ShareBullets = links and random tid-bits.
This old NBA Skybox card features Zarko Paspalj, who delightfully reminds me of Hans Klopek from the movie The Burbs. Zarko only appeared in 28 career NBA games, all with the San Antonio Spurs, so his relevance to the Wizards/Bullets is zilch. However, Zarko’s Wikipedia entry is one of delight. Namely, it points to a 2006 article from the San Antonio Express-News, which can now be found here. In being part of the inital wave of Eastern European talent to NBA, Zarko, in one of his early interviews, expressed his love for Pizza Hut and Marlboros. Classic enough as that may be, the Express-News article also relayed that when Spurs officials went to clean out the townhouse rented for Zarko, they found two pieces of furniture: a bed and a pool table — the place comfortably tied together with the smell of smoke instead of rugs. This guy could’ve been a blog star, probably would’ve extended his NBA career. Then again, likely not.
But as this pertains to the Washington Wizards, here’s to hoping that this collection of supreme basketball-playing structures has enhanced their eating habits over this past summer, as they relate to basketball performance. Athletes need calories, but they don’t always need bad calories. I’ve overhead players several times in locker rooms talk about getting greasy, fried food after workouts. Andray Blatche himself has revelad that he hasn’t always eaten lunch on gamedays and how that might affect his energy. And of course, there was that semi-infamous story in the Washington Post about John Wall, which included revelations of his pantry of junk food. Ted Leonsis was quick to say thereafter that the Wizards hired a personal chef for Wall, but he can’t be the papa-bear for his players all the time.
I’m sure all the culinary details will be attended to by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, but nonetheless, as we hope for a lot of things going into this season, aside from wins and development (such as free throws!), here’s to also hoping that there is no Pizza Hut and Marlboros with Zarko in the future of the Wiz Kids.
Scheduling Notes & Training Camp.
The NBA will release its schedule for all teams tonight at 7 pm est on NBA TV. A couple of tid-bits regarding the Wizards have already come out. Greg Dickerson of Comast Sports New England tweets that the Boston Celtics will visit Washington to play the Wizards on January 1, 2012. The DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg tweets that a basketball triple-header is scheduled at the Verizon Center on January 12, 2012, one of the games being the Wizards versus the Sacramento Kings. Also, Paul Coro of The Republic has the entire Phoenix Suns schedule. Looks like the Wizards will visit the Suns on February 20, 2012, but Phoenix will not make a return visit to D.C. this season. More on scheduling to come…
NBA training camps were tentatively scheduled to start Friday, December 9th. Yahoo! initially reported that they may be pushed back to Monday, but Howard Beck of the New York Times follows up on Twitter that they will begin as scheduled.
Reports of Wizards working out in D.C. in anticipation of the season are filtering around — Andray Blatche, John Wall, Chris Singleton, Hamady N’diaye, Shelvin Mack, Larry Owens, and Trevor Booker (who is watching while receiving treatment on an injury) have all seen the new practice court at the Verizon Center first-hand. Michael Lee tweets that Kevin Seraphin will arrive in Washington on Wednesday night. Craig Stouffer tweets that Jan Vesely will arrive in D.C. on Wednesday or Thursday. Someone on Twitter tweeted at JaVale McGee wondering when he was going to get to D.C. to workout with his teammates. McGee responded, “I’m out here gettin work in.” ‘Out here’ is presumably still Los Angeles.
Within two weeks of his red-carpet introduction at Verizon Center, Wall watched LeBron James flex his free agent powers and take his talents to the Miami Heat. Within two months, he watched Gilbert Arenas get dealt to Orlando for a contract that was less unappealing long-term. And after his rookie season, Wall watched NBA owners reestablish their leverage by locking out players for nearly five months, getting a better split of revenues and some restrictions on player movement.
“I knew it personally,” Wall said at Verizon Center on Monday, when asked about the NBA being a business, “but it was hectic for my first year to see all that.”
Like coach Flip Saunders, Wall says he’s expecting the same maturity and focus from his teammates that he demands from himself. The comments were specifically directed at Nick Young and JaVale McGee, whose YouTube cinnamon challenge video caused Saunders to state “that doesn’t cut it,” during his news conference Friday.
“I don’t know what they got going on,” Wall said of Young and McGee. “They got their own little stories, and their own little movies and they rap sometimes during the season. Basically, as long as they’re being serious and doing the right things and not playing around when its game time or when we’re having a meeting or on the road, anything like that, that’s all I can really focus on.”
>> John Wall dunks, blocks, and continues to look good.
>> Former Wizards coach Eddie Jordan is now coaching a freshman basketball team at Carroll High School in D.C. (his alma mater, John Thompson Jr.’s alma mater) … Some people are like, ‘OMG! Look how far he’s fallen!’ — Must be nice to fall that far and still be making the $3 million the Philadelphia 76ers have left to pay him. The story also reports that San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich invited Jordan to the Spurs training camp, but Jordan indicates that he is unlikely to go.
>> John Wall is on the cover of Dime Magazine… Feel like I’ve seen this pose before. Maybe Iverson? In any case, he’s about to get called for carrying. Evidently I’m old because I’m saying this.
>> The Wizards are looking for a dance team manager. Can they Dougie?
[NBA Team Jobs]
JaVale McGee giving out Turkeys for the holidays. Watch.