[Ex-Wizard Brendan Haywood is heading to the NBA Finals, and now he's finagled two hats to prove it.]
The last ex-Washington Wizard* to appear in the NBA Finals used to be Larry Hughes. Not anymore. Hughes, a Wizard from 2002 to 2005, played for the Cleveland Cavaliers in game one of the 2007 Finals against the San Antonio Spurs. He scored two points on 1-5 shooting with two fouls and three rebounds in 23 minutes; the Cavs lost 85-76. In game two, Hughes missed all five of his field-goal attempts, didn’t score a point, and tallied two turnovers, two assists and two rebounds in 20 minutes; the Cavs lost 103-92. Dealing with foot issues pertaining to his plantar fascia, Hughes didn’t play in games three and four as the Spurs swept LeBron James in his only Finals appearance to date.
Now that the Dallas Mavericks have beaten the Oklahoma City Thunder for the right to represent the West in the 2011 Finals, three more ex-Wizards will be playing for the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Antawn Jamison, who always kept a picture of the NBA’s championship trophy in his Wizards locker (now it’s John Wall’s locker), is probably really happy for his ex-teammates, but most certainly in a ‘I wish it were me’ kind of way. And if you want even more of a storyline as Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson and Caron Butler (okay fine, I’ll include Brian Cardinal, another former Wizard (2002-03)… so, four ex-Wizards), head to championship holy ground with Dallas, consider all the history those three most recent Wizards have with one potential opponent, the very same LeBron James, this time of the Miami Heat.
All but calling him a cry-baby, Haywood once led to LeBron being labelled “They trying to hurt me” James. With Stevenson, you can pretty much begin and end with him calling James overrated, and then Jay-Z coming to James’ rescue with a blown whistle on a diss track. Oh, and there’s also that back-and-forth gossip girl thing between the Stevenson and James, thanks to Drew Gooden’s loose lips. So yea, DeShawn and LeBron pretty much hate each other. Butler mostly aimed to remain neutral through the familiarity the Wizards used to have with James’ Cavaliers via first round playoff matchups in three straight seasons from 2006 to 2008.
Tags: brendan haywood, brian cardinal, Caron Butler, Dallas Mavericks, DeShawn Stevenson, larry hughes, NBA Finals, rasheed wallace