Old Wizards: Butler, Haywood, Finger Guns, Arenas, Howard, Singleton, and James
Bunch old Wizards in the NBA Finals, this we know. Unfortunately, two couldn’t play in game three last night due to injury, Brendan Haywood and Caron Butler, so they sat on the bench in nice suits while a cat to the far left stuck some finger guns up his nose.
Speaking of finger guns, what is our old pal Gilbert Arenas doing here?
His Twitter @agentzeroshow explanation: “I got on my mo hawk for shawn M..if he can wear a mo hawk durn the nba finals I guess I can wear in my house”
More Former Wizards?
James Singleton and Josh Howard (yes, I’m counting him as a former Wizard, for now) recently appeared separately on the Hardcore Hoops radio show from our Canadian friends at The Score.
Josh Howard on what he’d do in the event of a lockout:
“I’d continue to work and rehab. I know y’all know I had that knee injury when I first got traded to Washington, so I actually think that would benefit me, with just getting back to my normal self.”
He later said anything would be an option, playing-wise, i.e., Europe, it just depends on the future situation.
Howard on, as a free-agent, joining a rebuilding team or taking a pay cut to chase a championship:
“As far as a pay cut, I feel like I was fortunate enough to make money [with] Dallas, so that’s now a big deal to me. As far as being part of a rebuilding team, I think I was in Washington this past year and a half … sitting back and watching, and learning another side of my personality as far as coaching. You know a lot of people don’t know that that’s something I enjoy. Just getting out there trying to motivate young kids to go out there and play. As far as being on a championship team, I know the things I bring to the court would help a lot of teams out. I think ultimately it’s up to me, I can go either way.”
Howard was also on to promote the wide range of events at his celebrity weekend coming up in late June, details can be found at JoshHowardWeekend.com. The weekend includes a comedy show, so Howard was asked if any NBA players are going to make their stand-up debut (pronounced daye-BOO in Canada) at the show:
“Naw, but I know in my locker room, the guys I had on this team this past year, ya’ll would have some good footage as far as comedy. Boy, those guys are fun-ny, boy.”
At least in losing, we know there was comedy.
James Singleton … it doesn’t sound like he’ll be going to play basketball back in China any time soon. If you’ll remember, he somewhat spurned the Wizards to sign with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association. The city he played in must not have had much in terms of food options, Singleton said he ate mostly eggs and rice when he arrived until he found an Italian place to order from; and on the road, it was mostly McDonald’s and KFC. But don’t worry, Singleton said the practices that would last 6-7 hours per day kept him in shape.
He also claims: “The contact in the NBA is nothing compared to the contact over there.”
And on the ‘lost in translation’ struggles with teammates in China, Singleton says:
“They had a coach there that was just … military … you know, he wouldn’t let them progress and learn. You know everything was one way or no way. And they were so afraid to just go out there and play basketball that it got to the point where we got to the championship, they all just locked up because if they made a mistake, they’d look straight at the bench.”
Finally… Mike James
Young reader of TAI and big Wizards fans Ben Mehic recently got in touch with Mike James to work on his interview skills. Since Ben doesn’t have a blog of his own, I told him I’d post his Q&A here… and it’s very cool for Mike to always make himself available to young fans. Many thanks to both Ben and Mike. Here goes….
Ben Mehic: First off, I want to thank you for taking time out of your day to do this interview. I’m a huge Wizards fan, so it’s an honor.
Mike James: Anytime.
Ben M.: How did growing up in a troubled neighborhood help you grow on and off the court?
James: I had to make it, it was no other option for me. I’m the baby of seven and the only one to go to college and graduate. My mother and father have middle school educations, they had to drop out because they had to provide for their families growing up. The only other option for me was the streets, so I put my trust in the B-ball. My neighborhood taught me how to be a fighter and never back down from a challenge, no matter how the odds were stacked up against me.
Ben M.: Who helped you achieve your goals becoming a pro basketball player, and who did you view as your hero growing up?
James: I really had no help growing up as a youth. Mostly everything I learned was from trial and error. Everyone tried to tell me I couldn’t be a basketball player, so maybe it was the odds that motivated me, wanting to prove everyone wrong. I had no real heroes growing up. I learned to be self-motivated at an early age. I liked Michael Jordan, Kevin Johnson, Tim Hardaway, but I wanted to be where they were. I wanted to be on the court at Madison Square Garden, and I wouldn’t let no one tell me I couldn’t.
Ben M.: Besides being the only undrafted NBA player in history to average 20 points per game, what else did you take away from playing in the NBA?
James: The thing I took away from the league most is don’t let no one determine your value of who your are and what you’re capable of doing. Hard work will always beat talent when talent doesn’t work hard. What you think of yourself will take you further in life than the box that people try to put you in. If you allow them to box you in, then you are defeated.
Ben M.: What advice can you give to kids growing up who want to achieve their goals?
James: The advice I give kids is never stop believing in yourself. Always fight for your dreams. Sometimes things come easy to some, but that may not be your story. That doesn’t mean give up on yourself. All that means is you have to go a little harder are put up that much more of a fight to make your dreams come true. Without GOD in your life, it may be easy to get where your going, but impossible to maintain.
Ben M.: What’s your take on the current Washington Wizards? (John Wall, Jordan Crawford, etc.)?
James: Washington’s future is very bright. No one expected Jordan Crawford to have as much success as he has. John Wall is a young phenomenon. They have very good young pieces that if they decide to keep together, not only can they be an exciting team, but a very dangerous squad.
Ben M.: Thanks again for taking this interview. Much appreciated.
James: You can also go to amazon.com and buy my book, “Fight for your dreams.” It’s a surprisingly good read. Take care and GOD bless.