ShareBullets: Chris Webber's One Year As A Wizard & Franchise Season No. 50 Without Baltimore
ShareBullets… links, commentary, irreverence… and the team used to be call the Bullets.
>> Chris Webber played a single season in a Wizards jersey (1997-98, the rest were a Bullets jersey), and I documented this fact by recently purchasing a replica from Joint Custody, a vintage store in D.C.’s Adams Morgan. Somebody on the Twittermachine tweeted at me that Webber was “one of the worst Bullets ever.” Not quite.
Turning to Basketball-Reference.com, narrowing down a list those who have played at least 2,500 minutes in a Bullets/Wizards uniform and then ranking them by the worst Win Shares Per 48 Minutes, these would be your 10 worst of all-time:
- Fred Carter >> 0.11 WS/48
- Slick Leonard >> 0.11
- Jordan Crawford >> 0.15
- A.J. English >> 0.17
- Mitchell Butler >> 0.20
- Dominic McGuire >> 0.25
- Doug Overton >> 0.26
- Tom Hammonds >> 0.32
- Juan Dixon >> 0.34
- Jarvis Hayes >> 0.37
Webber averaged .137 WS/48, which ranks 11th best in franchise history of those with at least 2,500 minutes.
>> The Wizards’ pre-season schedule is out (see below). Important fact side-note: not counting the franchise’s two seasons in Chicago (as the Zephyrs and the Packers), 2012-13 will be season No. 50 for the Baltimore/Washington pro basketball franchise. Wonder if they have anything special planned. What’s not planned is a trip to Baltimore for a pre-season game — the only pre-season game in the DC-B-More area will take place at the Verizon Center against the New York Knicks on October 11. The last time the team played any type of game in Baltimore was in October 1999 (TAI once did an all-encompassing post on the franchise’s relationship with B-More). Ted Leonsis’ Washington Capitals have recently played pre-season games in Baltimore (they did last year and will do so again this year, calling it the “Baltimore Hockey Classic.”) But why not the Wizards? I’m sure there are caveats, disclaimers and all of that, but disappointing nonetheless, especially in season No. 50.
Wizards 2012-13 Pre-Season Slate:
Sunday, October 7: at Charlotte Bobcats, 1 pm ET — Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte
Thursday, October 11: vs. New York Knicks, 7 pm ET — Verizon Center in D.C.
Saturday, October 13: at Cleveland Cavaliers, 7:30 pm ET — Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland
Monday, October 15: at Brooklyn Nets, 7:30 pm ET — Barclays Center in Brooklyn
Wednesday, October 17: at Toronto Raptors, 7 pm ET — Air Canada Centre in Toronto
Saturday, October 20: at Milwaukee Bucks, 8:30 pm ET — BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee
Wednesday, October 24: at Miami Heat, 8:30 pm ET — Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO
Friday, October 26: at San Antonio Spurs, 8:30 pm ET — AT&T Center in San Antonio
>> Frank Hanrahan writes that Bradley Beal should start next season. Doubt that will happen, doubt it’s the best move. In all likelihood, much to the chagrin of many Wizards fans who will likely turn their pent up scorn toward the basketball stylings of Jordan Crawford (and perhaps rightly so, we will see), Beal will begin the season coming off the bench. There’s really no reason to rush the 19-year old. He’ll get there.
>> Ben Standig of CSN Washington makes this counterpoint to Hanrahan’s point:
With his high confidence and volume shooting ways, Crawford’s ultimate NBA role should be that of an instant-offense sixth-man. At some point this season perhaps Wizards coach Randy Wittman makes it so. Just not on October 30, opening night at Cleveland, or the immediate games afterward. Crawford and Wall have chemistry; let Beal’s develop naturally, over time. If nothing else, let the first rounder earn his spot, let him beat out the incumbent Crawford.
>> The ESPN analytical braintrust of Chad Ford and John Hollinger give the Wizards a “future ranking” of 28, only better than Phoenix and Charlotte, and somehow worse than Sacramento and Orlando. Ouch. Some writing:
That’s why we rated Washington’s management 27th. There was brief hope that owner Ted Leonsis would shake things up when he bought the team two years ago, but he opted to extend the nondescript tenure of general manager Ernie Grunfeld and the equally uninspiring sideline reign of Randy Wittman.
