The 2014 Best (and Worst) of Wizards & Beyond — Part 1 | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

The 2014 Best (and Worst) of Wizards & Beyond — Part 1

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Updated: January 15, 2015

TAI-best-of-wizards-2014

Good morning, good afternoon and good evening, wherever you are.

Do you remember yesteryear? As in, the very most recent one, 2014?

We at TAI do, sort of, as much as fleeting short-term memory allows. And so we blog, capturing pixels and releasing them unto the Internet, forever.

Welcome to the Best (and Worst) of the Washington Wizards in 2014 (and beyond)Part 1.

For this survey, a cross-section of 33 intense Wizards followers were polled, including TAI staffers, those from Wizards-involved media entities (bloggy and non-bloggy), and fans otherwise of the team (as evidenced through their Twitter feeds). Many thanks to all those who voted and commented.

Please enjoy the fruits and veggies of this labor of love below. Part 2 here; Part 3 here.


 

BEST NEW WIZARD

[Paul Pierce, Halloween 2014, via Washington Wizards]

[Paul Pierce, Halloween 2014, via Washington Wizards]

Winner: Paul Pierce (13 votes)

“The Truth has given this team popular press coverage and an edge.”
@AdamMcGinnis

“Pierce is the monolith, the comet entering Washington’s orbit as a new moon (via science), that grandfathers will tell their grandkids about when they ask what finally changed.”
@ConorDDirks

“Veteran presence. Doesn’t back down from anyone. Baller.”
@JenksCSN

“How can I not vote for #Truth?”
@Truth_About_It

Runner-Up: Andre Miller (9 votes)

“Bubs got the best literally-cant-get-up-off-the-floor game we seen. We like we PGs like we like we beer: No Hops.”
@wzzntzz

“Always-savvy decisions totally transformed the second unit.”
@DanShanoff

“Nothing is more fun than watching Andre back an opposing point guard into the paint, pump fake him and bank a layup off the glass.”
@LedellsPlace

“We need at least one guy willing to go to the media buffet for free corn and salad.”
@porkrind

Honorable Mention: Rasual Butler (6 votes)

“Kris has the off-court drama and a new jumper, PP has the history and Andre Miller has experience. But Rasual was supposed to be the Mateen Cleaves of this squad, and now he’s an intergal part of the Wizards. Even Zach Lowe took time to give Butler a shout-out.”
@Rashad20

“We knew what Pierce was capable of. Butler was an unexpected surprise.”
@2StepsAway

Others receiving votes: Kris Humphries (5 votes)

“Everyone on this list has been great, even Blair holding down the fort on the bench, but none has been as persistently efficient as Kris Humphries.”
@Abdu11ah

“Secret Weapon is the best off-the-ball player on the team.”
@ClintonYates

“Lunchpail not included.”
@GheorgheTheBlog



DEPARTED WIZARD YOU MISS THE MOST

[Trevor Ariza, bruh, with son, Tristan - via instagram.com/truthaboutit]

[Trevor Ariza, bruh, with son, Tristan – via instagram.com/truthaboutit]

Winner: Trevor Ariza (18 votes)

“He defended, he hit big shots and he made for good Twitter fodder.”
@Rashad20

“Ariza, along with Wittman and Nene, was one of the biggest factors in changing the culture of the Wizards organization. Though the Wizards have done well without him, we will always have a place in our hearts for the Hookah man.”
@nbilka

“Those transition 3-pointers would be real useful. Not to mention his shutdown defense in the playoffs.”
@LedellsPlace

I’m less chill than I was when the king of the corner 3 called D.C. home.”
@BenStandig

Runner-Up: Trevor Booker (7 votes)

“For a while Booker was the only dude you knew would give everything he got every game. And he always mixed it up with LeBron and Blake Griffin and he always had some wicked fourth quarter offensive rebound follow slams. And he gave great cereal interviews. Legit loved that guy.”
@malitzd

“Ariza was nice, but easily replaceable. Could make the case for anyone. But Cook Book brought a type of institutional muscle that does not necessarily exist on the team now.”
@Truth_About_It

“Cook Book 4Evah and I don’t even eat cereal.”
@AdamMcGinnis

“Now my 2010/11 Booker warmup jersey is a throwback.”
@SwedenDC

Honorable Mention: Jan Vesely (4 votes); Al Harrington (2 votes); Eric Maynor (2 votes)

“Al ‘Thornton’ Harrington is the one credit for helpin coalesce team las year. Trev too, but since Rasual ‘Alfred the’ Butler ably takin he place it dont feel so weird to not hav he hookah in tha house.”
@wzzntzz

