A D.C. pic, links and commentary …
[Looking at the McKinley Tech football field - Lincoln Rd. & T St. NE - K. Weidie]
The preseason is officially over for the Washington Wizards (more on that in the links below), and the window to get in those preseason previews and predictions is closing. In fact, the crew from TAI totally forgot to include their crystal ball visions of the Wizards’ regular season record for 2010-11 … so here they are:
- Kyle Weidie – 34 wins
- Rashad Mobley – 30 wins
- Adam McGinnis – 40 wins
- John Townsend – 40 wins
- Arish Narayen – 41 wins
- Beckley Mason – 36 wins
- Stephen Riley – 35 wins
A couple other sites have also recently written their previews on the Wiz via the massive NBA Blog Preview by Bloggers (links to those also below). I’m sure you’ve read the preview of the gang at Bullets Forever — either way, go check out the ‘State of the Wizards’ address by Mike Prada … it’s particularly good and worth a second read.
Andrew Sharp on SB Nation takes a different turn in his preview and gives us the Wizards’ “Perfect World” top eight players of: PG John Wall; SG Gilbert Arenas; SF Al Thornton; PF Trevor Booker; C Javale McGee; 6th Kevin Seraphin; 7th Lester Hudson; 8th Yi Jianlian.
Sharp, in his preview, is clearly not a fan of the Andray Blatche extension, the Josh Howard signing, and it seems, the presence of Kirk Hinrich … which is curious as the Wizards got Seraphin, the 17th pick in 2010, because they were willing to take on Hinrich.
And I’m not actually here to put up a ton of resistance to this sentiment (although I do sorta disagree). But here’s the deal … everyone knows the Wizards are rebuilding. And many who follow the team closely are very weary of Ernie Grunfeld’s presumed penchant for keeping unnecessary veterans around during the rebuilding process.
However, the idea of starting Thornton, Booker and McGee, three horribly inept offensive players in terms of their ability to create their own shot, next to Wall and Arenas is quite silly … and far from “perfect.”
Yes, rebuilding with youth is ideal — and getting them the most on-court experience possible along the way is also ideal — but if you’re surrounding your fresh new point guard with a bunch of players who aren’t good at scoring in Flip Saunders’ system (or any system for that matter), he is going to get frustrated. Quickly.
Sure, Wall will inevitably go through frustrations and growing pains himself (already is), and these other kids gotta learn though experience too, but the process requires a bit more sensitivity, maneuvering and massaging than simply throwing a pile of inexperienced feet into the fire on the court and hoping everything comes out roses.
It all starts with Wall, this team/franchise that is. And his development as an NBA point guard will run a bit more smoothly by playing with more experienced, albeit clearly questionable in nature, players as opposed to some rookies who need to do some learning from the sidelines too.
I’m taking part in this pretty cool project … well, one of the initial installments of this cool project … well, my part hasn’t exactly been posted yet. But the project, yea … it’s cool.
My part of an installment involves me talking about the disaster that was last season for the Wizards. Michael Lee of the Washington Post and Mike Prada of Bullets Forever/SB Nation have also taken part — and their sections are up for you to hear now. I highly recommend that you go listen.
Michael Lee reports on lessons courtesy of Ben Wallace, via the Wizards’ preseason game against the Pistons Tuesday night in Toledo.
“I don’t think [John Wall is] used to the big man stepping out on the floor like I did. In time he’ll figure it out, but by the time he figure it out, I’ll be at the house, on the couch.”
-Ben Wallace on defending Wall on the pick-and-roll
Michael Lee also has a good profile on Trevor Booker, who has a tattoo across his chest that says: “I am free of all prejudice/I hate all opponents equally.”
>> Booker had his best preseason game against the Pistons, pulling down 12 rebounds, five offensive, seven points and five fouls in 18 minutes off the bench.
Flip Saunders hasn’t seemed too concerned about John Wall’s high preseason minutes.
Someone else writes a piece that’s not totally and completely anti-Gilbert Arenas.
