ShareBullets: The Environment of Losing | Wizards Blog Truth About

ShareBullets: The Environment of Losing

Updated: March 7, 2011

Pictures, commentary, links and the whatnot …

The environment of losing, it can’t be fun for any of the parties involved — from those playing for the team, to those running the team, to those owning the team, to those rooting for the team, to those covering the team using a variety of mediums. If you’re intensely involved with a losing franchise, it’s not going to be fun.

Traditional forms of the media try to remain as unbiased in their judgment as possible, but even they get weary from exposure to an inferior product, not to mention the fact that winning teams sell more papers. Others who cover the team have a more vested interest — often the result of such individuals growing up in the area where the team plays. Perhaps those individuals could be classified as fans, or perhaps they work for a media entity that has a connection with the franchise through financial backing, i.e., the relationship between the Wizards and their television broadcasting partner Comcast Sports Washington (this specific team-media coverage relationship obviously more amicably connected, making the conveyance of an honest assessment a little more complicated).

In any case, we all have our reasons and motivations. From bloggers to traditionalists to talking heads on the radio, those who cover a losing team can make futility even less fun — for the players, management, owners, etc. — because they are constantly seeking out new and creative ways to point out the flaws of losing to the public. It ain’t pretty. The environment of losing is made worse thanks to their vociferous ways, the writers for this blog included.

Last week, in TAI’s weekly column in the DCist, my colleague Rashad Mobley ran with an innocent enough post partially regarding the highly prevalent fans of other top-caliber teams which have invaded the Verizon Center this season — in Mobley’s specific piece, Chicago Bulls fans, and how the presence of a fan-favorite player could be meaningful to those witnessing meaninglessness (when it comes to success) from the home team.

Ted Leonsis chose to respond:

I call these articles “piling on.”

They are smug.

They are easy to write. They actually offend our fans more than they do me.

And they are ones that I keep and then reference in the out years to remind the writers of their naiveté and lack of substance. We use them, too, as motivation.

Leonsis went on to cite increased numbers his ownership group has experienced as of late when it comes to the metric of sales. Fair enough, as it behooves those interested in the success of the franchise on various levels to be interested in tickets, sponsorships and other “fan satisfaction” measureables.

But still, the fact remains in this nation’s capital of transients that people simply will not care until the rebuilding project that’s been so heavily promoted provides results. Oh well. Such is life.

Everyone contributes to the environment of losing in a sense that when the ultimate goal is achieved, how far the environment has come is further appreciated because of how far it had to go. The ugliness of coverage is just as much apart of the ugliness of rebuilding. And be that as it may, along with the necessary retreat from glitzy shows of red carpet and promises to “Dougie” at the beginning of the season (all understood as part of the show), the “piling” on, if you will, goes to achieve balance in honesty of opinion.

In short, and not speaking for anyone else who writes for this very site nor those in the media coverage world surrounding the Wizards, the team is welcome for the motivation … as long as it provides meaningful results and as long as the motivation is fair, which I hope that it is. But we all aren’t perfect, are we?


A hurtful dunk.

Bullet Nation in Exile:

“In short, today’s GM is a chess player cum soothsayer cum gambler who is watched by the fanbase closer than a radical English teacher in Beaumont, Texas.  Knowing full well the volatile waters in which they swim, the GM realizes the full impact of a trade won’t be known until farther down the line, and anything short of a slam dunk could result in disaster.  Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em the song goes (I hate country), and judging by the results so far, I’d say our GM could end up being a cut above average.  But will that be enough?”

[Bullets Forever]

Gilbert Arenas has a thing for the “I can’t feel my face” move that DeShawn Stevenson helped popularize on a basketball court.

The real story behind the Brandon Banks stabbing seems like another case of idiocy at a nightlife establishment and professional athletes feeling entitled to do whatever they want mixed with a pissing contest between immature adult men.
[Washington City Paper]

Have the Washington Wizards had the best results over the last four NBA drafts amongst teams that had only one lottery pick?
[Piston Powered]

Ghosts of Wizards past.
[Go Spurs Go]

Rashard Lewis, before getting shipped to the Wizards, handling pretty well what appears to be a drunk fan asking questions.
[Hugging Harold Reynolds]

Good read about Horace Grant from Kelly Dwyer.
[Ball Don’t Lie]

Larry Johnson, Mugsy Bogues & Alonzo Mourning walk into a bar.
[Straight Cash Homey]

For Good Measure: Nick from 360…

And, Shaun Livingston on Ryan Anderson…

Kyle Weidie on EmailKyle Weidie on GoogleKyle Weidie on InstagramKyle Weidie on LinkedinKyle Weidie on TwitterKyle Weidie on Youtube
Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle lives in D.C. with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.

  • szr

    I’m sort of flummoxed by Ted’s description of a rather tame piece as “piling on”. I mean, it is true that fans sometimes fall in love with an end-of-bencher and it adds an element of fun to games that are otherwise no longer entertaining or competitive.

    Besides, considering how irrelevant the Wizards are in the NBA today, you’d think any news was good news.

    Kyle, the topic I would love to hear (read?) your views on is whether building via the draft is a viable strategy. I was thinking the other day – other than the San Antonio Spurs, has any recent championship team built itself via the draft? The Lakers didn’t. Boston didn’t. Miami didn’t. It seems like the Boston/LA/Miami approach is more the norm.

  • John Townsend

    @szr: OKC built their team through the draft, Chicago did.

    Memphis did, too — included in the list if you include draft day trades and note that they have a decent core).

    I’m sure there are a handful of other teams that have grown and improved through the draft.

    Player movement is certainly a big part of the NBA today, but I think building through the draft (especially the lottery) is a great way to start. Once you have a competent core that you envision playing together for some time, that is when you pull the trigger for the big-name, big-impact free agent to catapult you into title contention.

  • Chuck

    The rebuilding phrase is getting pretty tired. There is no vision and no coaching of any quality. Put whatever spin you want on it. The Wizards have fallen to new depths of despair. There are too many quality teams that players want to go to that puts the Wizards in a nearly impossible situation. Look Mike Bibby didn’t last 48 hours in D.C. he wanted out so badly. Forfeited 6 million dollars to get leave. He is past the prime of his career but he couldn’t stand to be in basketball purgatory that Washington has become. Flip Saunders has to go. He may have been a good coach once but you can see he is just punching the clock now.

  • szr

    I’m not saying I disagree with you, Chuck, that Flip has to go. I just doubt it will make much of a difference. It seems to me the bigger problem the Wizards have is they just don’t have productive players, outside of Wall, McGee and Lewis (when he is healthy).

    Personally, I think the problem is Grunfeld. And Flip is Grunfeld’s guy, so if Ernie was fired, I doubt the new GM would keep the coach.