Links, a D.C. picture, commentary, lockout, stuff, a poll…
[A blurry night vision in Washington - photo: K. Weidie]
So before I get to the links, and as I continue to contemplate how much I care about this lockout, officially losing the first two weeks of the regular season – obviously this is an unideal, frustrating situation, but I also could care less about getting wrapped up in the politics, economics, and interpretation (often misinterpretation, likely) of scatterbrained media reports — I wanted to throw out a poll to see where some of the readers of this site might stand. Vote below and drop comments if you feel like venting. Otherwise, thanks for visiting. Even with no games, there’s a ton of potential for content (just not a lot of free personal time for the regular job-working contributors to this site), so just bare with us as we try to make whatever it is that’s going on as fun as possible. Thank you. -Kyle
> Ted Leonsis continues to be asked about changing the name of the Wizards, and well, I guess he better get more comfortable with answering the question. Because as long as “Wizards” exists as the terrible name of the pro basketball in the nation’s capital, he will be asked. Here’s to hoping that it doesn’t make him increasingly incredulous or perturbed when posed the question in various manners, and that the old Wizards logo doesn’t haunt him at night.
[DC Sports Bog]
> Tom Haberstroh says John Wall is the next Jason Kidd… a relevant excerpt:
Consider that in Kidd’s rookie season, the California product shared the Dallas stage with Jim Jackson and Jamal Mashburn, who ranked as the fifth- and sixth-best scorers respectively in the league that season. Wall? He had Nick Young and Andray Blatche. If we’re interested in drawing a fair comparison, imagine if Wall ran the point with the Clippers and could dish to Griffin and Eric Gordon.
> Looks like Yi Jianlian made the smart move by electing to play in China while the lockout continues. But unlike American NBA players, whom the Chinese Basketball Association is not allowing to sign opt-out contacts for the NBA, Yi will have the opportunity to jet back to the U.S. if the league starts up again.
> When the Washington Capitals play hockey or the Georgetown Hoyas play basketball at the Verizon Center, one local Chinatown bar says they make about $45,000 in register receipts… the Wizards, they say, generate less than half that amount.
> At least the Wizards Girls aren’t locked out… they now have their own website.
> A Mike Wise column investigates the loyalty practiced by Leonsis toward his hockey team as they hope to take the next step in measured success. It’s a pretty good piece certainly worth reading for insight into how Leonsis will continue to conduct his ownership of the Wizards. People, true fans and media regarding both teams will certainly, at times, express, vent and channel frustration over team personnel decisions, and rightfully so. But in the least, it’s much more comforting knowing their owner is not the impatient type — not always good for quelling concerns of erratic fans needs, but better for the long run.
> Highlights from Goodman-Drew Part II, played on Sunday:
> The Drew League won the rematch over the Goodman League 151-144, but the bigger story for most in L.A., seemingly, is that Kobe Bryant did not play.
[ESPN Los Angeles]
> Overall, reports from the game indicate that it was a disappointment… some observations on John Wall and JaVale McGee from Jovan Buha:
If there’s one thing to take away from tonight, it’s that John Wall is ready to take the next step into stardom. I don’t want to overreact and look into this game too much, but it’s clear that Wall has made the necessary improvements and adjustments to his game. Not only was he regularly hitting contested jumpers and 3-pointers, but he was also attacking the rim with authority and drawing contact, leading to either free throws or and-ones.
There was something Derrick Rose-esque about his performance (expect more efficient, of course). The way he glided in air, absorbing the contact from anyone from Javale McGee to Matt Barnes, and finishing with acrobatic lay-ups and dunks (including a jaw-dropping 360 spin into a lay-up). Whenever he wanted to, which was quite often, he’d blow by Brandon Jennings or Marcus Banks, finding his way to the rim with ease. Even though defenses will adjust accordingly throughout the season, Wall’s combination of length, speed, quickness and athleticism is matched by a select few. In my opinion, he’s the game’s most athletically-gifted point guard (yes, more so than Rose or Russell Westbrook).
Heck, he even busted out his infamous “Dougie” after an alley-oop.
I’m convinced that Javale McGee is capable of making both the best and worst play in NBA history. He blocks as many shots as he goaltends, doesn’t have a post move, and lollygags up and down the court … while remaining a freakishly long, gifted and athletic 7-footer.
> Want lockout commentary from Nick Young? Don’t count on it. Via Kevin Arnovitz:
Others like Nick Young and JaVale McGee appeared less engaged in the proceedings or, at least, less confident expressing their opinions. Young is ecstatic to be back in Los Angeles where he received a ton of all-City honors while in high school. He beamed when asked about the thrill of playing in a star-studded Drew-Goodman game, but less enthused to entertain questions about the lockout.
“I believe in Fish and I believe in the whole thing,” Young said. “Whatever they do, I’m behind it.”
On the prospect of a 50-50 split?
“I’m not sure,” Young said. “Whatever they think.”
Young was the only player to punt the question.
> But Nick did host a party in L.A. last Thursday called “Night At The Roxbury” … so I’m sure some side-to-side head-bobbing was the real priority.
> Also, Young still has his lockout hair growing.
[SB Nation LA]
> I once made a case for former Washington Bullets point guard Kevin Porter to be included in an ESPN.com vote of greatest players at each position in Wizards/Bullets franchise history. This weekend Curtis Harris recognized the mostly unrecognized passing accolades of Porter.
> They are saying the new amnesty clause will be called the “Gilbert Arenas” clause because the $100 million contract Ernie Grunfeld was once pigeon-holed into giving him has probably ruined Arenas’ perception of himself as a player (not to mention the world of others), because not only has he failed to live up to his contract physically, but he has also destroyed a lot of surrounding factors along the way. Now Arenas might have a clause named after him in the new CBA after having a “provision” named after him in the previous CBA. Good for him.
[NY Daily News]
> A guy named Sam Chadwick really really believes in Jan Vesely.
[Ballin' In Europe]