NBA.com’s John Schuhmann calls the Wizards a “fascinating study” (Arenas aside) and writes this about the team’s front line:
“For both Blatche and McGee, it’s simply a matter of being focused and energetic on every possession. When asked how patient he’s being with his young bigs, Saunders had a simple reply.
‘You have patience in the preseason,’ the coach said. ‘You don’t have patience in the regular season.’”
Shaun Powell, also of NBA.com, takes a closer look at Andray Blatche:
“It could very well be that Blatche suffers from the syndrome known as “first fame,” that is, he’s already caught up in the vortex caused by his sudden rise. Some insiders suspect his ego swelled right along with his stats. His maturity, or lack of it, will be monitored closely this season, and it’s possible the only thing that can hold Blatche back is Blatche.”
So the John Wall limited edition “Gold Rush” Reeboks are pretty terrible looking. I think I’d rather wear a crocheted rain jacket made out of the worst colors in the world. I’m not even going to post a picture of them, click the link and then write your local Reebok representative.
Trey Kerby writes about the shoes at The Basketball Jones:
“They are … something. Squiggly, triangle-y and goldish come to mind as descriptors. Also, now that I look more closely, “beige cuneiform resting on a child’s depiction of water” seems to be a pretty fair characterization of this shoe. It’s an interesting concept.”
USA Today has this “Kindness Community”/blog thing on its site … and of course, the “kindness” of Gilbert Arenas was recently featured.
>> I think what Leonsis is projecting, via his blog that’s sometimes informative with commentary and often times marketing/promotion/dazzle, is that the Josh Howard he knows has been “acting” like a leader (so far) and that he hopes to one day be more respected.
Here’s a pretty good feature piece on Hamady N’diaye.
>> And I can attest to “H” always seemingly remaining positive, and that John Wall has been serving as a mentor/encourager for him. It’s just unfortunate that I get the feeling that N’diaye won’t make the Wizards, and thus the team will likely lose the rights to their 2010 second round draft pick (56th overall). Should that happen, I’m sure there will be critique about what exactly the so-called “process” of rebuilding means.
Looks like the San Antonio Spurs are going to work out Kevin Palmer, who the Wizards recently cut … smells like Alonzo Gee.
[48 Minutes of Hell]
Top 5 Hurt Ex-Wizards … the “curse” is migrating, evidently.
Pat Riley made Caron Butler hate stationary bikes.
NBA Blog Previews
Hawks: Peachtree Hoops
The Bleacher Report & The Washington Post
So the Washington Post has struck a deal with the Bleacher Report … and this was particularly jarring because I love and respect the Post while I feel the exact opposite about Bleacher Report.
Dan Levy at Press Coverage more accurately depicts the ills, and perhaps “genius” (that’s a big stretch) of BR’s creators than I can … so you should probably go read what he has to say first.
Overall, I hate to lump every writer at Bleacher Report into the overall terribleness of their “network” … but that’s what you get when you write for Bleacher Report. Your bad.
And most zingers regarding BR’s new association with the Post revolve around posts such as “Most Boobalicious Athlete” from Bleacher Report, which of course is an indication of what sells in our society … sex. And there aren’t too many issues with that from me, necessarily — you either choose to put boob shots on your blog or not. I choose not. Although, a long, long time ago, I included a picture (SFW) of an attractive lady on a link post I did. It was actually relevant to something I was linking or talking about … and that post still gets an above average hits today. So, there’s that ….
No, my problem with the Bleacher Report is that it saturates the market with absolute crap written by plebes who have been promised their “name in lights” via Bleacher Reports affiliations. The crap pieces, which come with baiting, ‘grocery store checkout line’ headlines, and what I imagine to be black hat SEO (search engine optimization, the bad/unsavory kind that’s frowned upon), overshadow anything good that Bleacher Report has ever produced … by far. By far. If BR has, in fact, ever produced anything good and creative — I check every once in a while via Google Alerts … no dice.
