Andray Blatche: The Amnestied Son Returns | Truth About It.net

Andray Blatche: The Amnestied Son Returns

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Updated: January 5, 2013

Andray Blatche speaks to the media after his Brooklyn Nets defeated the Washington Wizards, 115-113 in Double-OT.–via R. Mobley

He really wasn’t fooling anyone, but prior to the game, Brooklyn Nets forward/center Andray Blatche did his very best to downplay his first game at the Verizon Center as a former Wizard. During the morning, shootaround he told The Washington Post‘s Michael Lee, “I have no feeling at all for it. It’s another game, it’s a regular game for me, no emotional ties or nothing.”

Shortly before Coach PJ Carlesimo gave his pregame presser, Blatche emerged from the Wizards’ side of the hall with a big smile on his face, and when he saw AP writer Rich Dubroff, he smiled even bigger, gave Rich a hug and said, “There’s my main man. What’s up my main man, Honey Graham?” They exchanged pleasantries, and then when Blatche saw the rest of the media waiting for P.J. to talk, the smile subsided a bit and he dipped in the locker room. Before the game, he reiterated his above-it-all stance about playing against the Wizards:

On the negative reaction from Wizards fans after he left:

“I just feel like they need to let it go, man. They’re being a pest to my life. Let it go. I’m gone. They wanted me gone. I’m gone. They’re still not happy that I’m gone. You know what I’m saying? It doesn’t make sense. You wanted me out of here, I’m gone, and they’re still bothering me. So that’s the thing I don’t get. It’s crazy.”

On what kind of reaction he expected from the fans once the game started:

“They’ll act the same way they acted when I was here. The only thing different now is, I don’t play here anymore, so I expect it. It’s not going to affect me because they’re supposed to do it. I’m on another team. So, that’s the only thing different.”

On any personal scores he was looking to settle versus his old team:

“No, I’m over that. I’m older. Let it go. I let y’all go. Now let me go. I said my piece. You’ll say your piece throughout the whole season. I’m gone. I want to stay gone.”

But despite his fervent denials about playing against the Wizards, when Blatche entered the game with 4:51 left in the first quarter, and was met with the predictable chorus of boos, there was definitely a smirk on his face. A more defiant smirk appeared when he scored via a fadeaway jumpshot, tripped and fell, and then ran back on defense, or when he was taking in the boos at the free throw line after making an and-1 over Kevin Seraphin.  Even when Blatche didn’t score, and he was simply watching a Brook Lopez dunk, Blatche still yelled out in glee, as if he was just as happy to see his teammates sticking it to the Wizards on his behalf. As for his game on the court, Blatche played limited minutes (an oversight Coach Carlesimo regretted after the game), but he made the most of his time. He scored 13 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and four steals (including a nifty strip of Seraphin). There were no behind-the-back moves outside of the paint, no needless jumpers, and for the most he did not excessively hold the ball in the paint. On this night, Blatche hovered around the basket, and seemed to shed and lose Wizards defenders (Seraphin, mainly) at will. On defense, he played the passing lanes like a guard, not a 6-foot-11 forward, and he had no problem getting physical with Seraphin or Nene. It wasn’t as if Wizards’ fans had not seen this Blatche before, just not a Blatche this consistent. After the game, Blatche remained true to his pregame stance of being unaffected by any possible distractions:

“If you get a win in any situation it feels good. It wasn’t nothing personal. Hopefully they can leave me in the past and both parties can just move on. So it’s nothing personal towards that team. We just wanted to go in and compete. … The booing didn’t affect me at all because I don’t play for them. They’re supposed to boo me. They’re supposed to go against me. This game was no different than the crowd when we went against the Knicks. I was already used to it, so I just basically went out and played. I expected it. I knew this was going to happen when I signed with the Nets.  I knew when I went to D.C. this was going to happen”

Luckily, Coach Carlesimo (whose comments were the antithesis of Coach Wittman’s uncoachable sentiments about Blatche), and Joe Johnson shed a bit of light on Andray’s thoughts about this game.