The Wizards season-to-be just got a bit morbid.
“I told my teammates: I’m willing to give y’all 100-percent out of me every game. I’m willing to die for this,” said Andray Blatche at Wizards Media Day on Thursday.
So it’s here we sit: 7-Day Dray, heading into his seventh NBA season, and caught somewhere between 50-Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ movie from 2005 (that’s almost always guaranteed to be on basic cable during random late-nights), and, “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die,” of The Princess Bride fame.
Exciting, isn’t it? Or wait, is it ominous?
Because right now, although he’s contracted for just under $30 million over the next four seasons, Blatche’s career teeters between life support and resurrection.
But all is not dire if you ask team owner Ted Leonsis, at least when it comes to his expectations surrounding this 66-game season.
“I’m more concerned with process right now than output,” said Leonsis. “Although, we’re here to win,” the owner concluded.
It’s hard to tell exactly where Blatche falls on the process-output pendulum; Leonsis was mostly referring to the youth of his team.
“I want to see how the young kids play,” he said. “The only way we’re going to know whether we drafted and we developed well is if they get the minutes.”
But speaking in terms of Blatche, Leonsis said that this season is a defining moment for him.
“He understands that the fan base, the media are all looking to take cues on, ‘Can his focus and dedication match his natural skills?,’ and I and the front office expect really, really good things from Andray.”
In other words, the process for Blatche is at its culmination, the demand is now for output. And more than ever, Blatche knows it.
“I kind of put my personal goals aside just a little bit and just focus on the team. I feel that the team do good, it’s because something that I’m doing good.”
No lives will be lost. Don’t line up the pall-bearers. It’s just basketball.
But there is potential for blood, perhaps in a “pen is mightier than the sword” type of way. Especially if all these words turn out to be just that, words.
[Is it cold in here? Or do I feel dead people?]