Let me go over a couple examples of what I’m taking about; examples that caused me to go on a Twitter rant days before the announced association with the WaPost.
A post from Oct. 16 called, ‘NBA Rumors: Javaris Crittenton Cut By Bobcats, To Lakers?‘ — The “rumor” that the Lakers might be interested in Crittenton, as the headline insinuates, was something created by the author, Nathaniel Uy, and is only “addressed” (if you will) by the last two sentences of a less than 200-word post: “With Crittenton back in the free agent pool, could his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers give him another shot? The timing is probably not right for the Lakers, who—barring a trade—appears to set with their roster.”
See what happened there? Exactly. A story/rumor fabricated out of thin air (it includes the word “Lakers” for web hits y’all!) gets pushed out to the web via Google News and any other affiliation Bleacher Report has. Oh, and the author also made up this grossly unchecked lie: “[Crittenton] was the man Gilbert Arenas supposedly drew his handgun on in Washington.” The only “report” in which Arenas drew a gun came from Peter Vecsey’s irresponsible, lying mouth/typing fingers.
The author clearly did no research other than perhaps reading the CliffsNotes to “How To Make Up Bullshit Lies, But Still Get ‘Mad Hits’ On The Web -Volume 3.”
Another article, by the same author, Nathaniel Uy (a Bleacher Report “featured columnist”) called ‘NBA Rumors: Wizards Front Office Losing Patience With Gilbert Arenas?‘ contained nothing but speculation, i.e., it could not point to any concrete signs that the Wizards’ front office has “lost patience” with Arenas (they probably already have, but that’s neither here nor there), other then mentioning his recent 50K fine, which is rather irrelevant to “patience.”
Same author, two examples … yes, a small sample, but also a greater representation of Bleacher Report’s platform, baiting conjecture with no substance.
Not to mention that the URL for the aforementioned article is: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/492993-nba-rumors-latest-on-lebron-james-kobe-bryant-carmelo-anthony-and-more/entry/18340-nba-rumors-wizards-front-office-losing-patience-with-gilbert-arenas
“nba-rumors-latest-on-lebron-james-kobe-bryant-carmelo-anthony-and-more” appears in the URL of all “rumor” posts by Nathaniel Uy — and this is misleading (black/gray hat SEO) when the article has nothing to do with LeBron, Kobe and Carmelo.
So usually I’d shrug off such instances that I’ve seen in abundance on Bleacher Report … but now that there’s an affiliation with such crap by my local paper … well, shit. The Washington Post affiliating itself with the Bleacher Report is akin to National Geographic Magazine affiliating itself with BangBros (a porn site) … or rather, YouPorn (an amateur porn site).
Oh, and there’s the time in March 2009 that someone on the Bleacher Report completely made up a three-team trade that would have sent Jay Cutler to the Redskins and Chris Cooley to the Cleveland Browns (among other moving parts), wrote up the piece like it was an official report, and then labeled it as “satire.”
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post addressed this:
“I guess there are some sort of legitimate Jay Cutler-to-D.C. trade rumors. Maybe there are even legitimate Chris Cooley-to-Cleveland trade rumors, but this sure isn’t one of them. In an entirely non-funny and non-Satirical Bleacher Report item bizarrely labeled “Humor” and “Satire,” Cooley was off to Cleveland and Cutler to D.C. and Jason Campbell to Denver. That’s the punch line. Get it? Oh, my stomach hurts from laughing.”
Other than lies for web hits, I’ve never found anything of true substance on the Bleacher Report. It’s a cesspool … which will now have links to its articles on the website of the respected Washington Post — albeit, WaPost editors will surely be hand-picking which BR stories will appear on their site while feasting upon the link juice that could come to the Post’s website from BR … don’t let the ooze drip down your chin too much guys.
And yes, this comes from some silly blogger who has an “affiliation” with a certain network that is often criticized, especially via “The Decision.” You sooooo got me there [sarcasm].