Memo to NBA: Contract the Wizards | Wizards Blog Truth About

Memo to NBA: Contract the Wizards

Updated: March 27, 2012

[A rare lead. Screenshot via Comcast.]

Sacramento. Golden State. Detroit.

Everyone beats the Wiz.

So I say—let’s join ’em.

Break them up. Dismantle the court. Burn the uniforms.

Make the Wizards disappear.

What, another city wants this group?


Send them to Seattle. Maybe they’ll find some magic, can be Wizards of the Coast.

They’re not a team. They’re a collection of unincorporated persons, loosely camouflaged—thanks to some color-coded laundry—to look like professional basketball players.

An Opportunity Missed

Consider this:

The Wizards play a dozen blocks from the First Fan. A man who interrupts the most important job in the world to watch League Pass

He has basketball in his blood. He wants to be entertained.

And the Wizards are putting on a show for President Obama—a horror show.

This is the worst stretch in the franchise’s history. Even before the recent string of three straight, last-second losses. You know it’s bad when Ted’s Take is scrambling for silver linings.

Leonsis wanted the team to bottom out. Well, we’ve hit rock bottom.

Our most talented player is a point guard who can’t play the point.

Our second most-talented player was Denver’s bad contract.

Our shooting guard certainly shoots—and shoots and shoots some more.

And so on.

One Shining Moment. Just One. That’s All We Got.

I want to believe. I have stood through playoff losses.  I have paid for expensive seats at mediocre games.

I own an embarrassing amount of Wizards paraphernalia.

I also sat three rows behind Leonsis as the ‘Zards upset Oklahoma City.

It was a glorious moment that defined a season—because it was so so wildly insane that no one even expected it.

I’ll treasure the memory. Especially when I watch John Wall in a Sonics uniform next season.

Caveat: Author reserves right to retract opinion if Wizards draft Anthony Davis.

Dan Diamond on EmailDan Diamond on Twitter
Dan Diamond
Contributor at TAI

  • Steven

    What is this and why is this here? This is for Wizards fans. Sure the team has sucked lately, but they won’t suck forever. Its not like they even played poorly recently. They had tough losses, but they helped their lottery chances.

  • Certainly the idea of contracting the Wizards is not endorsed by this site, nor really the author, per se (I assume), but rather is the manifestation of fan frustration into an outlandish concept.

    Thus… it does make fans think, as you suggest, Steven… Are the Wizards so close, or are they so far….?

    Will a couple primo players do the trick…. allowing the current 3-4-5 primary players to take a seat into more suitable roles as 6-7-8 (or lower) type of priority players?

    Or, with a No. 1 pick who really isn’t star-worthy of a No. 1 pick, is the cupboard really that bare?

    The debate is interesting… but no one really wants professional basketball to leave the Diamond(ish) District.

  • Jason

    Instead of contracting the Wizards, isn’t it obvious that the village idiot running the team, Ernie, should be getting the ax? Sure, getting rid of Nick and the Human Blooper Reel was great, but he couldn’t get rid of Blatche for a 2020 3rd-Rd pick? I’m pretty sure I don’t have to divulge into the terrible mistakes he’s made over the decade (paying $111mil to a guy who had 3 knee surgeries and couldn’t stay on the court past the anthem).

  • Steven: I’ve been a Bullets/Wizards fan since the days of Don MacLean. Or an easy translation: About 1,000+ losses ago.

    Kyle is kind to offer an out. But what if I’m not kidding? I’ve watched five winning seasons in 20+ years. And look what we’re reduced to – once again, hoping that the lottery will deliver a savior.

    What is the plan here? Fire Grunfeld? Ok, what then?


  • Michael

    Yes, the plan should be to fire Grunfeld.

    Then hire a replacement who is actually competent at his job. This competency test can be conducted by whether or not he feels Jordan Crawford is part of the core foundation of this team. If he says “yes”, we know he’s not the right man for the job.

