fan of Kwame, and I’ll leave it at that for now, otherwise opting for apathy.
- But it got me thinking … Ted Leonsis, as a minority owner under Pollin, was very instrumental in bringing Jordan to the Wizards in the first place (Jordan and Pollin previously had some “run-ins,” if you will). Leonsis wanted to make a splash with marketing pizazz, glitter and the what-not (see also: giving Jaromir a then-record $77 million contract in 2001) … both situations failed pretty epically.
- However, as the case with most smart men, the lesson out of the whole situation was not lost on Leonsis, as he has admitted himself. You don’t build teams with big splashes (well, sometimes you do, but it’s rare and risky). Leonsis is undoubtedly better set up to succeed because of what he was able to observe — as a result of his own actions and as a result of how the franchise was previously run.
- The Michael Jordan Experiment, as bitter of a memory as it is/was for Wizards fans, ended up making Leonsis a better owner … and in all likelihood, a better, more consistent franchise (of the community) for the future. Ah, the cycle of life.
- So, you see, perhaps Jordan can change too (and maybe even Gilbert Arenas as well! — Matt Moore, if you’re listening). Maybe Jordan, like Leonsis, can learn lessons from past mistakes that he’s created — Kwame Brown and Adam Morrison. Okay, not much of a lesson there aside from the necessity of doing the bare minimum of due diligence >>>> TINY-HANDED PLAYERS ARE NOT MADE IN ONE WORKOUT … THOSE WITH WISPY MUSTACHES DON’T HAVE NBA CAREERS PREDICATED ON COLLEGE BASKETBALL TEARS.
- I am now unsure as to why I just typed in all caps (probably for some sort of effect), and why all of this is organized in bullet-point form.
- Otherwise, that’s all I got … hindsight is 20/20, but sometimes you have to go through bad visions to get to better ones … not all for nothing, perhaps.
A bit more on Hamady N’diaye as he waits for a tender from the Wizards.
John Feinstein has some good words about the Mike Wise Twitter incident, especially about how what Mitch Albom did was much, much worse.
[Feinstein On The Brink]
Casey Mack is advocating that the Wizards trade Andray Blatche while his stock is high (if he continues his strong, post-trade numbers from last season). It’s not that far-fetched of an idea, especially considering the fact that ‘Dray will make roughly $6.8 million over the next two seasons, and it took him less than a month after last February’s trade deadline for him to proclaim that he’s underpaid.
Etan Thomas signs with Atlanta. A Hawks blogger is like, “Whoa … huh?”
Real quick: What former-Wizards are new to other teams in the Southeast Division? Mike Miller (Miami Heat), Shaun Livingston (Charlotte Bobcats), Dominic McGuire (Bobcats), Kwame Brown (Bobcats), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (Heat), Juwan Howard (Heat), and now the Poet in the ATL.
Speaking of old Wizards, it looks like Dee Brown will be in camp with the Dallas Mavericks.
[The Two Man Game]
Could Kevin Durant be the next Tim Tebow (in terms of media idolization spawning fan annoyance)? Or is he just an anti-LeBron James for the time being?
More Yi Jianlian in clips.
When television used to be the enemy of the NFL.
[Washington City Paper]
Does pre-game stretching matter? I’m most curious about if the Wizards specifically perform stretching after games (if it’s a team thing, or if it’s up to the players themselves). In tune with Henry Abbott’s observations of other teams, I don’t recall seeing any Wizards stretching after games last year, and wonder if they even have time to do so.
The ‘blogger access’ debate has been festering in the NHL, here’s a good read.
[The Hockey Writers]
More Mike Florio bashing. I’m on board.
[The Jets Blog]
John Wall a week before the NBA draft, via Court Cred.
Sure, sure … you’ve probably seen some of these John Wall highlights from Elite 24 runs before. Sure, sure … you’ll watch them again.
A Peter John Ramos sighting (the tall one) before Puerto Rico faced China. Not sure what’s going on around him, as in … Why is José Juan Barea (the short one to Ramos’ left, your right) so angry with the camera? It’s weird, I took a screen shot of a computer screen of this scene, yet I feel like some individuals in the picture are annoyed with me personally. Oh well.