Thursday was exit interview day for the Washington Wizards. Players cleaned out their lockers for the offseason, engaged in parting conversations with the coaching staff, and met with the media as they trickled out of the Verizon Center with their belongings. JaVale McGee and Yi Jianlian lugged big garbage sacks full of their stuff while Nick Young was carefully leaving with a fat head poster of himself.
Throughout the individual interviews, there was an overlapping sense of reflection and relief that a long season had concluded. Jordan Crawford was thankful for the opportunity he received with the Wizards. Trevor Booker gave himself a B-minus grade for his rookie campaign. John Wall emphasized learning how to lead grown men in the NBA. And Nick Young mused nostalgic about his four-year career with the organization.
The past month of solid play provided optimism for next season, but since the Wizards missed the playoffs, the unknown future of a labor dispute is no longer looming. It has now officially moved to the forefront, with the clock ticking down to the end of June when the CBA expires.
This was apparent in Mo Evans, Vice President of the NBA Players Association Executive Committee, articulating the Union’s positions of not budging on a hard cap, contract lengths or giving up the Larry Bird Rights that past generations of players had won. Also, Young proclaiming that he is basically unemployed was a chilling reminder that he might not have a job for awhile, with or without the Wizards.
There were several moments of brevity and humor. JaVale McGee seemed to have no clue that Wall was a team captain, complained about $4 gas, would not disclose at which beach he was going to be vacationing, for fear of potential stalkers, and joked that his dribbling tendencies were because he was not always 7-feet tall.
Flip Saunders revealed that fans on the street come up to him and ask what he can do about JaVale’s point guard antics. Coach Saunders compared McGee’s speed dribbling to a pony that gets let out of the stable and just starts wildly running around.
When asked about his Second Team All-NBA D-League selection, Othyus Jeffers humorously replied, “What, second team?, telling me, “You put that on the books, I am not satisfied with second team.”
Young said he might some do acting in Hollywood while at home, said he planned to blog about cutting his hair, and also revealed that the Iverson braids were his favorite hair style, but they hurt his head.
However, the most amusing part was learning that Kevin Seraphin had purchased JaVale’s Segway, and evidently has taken it out for a spin in Georgetown (surely not on the narrow, brick-laden sidewalks).
The site of a 6’9″ 260 lbs. dude from French Guiana moving around indoors on a Segway can only be trumped by witnessing him rolling through the streets of D.C. on the tourist-favored mode of transportation. Wizards fans, be on the lookout.
Here is video of Seraphin proudly discussing his new ride:
More footage of Thursday’s exit interviews forthcoming…