Andray Blatche Just Can't Help Himself | Wizards Blog Truth About

Andray Blatche Just Can’t Help Himself

Updated: December 28, 2011

The Night After The Wizards 2011-12 Season Opener:

The Day After The Night:

Andray Blatche just can’t help himself, literally, figuratively, and ways in between.

After the Wizards grabbing the mic to announce to a much-less-than-capacity Verizon Center crowd over the P.A. system:

“How y’all doing? This is your captain, Andray Blatche. On behalf of myself, my teammates, the whole Washington Wizards organization, we want to say we strongly appreciate y’all sticking around all summer. It’s been a long summer, and it’s a shortened season, but it’s going to be tough. And we’re going to need you guys, the best fans in the NBA, to be our sixth man. So in other words, let’s get this season started.”

Fairly good intentions (“best fans in the NBA” jokes aside; Blatche gets booed a lot by the paltry home crowds). Look, no one can question that Blatche is trying. He just doesn’t know how to try. So he continues to fall on his face while the franchise constantly running to defend him keeps looking silly in the process. After all, Ted Leonsis has only doled out one multi-year free agent contract in his brief tenure as team owner, to Blatche. This, of course, amongst other positive pixel puffery.

After the game, Blatche was equally putting on a show. He implored, to the media, mind you, that he wanted the ball more in the post.

“I need the ball in the paint to be effective,” he said, as seen in the first video above. “You can’t keep having me pick and pop and shooting jump shots. Give me the ball in the paint, that’s where I’m most effective at. I’ve been saying that since training camp.”

People have been saying Blatche should spend more time in the paint for years. Now he’s suddenly acting like it’s a part of his DNA. Again, Blatche thinks he’s saying the right things, he thinks he’s being helpful, but far from it. After all but shedding tears over the faux injustice, amongst ‘Look at me, I want to improve’ grandstanding, Blatche remained slumped in his chair after the media session ended. He seemed to stay in full uniform with intent, as if it would send a message of dedication. ‘Look, kids, he still wants to play!’

Blatche wasn’t really calling out his coach or teammates in saying that he wants to be in the post more on offense (a message he bumbled his way through on Twitter the next day, this after he ducked out a practice court side door to avoid the media… in true Gilbert Arenas fashion). Andray is just apt to say dumb, easily misconstrued things. Although, when you point out a disagreement with how you get the ball while also admitting that the play-calling is part of the Wizards’ “traditional” offense, you’re fingering someone.

“His reputation has been for six years that he won’t go in the post, I guess, so I think he was frustrated, but he can be effective in the post,” said Saunders, down-playing the issue when asked about Blatche’s desires after practice the next day (also seen in the second video above). “Him saying that he wants to go down there and not play 15-18 feet, that’s what we try to do. Most of the time, my four men are my post up type players.”

And about professing himself as team captain? More good-intentioned stupidity from Blatche. One, because Saunders, the day after, indicated that team captains would be determined on a rotating basis — whatever that means, perhaps the best course of action with a young team. Two, because Blatche clearly still doesn’t understand what it means to assume the role of team captain. (Hint: it doesn’t involve disregarding books on leadership that your coach and team management give you over the summer.)

Blatche is like a fast food restaurant. He’s not good for the system, but aims to be damn consistent in most any environment, continuously meeting low-set expectations. And we’re not even talking about his eating habits. What we are talking about is walking a thin line between sheer frustration and helpless sympathy for Blatche.

We can’t wholly blame Andray for his lack of perceptiveness and for trying in all the wrong ways. No, the blame also greatly falls on the system of cultivation around him that’s trying to sell the same old 99-cent hamburger like it’s going to suddenly turn into a ribeye steak. Andray hopes to have it his way, but he can’t even help himself. At this point, who can?

Kyle Weidie on EmailKyle Weidie on GoogleKyle Weidie on InstagramKyle Weidie on LinkedinKyle Weidie on TwitterKyle Weidie on Youtube
Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle lives in D.C. with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.

  • szr

    This post really nailed it. Especially after tonight’s performance.

  • Alex

    Assuming Blatche plays out his contract at roughly this level and the Wizards then let him walk, he was still a remarkably successful second-round draft choice, right?

  • Grant

    He needs to get his head turned around and forget being a leader and do his job on the Court which is score, rebound and play some D. I have been an apologist for him for years. Times up, I want some results.

  • Grant

    And maybe John Wow needs to get some pine time and learn that passing to the wing is not against the rules

  • P.Lewis James

    The sooner the Wizards send Blatche packing, the better!He has the perfect body to play professional basketball but he has no motivation and no clue what he has to do to get better. After seven seasons nothing has changed!It is not his fault alone. Grunfeld must take major blame for sticking with this guy so long. He should go also! The Wizards should hire a big mans coach to work with their young bigs, especially Javal McGee. I would stick with Flip for now but the team must show significant improvement.Resign Nick Young!

  • Incandescent Rex

    If you look at it from just a statistical point of view, you’re right Alex, he has put up great numbers considering where he was drafted. However, I can’t call it a success because of the number of years the Wiz have invested in Dray to groom him to be a cornerstone piece on a winning team when it seems clear now that he is completely miscast for that role.

  • If it comes down to performance, as Flip states, then Nick Young be a no brainer captain.

  • Shauna

    I am just wondering at what point does the fans say to themselves, I am sick of hearing its a young team, we are ttying find an identity, next season will be better. I have heard this for three consecutive seasons! And I am just going to say it, the problem with this team is coaching pure and simple. The Wizards have not looked like an NBA caliber team since we had Eddie Jordan. Sure, EJ was fired, but you tell ne what coach could have a winning record with three of your major players injured. I smelled something foul when Flip was at EJ’s summer camp before he was fired,Flip could not win with Kevin Garnette in Minnesota and look what happened when he was in Detroit. I think as long as Flip is coach, what we see, as painful as it is, is all we are going to get. And no Free Agent in their right mind would willingly come to this place to play. As in the last two or three seasons, this team is painful to watch.

  • szr

    The Wizards may need a new coach, but Grunfeld needs to go first. His tenure in Washington has been awful. At his best, he was fielding ~50% winning teams that made the playoffs (Which I don’t consider a great achievement in a league where more than half the teams qualify for post-season play).

    Grunfeld assembled this team. Even if you hired the spirit of Red Auerbach raised from the grave, stuck inside robot parts used to turn Phil Jackson into a cyborg it still wouldn’t make more than a 10 game difference.

  • Thomloverosthirdchin

    Back to some real convo…lol…So how many coaches did Ledell Eackles play for again?

  • RonCarlosJ


  • gup

    It’s easy to over react after a lose like that. flip is fine for now, Blatche does need to go though, he shows now signs of being able to be a good player on a good team

  • Brazy

    Flip has got to go . . .
    His system is not working for our young players – and his style of offense just doesn’t match John Wall’s talents.