Dispatch From Vegas — Drew Gooden Talks Celtics, Otto and the Future | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Dispatch From Vegas — Drew Gooden Talks Celtics, Otto and the Future

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Updated: July 12, 2017

[Drew Gooden relaxes in the front row during the fourth quarter of the Wizards 82-73 loss to the Bulls on July 11, 2017. Photo – A. Rubin]

North Bethesda’s adopted son, Drew Gooden, dropped by Cox Pavilion to watch his most recent former team (the Wizards) take on one of his other former teams, the Chicago Bulls (Gooden was a Bull for 49 games between 2008 and 2009) in their third game of summer league. I stopped by his court-side seat during the fourth quarter and we talked about the Celtics series, Otto Porter’s big contract and where the Wizards fit in the shifting Eastern conference. [Ed. Note: In case there is any doubt where Gooden’s allegiance lies, he dropped a “my Wizards” when talking about the team.]

Did you follow the playoffs?

Absolutely.

What were your thoughts on the Wizards-Celtics series?

I feel like that series could have went either way. Couple bad breaks, my Wizards would have been on top but it’s a game of inches and I think that series kind of explained that in fine detail.

One of the things the Wizards needed was a stretch 4 – the role you played – with Kelly Olynyk in Game 7. Do you think the outcome would have been different with you out there?

I don’t know. It probably wouldn’t have been a Game 7 if I was out there. We probably wouldn’t have even made it that far if I was out there. But, I think Markieff did a great job, the bigs did a great job collectively. I know he had a bum ankle leading into all those big games against Boston so I knew he was playing hurt but I think he did a fantastic job trying to hold his own and pushing to Game 7.

In the East you have Cleveland and Boston and the rest is pretty wide open. Where do you see Washington fitting in?

You have to beat the Cavs to be able to go through the Warriors to win a championship. I think the ultimate goal at the end of the day is not just to win the East. I think now it’s to win a championship and the pieces you put together it can’t be anything short of that. So I think Washington, Boston and Cleveland are definitely the juggernauts of the East.

You mention pieces. They have John Wall and Bradley Beal and just added Otto. What did you think of Otto getting the max?

You don’t want to reinvent the wheel. You have a good thing going now, you have good chemistry, those guys have played together now for almost five seasons so it’s something that you don’t want to disrupt and I think just keep that thing going, you got to think that’s almost like the San Antonio system when you get a core group of guys together and you keep them there together and later on down the road – you might not win the first six, seven years – but year ten and eleven you are talking about a dynasty type team.

Fans are nervous because Wall has not signed a max extension yet. Is D.C. a free agent destination? Do you think Wall definitely wants to be there?

I definitely think DC is a free agent destination now. It is just getting the right pieces there and getting the right people to commit but I think the Leonsis family has done enough now putting the pieces together financially to go out there and put a good enough team to come out there and win the East.

[Drew Gooden sits court-side for Wizards summer league game versus Chicago on July 11, 2017. Photo – A. Rubin]

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Adam Rubin
Reporter / Writer at TAI
Adam grew up in the D.C. area and has been a Washington Bullets fan for over 25 years. He will not refer to the franchise as anything other than the Bullets unless required to do so by Truth About It editorial standards. Adam spent many nights at the Capital Centre in the ‘90s where he witnessed such things as Michael Jordan’s “LaBradford Smith game,” the inexcusable under-usage of Gheorghe Muresan’s unstoppable post moves, and the basketball stylings of Ledell Eackles.