A D.C. pic, links, commentary and tickets for free ….
The Portland Trailblazers are in D.C. tonight to take on the Wizards … and guess what? They’re giving away John Wall bobble-head dolls to the first 10,000 fans. So if you want one, you best show up on time. What else are you going to do on a cold Friday night in D.C.? Watch Miami (Ohio) take on 25th-ranked Northern Illinois in college football? Sure buddy. Plus, if the game sells out, there’s a chance you could see Ted Leonsis do the “Dougie” … which would most certainly be better than Wolf Blitzer’s “Dougie” (who did it on ‘Soul Train’ of all places? Weird).
In any case, check out my column at the DCist this week where I ponder if the Wizards are still worth watching?
And from the other side, Portland fans have it pretty bad too, Wizards fans — just admittedly not as bad as Wiz fans, at least according to one Trailblazers blogger. Check out what the Portland Roundball Society has to say about tonight’s game.
GIVEAWAY: Wizards-Heat Tickets, December 18, 2010
A big congrats goes to Sarah Cook of Arlington, VA for winning TAI’s first ticket giveaway to the Wizards-Heat game on December 18th. Sarah writes about her Wizards fandom:
“I’ve only been a fan since 2003, when I moved here after college, but the Wiz quickly filled the NBA-sized hole in my heart (I grew up in the post-Jazz, pre-Hornets era in New Orleans). Admittedly, it’s been a little rough these last few years, but who can’t be excited about this team now? Among other things, I love the return of the Hibachi, J-Wall (and his Dougie), and the sweet, sweet vocal stylings of Phil and Steve, and am rooting for JaVale to keep rebounding and eat more and Andray to work on his D and eat less.”
Now, Truth About It.net (with a big thanks to StubHub) wants to send more of you to the Wizards-Heat game on December 18th. These next tickets won’t be as good as the seats Sarah won, but we will be giving away more of them (eight tickets total, two sets of four) … plus, they’re still free.
Each set of four seats will be located in Section 418, Row K. We will be selecting two (2) winners, who will receive four (4) tickets each, from all those who answer both questions below. The best answers (judged by the staff at TAI — being funny helps) will determine the two winners … and keep in mind that your answers will be posted on this here blog.
Question No. 1: Ted Leonsis is big on his 101 Signs of Visible Change, much of which has to do with the game experience of fans. Whether it involves Leonsis’ list, player or coaching personnel, team management, or just about anything, tell TAI what you most want to see changed surrounding the Wizards.
Question No. 2: Remember the mid-90s Washington Bullets promo video, “You The Man”? If not, you can watch it via YouTube here. Seeing as the mid-90s was a very long time ago, give TAI a very brief update (2-3 sentences) on why you are now a Wizards fan.
Please send your responses to email@example.com with the subject line: ‘Wizards-Heat Ticket Giveaway’ by 5 pm on Monday, December 6 — and thanks again to StubHub, where you can fill all your ticket needs (when we’re not giving them away for free here).
LeBron’s Return Home.
So LeBron went “home” last night. I barely got to watch the game, but turned it on in the beginning, of course, to peep the scene. Saw Paw-Paw Antawn Jamison appear to be one of the first Cavaliers to greet LeBron at mid-court before the game. That ‘Twan, such a good cat. If there’s one guy who I wish could get traded to the Lakers or Spurs …
Anyhow, I feel for Cavs fans. Out of all the off-beat ideas for his return — cheering LeBron to show him what he’s missing, laughing at him, buying every ticket and not show up, thus making LeBron play in an empty arena — fans just resorted to what seems like natural sporting instinct … boo the man every time he touched the ball. That was effective to the tune of 38 LeBron points and a 118-90 Heat blowout of Cleveland.
At the same time, I don’t really feel for Cavs fans (via that rivalry that they ‘kind of’ had with the Wizards a couple years back). I think my ‘Moment of Zen’ came last night when LeBron assumed his usual role of crying because of a call that didn’t go his way. Cleveland fans were used to irrationally defending the man in this regard until their teeth were bloody. Now, all they can really do is say, “Man that dude cries a lot.” Funny, to me at least.
Wizards-Raptors Top Quotes.
My expectations are quite simple; the team needs to forge an identity that we are energetic; have young legs– we are tough to play against–and we have upside. And that we play tough and that we play together. We are tight–we are well coached.
We didn’t show any thing like that last night– and to not have one road win yet this season is unacceptable.
It’s a little troubling that less than 20 games into the season, the Wizards are constantly talking about how their job is to play hard and compete after a disappointing performance. Of their nine road losses, six have been by double digits.
Yes this team is young and I buy the argument of building around a young nucleus. However, isn’t it then critical that the organization ensure that they play the right way? It is important that young players aren’t allowed to establish bad habits, like not boxing out, drifting up court before securing rebounds, not paying attention to detail on defense, generally playing as if they are uninterested, etc. If young players, even those with potential, are not playing properly when on the floor, then you must find ways to communicate what is expected in a way they receive it loud and clear.
No more “we had an unfocused shootaround.” No more “we’re a young team.” No more “we’ve had some injuries.” These excuses can only explain so much. No more. The complete lack of competitiveness away from Verizon Center is not absolved by these excuses. There is a deepening and troubling pattern developing here, and without immediate action to avert it continuing, this franchise may not be able to recover.
ESPN’s David Thorpe on John Wall [via ESPN Insider]:
Wall wants to win as badly as I’ve ever seen a rookie want to win; he reminds me of Chris Paul in that way. It’s clear he hates to lose even more than he wants to win. Like Blake Griffin, though, he will lose a lot more than he ever thought possible this season. And he has some veteran teammates who have never showed the kind of competitive spirit it takes to thrive in the NBA consistently.
Sure, Wall needs to improve a great deal on his shooting, but he can still excel all season without a sure shot. Dealing with the potential fracture of his team, however, will take all of his focus. He cannot let the causal nature of some of the Wizards cause a break in the locker room. Instead, he must continue to lead by example and be vocal.
Is Ernie Grunfeld the starting shooting guard on the ‘All-Time Greatest Jewish-American Basketball Team’?
During last Monday’s Heat game, I complained that late in the game, the referees couldn’t even properly denote which Wizard committed a flagrant foul. It was Alonzo Gee, they charged Trevor Booker. TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott breaks the whole scenario down in a ‘the job of a referee is hard’ type of manner. Abbott ends with:
“So, add one more task to an NBA referees to-do list. In addition to knowing all those rules, breathing from the diaphragm, seeing things perfectly, keeping trim to pass the fitness tests … there is also the matter of familiarizing yourself with the many new players on the NBA court.”
Of course, one could resort to one of the main reasons players wear numerical jerseys in the first place … so they can be more easily recognized by fans, media, and yes, referees. So, perhaps the refs need not learn names and faces when a number would suffice, which makes the transgression (along with the replay monitors that are seemingly always at the refs disposal) even more egregious. Flagrant fouls come with a fine, and to a rookie like Booker, that money probably means something. I’m sure all was sorted out with the league office (I’ll try and find out in any case), but I’m just saying … I agree with Abbott that the job of NBA referees is extremely hard, but the jersey numbers are there, get it right.
And Finally …
Caron Butler chair-dances on the bench in Dallas, DeShawn Stevenson kind of joins him.
[via The Two Man Game]