“Is it possible to not miss Jan?”
@ClintonYates

“#SADWOLF”
@GheorgheTheBlog

“*Airplane emoji* *Airplane emoji* *Airplane emoji* *Airplane emoji* *Airplane emoji*”
@abe_squad

“Real answer is Ariza, but that Al Harrington Thanksgiving meal in 2013 was really nice Wizard moment. Plus, wings *and* mac ‘n’ cheese at Thanksgiving? That’s just genius.”
@porkrind



BEST SINGLE GAME

{more Vines via DC Council, and more via Beal vs Hinrich}

Winner: Wizards 101, Bulls 99 (OT) – Gm 2, 1st Round, 2014 Playoffs (18 votes)

“When the team made the leap from ‘Just happy to be here’ to ‘We can win this series.’ ”
@DanShanoff

“A thrilling comeback overtime victory in the playoffs? … on the ROAD!? … with Nene and Beal turning out the lights!?! Yes, I’ll choose that game.”
@Abdu11ah

“Casually sketched out parade route after this game.”
@porkrind

Runner-Up: Wizards 102, Pacers 79 – Gm 5, 2nd Round, 2014 Playoffs (5 votes)

“On the brink of elimination, this was the Wizards’ moment to show, as Bill Pulllman aptly said in ‘Independence Day,’ ‘We will not go gently into the night, we will not go down without a fight’ in staving off elimination in Indianapolis. Marcin Gortat had the game of his life, and John Wall was not far behind, in blowing out the Pacers to take the series back to Washington. Then they lost the next game at home and were eliminated from the playoffs.”
@nbilka

“We pick this one randomly bcuz honest cannot remember a single game from las week let alone las year.”
@wzzntzz

Honorable Mention: Wizards 134, Raptors 129 (3OT) – Feb. 27, 2014 (3 votes); Wizards 133, Celtics 132 (2 OT) – Dec. 8, 2014 (3 votes); Wizards 114, Heat 97 – Jan. 15, 2014 (2 votes); Wizards 104, Rockets 103 – Dec. 29, 2014 (2 votes).

“There were other games with higher stakes, but to see Wall battle the Celtics and his emotions after losing a young friend was just must-see-TV in a perverse yet magical type of way.”
@Rashad20

The Heat game: “69 points in the first half, holding the heat to 18 in the first quarter; Nene blocking James AND slamming on him….”
@2StepsAway



BEST MOVE

WallPierceSelfie

Convincing Paul Pierce to become a Wizard (thanks Sam Cassell!). (12 votes)

“Pierce’s arrival was completely unexpected, and it gave the Wizards their first Sally Field moment in a long time. They like us, they really like us!”
@Rashad20

“No move signifies the culture change in D.C. more than an established champion CHOOSING to come to D.C.”
@aorf3

“Pierce showing up let the world know that the Wizards are legit and respected. That his signing was tied with a decision not to sign Ariza long-term while fueling the KD2DC train adds to the scenario.”
@BenStandig

“A lot of Washington’s improvement has been from within, and a lot has been inscrutable. Rasual was the find of the summer. Pierce, though, is the tesseract that brought future John Wall in touch with current John Wall.”
@ConorDDirks

“For the sake of Ted and his aspirations of landing marquee free agents becoming a reality, I’ll go with the Paul Pierce signing. And also because it’s been huge for this team.”
@Abdu11ah

“/does big balls dance”
@GheorgheTheBlog

Runner-Up: Signing Marcin Gortat to a 5-year, $60 millon contract (8 votes)

“Marcin and Nene are the heart soul of this defense. Without them, this team would be in trouble.”
@AdamMcGinnis

“Was important to keep him and the foundation intact, and if the salary cap goes up as expected the salary won’t look that bad even if he’s not very productive in the final year.”
@malitzd

“He has a mohawk, guys. A mohawk.”
@JenksCSN

Honorable Mention: Trading Jan Vesely, Eric Maynor & a 2nd Round Pick for Andre Miller (and a free roster spot). (7 votes)

“Like the Professor himself, the trade looks better with age.”
@JohnCTownsend

“Because this trade led to Miller + space for Gooden, which led to more wins which led to a higher playoff seed which led to 1st round win which led to legitimacy which led to Paul Pierce.”
@SwedenDC

“The Wizards were a so-so team through much of the season, excelling when the starters were on the court, then falling apart whenever Gortat or Wall were out of the game. Adding Miller and creating a roster spot to add Drew Gooden turned the Wizards bench from a liability into an asset, springboarding them to a strong finish to the year.”
@nbilka

Also receiving votes: Signing Kris Humphries to a 3-year, $13 million contract (team option 3rd year). (5 votes); Finding Rasual Butler. (1 vote)

“Secret Weapon.” (Kris Humphries)
@ClintonYates

“Humphries provides a stabilizing presence off the bench and in the starting lineup. Without him, those minutes would go to Seraphin.”
@LedellsPlace



WORST MOVE

Kevin Seraphin has found a Halloween friend - via Kevin Seraphin's InstaGram

Winner: Extending qualifying offer to Kevin Seraphin. (12 votes)

“Seraphin is the basketball version of groundhog day: He doesn’t regress, he doesn’t improve, he just does the same thing every damn game. There are inspired post-ups, uninspired stretches of defense, a tongue-lashing from Coach Wittman, and a seat on the bench. He didn’t need a contract, he needed a new venue.”
@Rashad20

“I know this was as much about cap management as anything else. I wouldn’t mind it as much if he wasn’t part of the rotation, where he is more of a liability than an asset on any given night.”
@DanShanoff

“Because Kevin Seraphin makes more money than Draymond Green.”
@BFrantz202

“Although if Seraphin wasn’t on the team I’m not sure where #WizardsTwitter would be able to vent, so maybe I’m OK with this move.”
@malitzd

Runner-Up: Selling the 2014 2nd Round Pick to the Lakers for Cash. (7 votes)

“Maybe the real answer is Cassell leaving if Beal’s season doesn’t uptick with the potent consistency, but for now I’ll go with the pick dump just because I love the draft, would prefer they use picks even if on stashes or deals for future picks. Maybe I’d feel different if I received some of the ‘cash.’ ”
@BenStandig

“Grunfeld will one day return to R’lyeh, but his secret extension gets a reprieve here to memorialize a small thing that stands in place of a big idea.”
@ConorDDirks

Honorable Mention: Secretly extending Ernie Grunfeld. (6 votes)

“Here’s a storyfi: Say got the same garbage man for 10 years, and erry week it a crapshoot whether he pick up ur trash. Like, for 3 years straight he just leave ur nudie mags pour out on the street rite next 2 ur empty tuna cans. All the neighbors like, ‘What a pornographic white fish eater live in that Mothering Hut!!’ And we all like, ‘Yeah so, but the Garbage Man is supposed to cover for we & not let u see with phish & porn.’ Then suddendly for 1 year the garbage man pick up all ur old #badtouch mags & sardine cans & ur neighbors say, ‘Glad the Mothering Hut is living clean!’ and then they give Garbage Man a raise. WHAT ABOUT YEARS OV SPILLING WE TITS & TROUT???? Pretty much self xplains.”
@wzzntzz

Others receiving votes: Letting Sam Cassell walk (3 votes); Signing (via trade) DeJuan Blair, who has barely played (2 votes); Signing Marcin Gortat to a 5-year, $60 millon contract, Letting Trevor Booker walk, Letting Trevor Ariza walk (1 vote each).



BEST QUOTE

washington wizards, best backcourt, NBA, truth about it, adam mcginnis, john wall, bradley beal

Winner: “You gotta be a starting backcourt to say you are the best backcourt.” —John Wall on Dion Waiters’ comments. (12 votes)

“Wall is becoming a quote machine this year.”
@abe_squad

“Cleveland. … That’s the punchline.”
@JohnCTownsend

Runner-Up: “I look at the wall. I look at a white wall and contemplate.” —Marcin Gortat on Marcin Gortat. (7 votes)

“If Leonidas and Nietzsche had a baby that was abandoned to the woods and raised by wild G-Wiz only to be found and adopted by the illegimate offspring of Richard Burton and Medusa, it would be a lot like Gortat.”
@SwedenDC

“Mochins Ghostbot is we Eastern Euro existentialist. If August Strindberg wasnt we intern, we’d gladly welcome Marching Goatbutt into we Mothering Hut.”
@wzzntzz

“This is an all-time great quote. The imagery alone … I mean, by Jove! /stares at the white wall, contemplates.”
@ConorDDirks

Honorable Mention:

“Damn, fresher than a Mississippi pimp there, Temp. Got a hot date tonight?” —John Wall on Garrett Temple’s post-game outfit. (5 votes)

“Sorry, haters. I’m always going to miss the haters.” —Nenê on the Wizards beating the Bulls. (4 votes)

 

[Part 2 here; Part 3 here.]

 

 

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.




  • John Smith

    I was watching the Wizards-Spurs game the other night and it looked like asst. coach Don Newman had serious black eye. Anyone know if I was seeing things?