To counter, I would constitute John Wall now being the longest tenured Wizard as a “shake-up,” but I suppose that would also be contingent on subjective stock assessment of GM/coaching value toward wins versus players. The microscope will be burning on Ernie and Randy the most regardless. But there’s also this:
We might be more excited if this franchise had any track record of player development, but it doesn’t — witness the Blatche/Young/McGee era — and with Wall’s progress just as stuck in the mud as everyone else’s, it’s not clear where or when a star might emerge.
Again, hard to argue with this. The player development is glaring on Grunfeld’s track record like one of those people who have to wear the one giant shoe because their legs aren’t the same length trying to run Olympic hurdles. Grunfeld, who plays his cards close to his chest (actually, he sits on them) when it comes to being expressive in front of the public, has hopefully learned lessons about not throwing unabashed trust into guys like Gilbert Arenas and Andray Blatche.
>> Nice post on Bullets Forever about Chris Singleton’s defense that’s worth checking out. From my perspective: Singleton saw some tough match-ups as a rookie, having started 51 of the Wizards 66 games last season, and he certainly learned some hard lessons about how veterans like Paul Pierce are good at drawing contact (especially in an NBA referee’s biased judgment against rookies). Singleton’s big issues were fouls, as the post mentions, and the fact that he would take himself out of defensive possessions with a lack of intensity. During his rookie year, I saw much less Bruce Bowen and more of a guy defending with athletic skills (as opposed to smarts). But that’s just it, Singleton was a rookie. As long as he concentrates on defense first, and not trying to do too much like he did during the summer league, then he should be A-OK, defensively speaking.
>> Andrew Sharp breaks down why the Bullets/Wizards are one of the best cult classic franchises of all time. Read it.
>> Jan Vesely on Twitter? Seems like it… check him out at @JanVesely24. Here’s a pic from the yet-to-be-verified account:
>> Former Wizards Awvee Storey is working with the Washington Mystics and the Washington Times did a story about it. The piece doesn’t mention how Storey once got arrested with Gilbert Areans in South Beach, Miami in May 2006, or how in December 2006, while in the D-League, Storey punched teammate Martynas Andriuškevičius in practice, fracturing his skull. (Andriuškevičius made a surprisingly quick recovery and was able to speak within a month’s time.) Oh well, we all have our pasts.
>> Hakeeem Olajuwon has been working out with JaVale McGee this summer. The question with endurance: why didn’t this happen when Epic Vale was with the Wizards? In any case, the Dream says about McGee: “No question, I see him as another star. That guy should dominate the league.” While some will focus on the word “should,” others will focus on McGee potentially being yet another young star that the Washington franchise let get away. In the big picture, McGee represented diminishing returns in D.C., unfortunately. He had to go, especially for the sake of John Wall. Otherwise… the System.
>> The Wages of Wins Journal put together an advanced statistical All-Terrible NBA Team based on last year’s stats… Current Wizard Jordan Crawford and former Wizard Antawn Jamison join Norris Cole, DeMar DeRozan and Byron Mullens on the team. Congrats guys!
[Wages of Wins]
>> “The” Tim Grover — “trainer to Michael Jordan” — has filed for bankruptcy in some regard. Quite surprising, to the point of shady if you ask me, but I’m no bankruptcy expert. If you remember, Grover helped “prepare” Gilbert Arenas prior to the 2009-10 season (didn’t work out so well), and was supposedly acting as an intermediary between Arenas and Flip Saunders during training camp in Richmond, VA that season. Yep.
>> A Roundball Mining Company (ESPN TrueHoop Nuggest blog) post on JaVale McGee is wrought with auspicious hope. Can’t blame them, except when it begins like this:
When JaVale McGee was traded to the Denver Nuggets mid-season, the opportunity to escape from the highly dysfunctional atmosphere of the Washington Wizards organization and make a new start must truly have been a breath of fresh air.
Highly dysfunctional, yes… in a classical sense. But, McGee was just as much a toxin as anyone else. I guess he is absolved of some blame since he was cultivated by the Gilbert Arenas, Andray Blatches and Nick Youngs of the world. Remember in the first Batman when the Joker said, “This town needs an enema?” Well, that’s exactly what the Wizards have done, and McGee was part of the evacuated ooze who is now found treasure for another team. It is what it is.
[Roundball Mining Company]
>> We end in the “I totally remember this” department… Naughty By Nature’s video with the Bullets in 1993-94 (recently posted to The Score)…
>> Actually, let’s end with Wizards in head gear…
First, Bradley Beal:
Second, Kevin Seraphin: