A D.C. pic, Wizards memories, and links …
[Takoma Recreation Center - NW Washington, D.C.]
On Wednesday, TAI held another ticket giveaway (courtesy of StubHub), this time involving four suite tickets to next Tuesday’s Wizards-Lakers game. A winner was randomly chosen from all those who left comments about their favorite Wizards memory on the TAI FaceBook page. It was kind of a random means to give tickets away … I almost asked some lame question like ‘name your favorite current Wizard’, but instead went with the memory concept, which seems equally generic. Whatever, I was just trying to find a pool of people to give free tickets to, right?
Well, as it turns out, I had a lot of fun reading the favorite memories of various Wizards fans — not surprisingly, most of them involved Gilbert Arenas. But what’s not a lot of fun is only being able to award the tickets to one person. But it is what it is as Mike Miller would say … so a congrats goes to Devin Krotman, who was chosen at random amongst all those who entered. Devin’s favorite Wizards memory is below, along with some other select memories of entrants. Thanks to all for taking time to share.
“I thought long and hard about this and my favorite Wizards moment has to be Gil’s game-winner against the Bucks on January 3, 2007, This is the one where Gil dribbles slowly down the court and bangs the 3 with such swagger that he is actually walking away with his back turned to the basket and hands in the air when the balls goes in…Out of all of the Gil/Wizard moments, this is a classic. I was at this game..and actually bought tickets with my friends for Student Appreciation night; somehow though we weren’t sitting together and I had to sit by myself. To me it didn’t matter though.. I had great seats and probably saw one of the coolest finishes to a NBA game. Come to think of it I would never mind sitting by myself at another Wiz game, that’s how big a fan I am.
On a side note..the Wiz-Cavs playoff rivalry provided some other great moments… I went to one of these games for a graduation present from college and the atmosphere was electric.. There is no doubt in my mind that we will return to those kinds of games in the near future.”
“My most fond memory dates back to Chris Webber and Juwan Howard. I was still a kid but it was the first time I had seen a player throw the ball off the backboard for someone else to dunk it. Of course I’ve seen an alley-oop before but when I first saw Juwan Howard pass it off the backboard for a Chris Webber slam, I was convinced I was going to be a Bullets/Wizards fan for life. Nothing has changed that. Go Wizards!”
“The preseason game against the Bulls where Eddy Curry punched Brendan Haywood in the nuts after Antonio Davis tackled him. I admit to wanting to punch Brenda in the nuts after being consistently frustrated by soft play. I was also hoping a… lasting rivalry would develop with the Bulls, oh well… Hopefully Gil is making Hinrich watch the shot he hit over him in Game 5 over and over.”
“1994…Rex Chapman hits game winning three pointer in the home opener against Shaq and the Orlando Magic. It was all downhill from there.”
“Watching the last game, in the last row, of the last place Wizards at the Verizon Center as they played the Pacers last season. After everything that happened during the 09-10 season and with maybe 8,000 people in the crowd, the Wizards put… on a great show. Nick Young gave us a glimpse of who he could be, Blatche’s skills were coming together and he led the team, McGee seemed less lanky and more on point. All of these players were people that we got to see grow up after the all-star break and this game was akin to middle school graduation; things were tough that year, but the kids were no longer kids and everyone knew that the next season, even before the number one lottery slot, was going to be for rebuilding and filled with change. I’ve never seen a team go through what this team went through last year and, even though most of the time it was not fun, it is certainly one of the most memorable sports seasons I have followed.”
Adam C. Johnson
“One memory I have from back in the day is watching Bernard King take the Bullets to the 1987 playoff while he averaged 17 a game. The brother was smoother than silk and could hit every shot on the floor.
I just remember staying up at night …listening to the cats on the block utter these memorable lines “Man, if Bernard King (pronounced Boo-nard Kang) came down Langdon Park I’d light his a**!”
More recently, and specific, I think about the shot that Gil hit in the 2004 playoff series v. the Bulls. I recall sitting alone in my apartment in Alexandria thinking “Man, this can’t be my Wizards…we actually have a chance to do something big!”
