A D.C. pic, links and commentary …
[Riggs LaSalle Recreation Center - NE Washington, D.C.]
The Wizards will be seeking their first road win on the season when they play the Pistons in Detroit at 6pm tonight, and likely will have to do it without John Wall again.
Looks like the Pistons are inserting Jason Maxiell into the starting four spot instead of the rail-thin Austin Daye to better compete with the athleticism of Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee.
[Detroit Free Press]
Lakers coach Phil Jackson recently said that the Pistons don’t look like they’re trying. Ben Gordon responded by saying that guys need to look in the mirror.
Today Mike Wise had an excellent column on the parallels between Clinton Portis and Gilbert Arenas. I was around for part of the time Wise spoke with Arenas after the Grizzlies game last Friday. One interesting thing Arenas did mention, giving perspective on how he perceives himself, is that he said some in the media, mentioning Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon specifically, have trouble considering him as he considers himself, as an entertainer akin to Denzel Washington (who Arenas also mentioned by name).
In some respects, Arenas is right, but in some he isn’t. Yes, the salaries of basketball players, for the most part, come from people paying money to witness their entertaining skills. Yet, we treat athletes different. We expect more of them, we analyze their performances with numbers, we cut them much less slack than is given to those in Hollywood, who have all the slack they could ask for and more (it seems). But the difference is that athletes play for teams, they represent cities, they are tied to the locales in which they play. Traditional entertainers (movie stars, musicians, etc.) roam relatively freely between movies, albums and the what-not. Fans, cities and athletes are uniquely connected to a Win-Loss column.
And that’s why, I suppose, athletes are considered and treated differently than “entertainers” even though they are entertainers themselves. Go read Wise’s piece at the Washington Post.
My column this week at the DCist was about how Gilbert Arenas is no longer a gunner. While his field-goal on the season so far seems pretty bad (37.6-percent), keep in mind that he’s still getting into the swing of things. Aside from the Celtics game where pretty much everyone played bad, Arenas has eclipsed 20 points in three of the last four games (30 points in Chicago, 20 against Toronto and 24 against Memphis). In those three games, his field-goal percentage is 49-percent (25-51 FGs), and he’s shooting 12-22 from deep (54.5-percent). They won’t all be like that, but not bad nonetheless. Oh, and part of my DCist piece also discusses the silliness of snickering when Arenas’ name appears in the same sentence as the gun terminology entrenched in basketball lexicon. So go read.
Reebok is holding a contest to see who can best customize John Wall’s shoes. Check it out.
Interesting read about Ernie Grunfeld and the New York Knicks from September 1996 edition of Cigar Aficionado (via Ball Don’t Lie). He picked up cigar smoking from Mike Gminski and has a humidor made from part of the 1973 Madison Square Garden floor (the year the Knicks last won the title). Wonder if Grunfeld is still a cigar smoker. Also, how weird is it that ’96 was 14 years ago?
Beckley Mason discusses “awareness” and how a lack of it is really holding some Wizards from catching up to their athletic potential.
Going right or left, Gilbert Arenas is adapting and trying to get to the rim more.
The Washington City Paper’s Dave McKenna brings us the best ever chronicle of Dan Snyder’s ineptitude ever.
Dan Steinberg on Michael Wilbon’s departure from the Washington Post:
“It’s sort of emblematic that the first place I heard his own views on the matter was on another Post Sports columnist’s radio show.”
Ted Leonsis observes Philly fans lacking couth. No big surprise.
The many looks of AK-47.
[Portland Roundball Society]
[via Rap vs. Sweden]