Best of Wizards/basketball-related links, in bullets. But first, John Wall’s glasses help him and DeMarcus Cousins see into the future…
John: “I see the future, and I’m going to have my own candy bar.”
DeMarcus: “I want to be a candy bar for Halloween in my future.”
John: “That guy in front of me has a sneeze in his future.”
DeMarcus: “My future is an All-Denim Party… even want the toilet paper to be made of denim.”
John: “DeMarcus, how can we hate sleeping alone like Drake in our future?”
DeMarcus: “I hear a franchise in Vegas was part of the new CBA that D-Fish insisted upon.”
John: “In my future I’m going to be an All-Star and lead my team to the playoffs, maybe even benefit from the Derrick Rose rule.”
DeMarcus: “John, I’m worried. Paul Westphal told me I was going to be victim of Derrick Coleman rule in my future.”
>> Teams can begin talking to free-agents on Monday at 10 am, and Nick Young will have plenty of suitors. Are any of them capable of setting the market outside of the Wizards’ financial comfort zone? Will Ernie Grunfeld attempt to set Nick’s market himself (or at least make the initial offer to the restricted FA)? We will see.
>> What’s that about Young? Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Young, “privately believes the chance to play for coach Tom Thibodeau could round out his game.”
>> Non-Wizards-related side-link: I participated in an ESPN.com 5-on-5 about the Portland Trailblazers. Check it out.
>> Kevin Seraphin dunking in Spain? CHECK: knee looks good.
>> Confirmed. Rashard Lewis will be a Wizard this season. Hope that platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection helps his knee … and his shooting percentages.
QUOTABLE: “When the time is right we will be aggressive to add to our roster. We won’t be shy.” -Ted Leonsis via Ted’s Take
>> Andray Blatche recently joined Washington Wizards media partner Comcast Sports Washington for a phone interview. He first found out about the lockout ending from his mom and then went to Twitter to find out if it was true. Plus+1 for social media. Blatche also mentions going to the playoffs a couple times, indicating that he’s counting on this season to be his all-star season (or something along those lines).
>> BALLERS! Andray and Hamaday make their grand return to the Verizon Center. Worth watching on so many levels.
>> Flip Saunders, message sent with web pixels: he wants his players to be more mature next season.
>> Setting the record straight on the training camp for the Wizards.
>> Michael Lee writes about the discombobulation felt by the Wizards due to the shortened 50-game season in 1998-99. Crazy circumstance or not, whenever you trade Chris Webber for Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe, you’re not setting up the franchise for success. So that was that season…
>> JaVale McGee’s mom, Pamela, clearly has basketball genes, being a former college All-American (USC) and WNBA player. But she’s also paired up with basketball genes. JaVale’s father is George Montgomery, a 1985 second round pick by the Portland Trailblazers out of Illinois who didn’t end up playing in the NBA. JaVale and Imani Stafford, a high school standout who has signed with the University of Texas women’s basketball program, share a mother, Pam. Imani’s father is Kevin Stafford, who played professional basketball overseas, according to a USA Today article that appeared on the TucsonCitizen.com in late November. A side note that turned up in a Google search is a July 2008 post from Swish Appeal of SB Nation. The post tells of a controversial custody battle between Pamela McGee and Kevin Stafford over Imani Stafford… it’s worth reading.
There’s also this excerpt from an article appearing on ESPN W, ‘McGees keep it in the family’ by Adena Andrews:
Life wasn’t always rosy, though. In 1996, McGee and her husband of two years, Reverend Kevin Stafford, divorced. A highly publicized custody battle ensued over the couple’s young daughter, Imani, JaVale’s half sister. Stafford argued that Pamela traveled too much as a professional basketball player and could not properly care for their daughter. The courts agreed. Stafford left Pam and JaVale with nothing and forced them to start over.
Interesting side story. I’d have a hard time believing a judge today would make a similar decision over a mother’s right to work and raise a child, but I suppose much of everything depends on jurisdiction and locale.
>> Speaking of JaVale, he is in love with the Philippines.
>> Always good to remember LaBradford Smith versus Michael Jordan.
[Got 'Em Coach]
>> Some local DMV high school teams — Gonzaga, DeMatcha and Montrose Christian — will be appearing on the ESPN family of networks over the coming months.
[ESPN Media Zone]
>> Deron Williams had an interesting observation on the differences between basketball fans in Europe (futbol fans) and basketball fans in the U.S. (and Canada):
We’re talking about fútbol fans for the most part, so they cheer, and they cheer loudly for the whole game. That’s how you do it at a fútbol game. It was definitely an adjustment because they’re cheering no matter what you’re doing. You can be shooting free throws, playing defense, setting up a play, and they’re just constantly cheering and chanting. But at this point, I’ve adjusted and it’s normal to me.
I will say that the chanting doesn’t have the same effect on your psyche as an NBA crowd because the fans here are up all of the time. In the NBA, when a team goes on a run and the crowd just erupts, that has a bigger effect on a player’s psyche.
>> Spud Webb is going to coach a basketball team of strippers? This is most certainly some crazed fan of the game’s sick, glorious dream.