    In all seriousness though, we have had arguably the wost team in the league for the past 4 years. It can’t possibly be that difficult to find someone who can do a better job than Grunfeld.

  • nich

    Ask the Sonics fans how they felt about losing their crappy bottom-feeding team right before the rebuilding process began to produce.

  • Dylan

    Dan, I have a much easier solution – go away. You don’t have hope? Well, stop watching. And, especially, stop whining.

  • Oliver

    I’m really frustrated with all this talk to the effect that John Wall hasn’t been worthy of his #1 overall pick, or that he’s not a point guard, or that it’s not insanely early to even think about drawing any kind of conclusion about him.

    He’s a 21-year-old kid who still has not had one full offseason to work with his team, who has been saddled with one of the most dysfunctional and tumultuous organizations in the NBA, and who has played with some of the most useless teammates in recent memory. And all he’s done in the meantime is post numbers that compare favorably to Chris Paul’s first two seasons in the NBA, and absolutely blow away Russell Westbrook’s first two seasons in the NBA.

    I can’t help but feel like, in a town with smarter basketball fans, Wall’s performance to this point would be hailed as revelatory, both given what he’s had to deal with in that time but also on its own merits. Maybe he’d be more likely to stick around in that town, too.

    We get what we deserve. If we’re going to be hysterical, ignorant morons, hurriedly pulling the ripcord on one of the most electrifying talents to enter the NBA in the past decade, then we’re going to lose him.

  • Oliver

    Also, because I haven’t trolled hard enough yet (nor nearly as hard as this article’s author), I’d like to point out that no elite NBA team has fewer than two All Star-quality players. OKC has Durant, Westbrook, and Harden, all top-10 picks in consecutive years. Miami has Wade, LeBron, and Bosh, all top-10 picks in the same year. Chicago has Rose and Noah, both top-10 picks in consecutive years. The list goes on.

    The point here is that the list of players who can single-handedly make their team a contender while surrounded by role players is tiny, and it’s preposterous to throw in the towel on Wall and the Wizards because he’s not one of them in the middle of his abbreviated second season. Drafting two elite players means being crappy for at least two years, as the Sonics/Thunder did. So bemoaning that we’re “once again, hoping for the lottery to deliver a savior” is very, very stupid: that’s what teams do. It’s the best way to become good, and it’s something that is accomplished by being bad along the way.

    The larger point I’m trying to make is that it’s possible – for those who are interested in something other than finding the shortest possible route from their entitled discontentment to a ham-handed conclusion that will generate pageviews – to see the current Wizards futility as somewhat discontinuous from what has come before: players change, owners change, executives change, uniforms change. The only way to see them as truly continuous (given that, Grunfeld aside, the team has turned over roughly 150% in the past couple of years) is to deploy magical thinking: to say that the franchise is cursed. After all, as you suggest and could not possibly dispute, the only things that link this team to earlier iterations are laundry, location, and crummy win-loss records.

  • Oliver

    Finally, and perhaps more to the point, how hard would it have been to just sign into Twitter, type “I don’t want to watch the Wizards anymore,” and hit Enter?

  • elvena

    I find it hard to take this piece seriously. If it is intended to be serious (the author seems to be hedging about whether or not that is the case), surely a more thoughtful piece could have been produced than one which basically says “I’m tired of all the losses.”

  • Bobby

    2 more years and the wiz will be in the playoffs..

    Add 2 lottery picks and a couple veterans..

  • Chris

    Extremely disappointing to see this kind of pessimism expressed here. Frankly, much of what is done on Truth About It lacks any kind of enthusiasm for Washington basketball, but that’s easy to understand. This takes it too far. Believe it or not, Washington (and the surrounding ‘burbs) is a town with a pretty strong love of basketball, and it’s an embarrassment that our pro team has become such a bottom-dweller. But to see the idea of contraction thrown about as an expression of fan frustration is disconcerting. It would be a huge, huge shame if this kind of attitude came to define your otherwise terrific site.