However, a more comical memory would be the following year when my boy Chris and I competed in a trivia contest (Terry F**king Robeski!) to see who would go to see my beloved Wiz-ards play the then beloved “King”.”
“As a kid I didn’t remember too many details but my first and favorite memory is a trip to see the Bullets at the Cap Center. The only thing I took away from that game was seeing Georghe Muresan and a Bullets basketball I still keep in my room but it turned me into a Bullets/Wiz fan once I could understand it.”
“So many great moments…Tiny and Tiny Too chasing balls…”Sea Dogs” almost winning the renaming contest…Chubby Cox launching jumpers…Joe Kopicki crashing the boards…Manute shooting 3s…LaBradford Smith going off on MJ…drafting Kenny Green…trading young and big for old and small (Rasheed for Rod and CWebb for Richmond)…CWebb getting pulled over and pepper sprayed on Central Ave while smoking a J…Good times!!!”
Dan Steinberg recently called out Ted Leonsis because an advertisement for Wizards tickets seemed to be selling the “other” team … specifically, LeBron and the Miami Heat. Leonsis, on his blog, pretty much said Dan was right and gave a ‘My bad.’ — So, kudos to Mr. Leonsis’ transparency, and note to marketers of Wizards tickets: this type of thing can probably be avoided by selling match-ups, such as “Come see John Wall take on LeBron and Dwyane Wade,” or what have you. To be honest, the advertisement Steinberg pointed out wasn’t nearly as egregious as the corny tactics Susan O’Malley used to implement, but like I said, easily avoidable if the team sells the idea of seeing their own best players play incoming opponents. Nothing wrong with that in my opinion.
What Gilbert Arenas learned from Allen Iverson (terms of being willing to come off the bench): “It’s still basketball. The rules don’t change for the bench players. I learned a lot from the whole Iverson experience. Not get a job because I can’t adapt to my environment? I’m sure I can adapt to any environment.”
Flip Saunders has called the Wizards’ big men “soft” … I have called the Wizards’ big men soft. The difference is that all I can really do is observe and write about it, Saunders is in position, as coach, to do something about it (other than distributing media messages, clearly). Saunders also likes to elicit the phrase, “You can’t coach effort,” which sounds completely B.S. — Is that to say a coach’s job isn’t to get his players motivated and prepared to play? Sounds like an excuse instead.
John Wall’s block of Derek Fisher was pretty nasty. In fact, it was flat-out disgusting.
“Sources” say that it’s only a matter of time before the Cavs start shopping Antawn Jamison. Pardon the expression, but ‘no shit.’
Chris Webber says that the biggest mistake made during his time playing in D.C. was “not believing in our team,” continuing to say something to the effect of young teams not being trendy back in the mid-90s like they are today. Sure thing, C-Webb. He didn’t say it, but I’m sure that the time Webber got stopped by the police while smoking a blunt and speeding on the way to practice (mentioned in the memories above) probably ranks second on Webber’s list of mistakes. But hey, these things happen.
Rashad Mobley discusses moral victories in TAI’s weekly column at the DCist.
John Wall’s face when receiving love from Kobe.
JaVale McGee makes a sad face when Pau Gasol dunks on him.
[The Basketball Jones]
When Kevin Seraphin rebounds, he needs to hold on tight and make sure to keep that ball away from pesky guards.
John Wall’s playing style is just fine, thank you.
[SB Nation DC]
Remember when the Wizards got blown out by the Magic in Orlando in the first game of the season on TNT (aka, where the current 0-12 road streak started)? Well, someone put down $7,500 for the jersey John Wall wore that night.
[Ball Don't Lie]
What makes an NBA All-Star? Rob Mahoney looks at that, and the time Gilbert Arenas scoffed at the notion that Jose Calderon, at one time, should have made the team … according to some.
[Off the Dribble - NYT]
Has LeBron James defeated male pattern baldness?
[Got 'Em Coach]