  • Take this with a grain of salt – it’s coming from a troll, after all – but I’m a huge Wizards fan. With years of T-shirts, programs, and ticket stubs to prove it.

    I also watched the last three home games…all the way through three last-minute collapses…which made me very, very tired.

    Of course I don’t want DC to lose the Wiz. (Note my caveat: Despite it all, I’m praying we add Davis!)

    But witnessing that Pistons game … fully anticipating our collapse … in DC … against an equally crappy team, I had to wonder. Why root for the Wiz? What is the plan? Blind faith?

    I’m heartened by Seraphin’s play. Booker is gutty. Wall has plenty of promise. Per my TAI post, the Nene trade was positive.

    But no recent team rivals the Wiz for lack of clear building blocks after 4 years of historic futility. (Chicago, Indiana, even Memphis and OKC never hit our depths.) And no team is worse at actually developing young players.

    To avoid trolling the comments: Nich, Oliver – if you want to argue it out, my email is

    As a longtime reader-turned-poster, I’ve always thought TAI readers were smart fans (and still do). So I can’t be the first person to question why we root for this team.

    But if my heartfelt rant actually upset anyone– forgive me. Hopefully you’ll let me convince you that I’m not a moronic pessimist – just a passionate fan, like you.

  • Robert


    I personally thought this was a great piece. I am 27 years old, and have been a bullets fan since the days of Don Maclean and Michael Adams. There have been some absolutely terrible teams in the past 20 years, that have played bad basketball, but this is BY FAR the worst basketball I’ve ever seen this franchise play. I understand, the article was tongue in cheek; nobody would ever take away bball from this city-too much talent and history stems from here. (by the way, I also sat there and predicted the collapse in Detroit.)

    Oliver, I looked at both Westbrook and Paul’s stats, they both went from borderline all star level to MVP level between their 2nd and 3rd years… we’ll see if Wall does that also. You make some decent points, but for me, it comes down to the eye test. I could see that Westbrook and Paul were great players during even their Rookie Years, not because they were electrifying athletes, but because they had great feel for the game. I just do not see that with John Wall; I see a guy who maybe should be playing football, and kinda plays basketball like a football player-there just isn’t much pace to his game. The eye test tells me that he doesn’t run a team well.

    I urge you to read this piece on Grandland:

    “I know it’s ridiculous to say about a no. 1 NBA draft pick who went to Kentucky as the no. 1 high school recruit in the country, but I don’t think John Wall quite knows how John Wall should play.”


    “Ball-dominant point guards will get their assists — Marbury finished in the top 10 in assists per game a shocking nine times in his career — but that doesn’t mean they can effectively run a team.”

    Finally, I think John Wall can be a pretty good point guard, but he needs a HELL of A LOT of coaching, otherwise I think he’s going to have to be a combo. He is either not being coached up at the moment, or he is not receptive to being coached up. I also think he needs to watch film. Only then will he realize his bad habits and correct them….things like his predictable crossover from right to left. Every defender knows its coming he puts his right foot forward, palms the ball a little, and bam….CHARGE! That’s John Wall for you. I’m tired of that predictable move-that’s summer league shit.

  • Robert, thanks for the balanced thoughts.

    Drawing on a lot of these comments, posted a follow-up (with less dramatic suggestions) on TAI today:

  • Beelzebub

    I don’t get it…You’ve been a Wizards fan “since the days of Don Maclean”. Whyyyyyy????

    Don’t you deserve this? Of all the teams in the league you could possibly root for, you chose this one, for whatever sado-masochistic reason could you possibly have done that?

    And now you want to ship them out?

    Just pick another team. Easy fixed. Sports teams offer no guarantees, I can’t see why fans have to offer loyalty.

    Hey, BTW, I’m up here, on your left shoulder…