[D.C. Council: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the subs, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is on the table. Preseason Game No. 4, Washington Wizards at Brooklyn Nets; contributors: Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20), John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend), and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It), all via television.]
Look, it’s ‘what’s his name’ … You know, that guy…
Washington Wizards 88 at Brooklyn Nets 98 [box score]
Dealing with the enigma known as Andray Blatche has been ingrained into the psyche of Wizards fans for the better part of decade. It’s an odd feeling to begin this new season without having to hope it’s the one where Blatche finally reaches his potential. Breaking free from the emotional shackles of Blatche was the main reason why Washington’s decision use the amnesty clause on him was such a popular move throughout the fan base. The toll had become too much for all parties involved and a clean break was needed.
Exercising a low-risk financial move, the Brooklyn Nets began their attempt to rescue Blatche’s basketball career by signing him to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract in September. His rehabilitation has been dubbed “Project Zero.” Blatche has also chosen to wear the number zero on his uniform, in part to honor Gilbert Arenas, but mostly because it represents the amount of support Blatche thought he had after parting ways with the Wizards.
(Yes, it’s true. Andray is reportedly in great shape and impressing people with his positive attitude. Nets teammates and coaches have heaped praise on Blatche for his work ethic. Sound familiar?)
In twisted sports fate, Brooklyn will host their first basketball game in their new arena, the Barclays Center, versus the Wizards tonight. Arenas, “Agent Zero,” played his last game with Wizards against the Nets in New Jersey – Gilbert Areans screwed up at the end, of course, and the Wizards lost. Now, “Project Zero” officially begins in Brooklyn against team that will continue to pay him not to play for them. Ain’t that something?
Truth About It.net will turn a whole five years old at the end of this October.
Hard to believe/interesting. Nonetheless, over the life of the site from the 2007-08 season to 2011-12, we’ve seen/lived/suffered through 131 wins, 263 losses, four coaches, two owners, one GM/team president, one Phil Chenier mustache removal, and 56 total players (amazingly, 48 players over the last three seasons).
You may have heard of ESPN’s #NBArank project, now in year two. Now hear of #WizardsRank, where we rank each of those 56 players during Truth About It.net’s five-year run.
TAI anonymously polled 27 members of the Wizards pixel establishment — from mainstream media to new media, TAI staffers included, to a few pixel consumers (readers of the site) — and got 17 responses.
ShareBullets: Links, commentary, pictures, the Web, and stuff you may have missed…
>> USA Today is reporting that the Wizards want to bring back Maurice “Mo” Evans for a front office gig (even though Mo wants to play one more year). But also, there’s this:
But it’s his locker room presence that made an impact in Washington. Last season, Evans filled that leadership role as a mentor to guards John Wall and Jordan Crawford. One person with knowledge of the Wizards’ season said Crawford would have been late to the airport for a handful of road trips had Evans not picked him up. The person, who requested anonymity because Evans is still trying to reach a deal, also said almost every player credited Evans for his leadership and advice during their exit interviews.
Tell us, now who will now get Jordan Crawford to the airport on time?!?!?
“It doesn’t really matter where you start it’s where you finish,”tweeted former Washington Wizard Andray Blatche just before 1 p.m. last Saturday. After workout with the Brooklyn Nets soon thereafter, Blatche has a new team, his second NBA team, via a minimum, one-year non-guaranteed contract.
An employment change can do wonders for some people. New, crisp shirts are purchased. A fresh haircut. Definitely a shave. Whatever else a transitional cleansing involves. When on new ground, the goal is to be extra visible to co-workers. Quickly respond to emails with a “thank you.” Buy people some coffee on a morning mission to the local shop. Don’t mind staying late.
No one necessarily knows if you were just as good at your old job, if you’re a climber, and have aspirations. Or if you hated your last boss—he was a dick. Or if you were severance packaged due to a numbers game or dwindling value. Or if you just felt it was time to move on. Or if you just plain sucked.
Except when your job is in the public eye. Even so, with the dissemination of man and woman unto social media, the lines between public figures and Joe Citizen are fading. Andray Blatche has represented the transition. He is that fading line.
>> We start with a big Kevin Seraphin block versus Tunisia.
>> James Singleton is moving on; Roger Mason, too.
With the Wizards reportedly unwilling to pay anything more than the veteran’s minimum, John Singleton moving on and Roger Mason signing with the New Orleans Hornets represents cost-considered moves for the Washington franchise (see cliche phrase: “It’s a business”). In a sense, this is a disservice: not finding a way to reward the efforts of Singleton and Mason while offering some constancy to a young team. Inreality, the Wizards weren’t offering much playing time. Shooting from Mason would have been nice, the same with the grit of Singleton, but with roster capacity now at 13 — and the need to see how all the new feature parts fit together first– the Wizards can afford to hold off on filling the last two available spots, per report of the Washington Post’s Michael Lee. Not retaining Mason and Singleton was not part of an ideal offseason plan for the Wiz, but that doesn’t mean someone else can’t come along an inspire the team from the end of the bench just as well.
>> ESPN’s Marc Stein reports (via Twitter) that the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat are interested in Andray Blatche. Both are solid organizations and could help turn Blatche into something. Each city also drastically differs in nightlight options, which understandably could have a significant influence on the overall “Party All-Dray” experience. Blatche has for the past couple of offseasons made his home in Miami. So there’s that. San Antonio has the Riverwalk. Also:
“Everyone knows San Antonio is a great city… they do have some big ol’ women down here,” famously said Charles Barkley.
After seven seasons, 7-Day ‘Dray is no longer a Washington Wizard, cast away by means of the amnesty provision on July 17. Some are still celebrating, some are still contemplating… the TAI crew of Adam McGinnis, Sean Fagan, Dan Diamond, Rashad Mobley, and Kyle Weidie take you through an FAQ on the official departure of Andray Blatche.
Q: When did Blatche’s time with the Wizards go south? And Why?
LAS VEGAS — Not a secret: The Wizards are content to wait out the free agency process before they make final roster determinations. With the amnestying of Andray Blatche, the Wizards now have 12 contracted players on the roster.
The Wizards could use another another big man for depth. Nene, Emeka Okafor, Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker, and Jan Vesely form a solid core, but…. For instance, I’m hearing that the Wizards would love to bring back James Singleton, but the courting process might take some time to develop, if it does at all. With the roster changes thus far, the minutes that Singleton could get have dried up a bit. Just like the Wizards, he has to let some free agency dominoes fall before being able to decide on the best option for him.
The more glaring need, however, is finding a backup point guard.
“We’re looking for somebody who can run a ball-club,” said Sam Cassell on Sunday. “We’ve got John Wall, but after John Wall, we need to figure it out. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
[One of the last photos of Andray Blatche in a Wizards uniform? Credit: K. Weidie, TruthAboutIt.net]
Within the next six days, we’ll find out if 7-Day ‘Dray is here to stay. (Well, at least for another few months.)
The NBA’s summer amnesty period began yesterday and runs through July 17. Because the Wizards didn’t elect to amnesty anyone last summer, they’ve got one last chance to decide if they’re going to use it — and as the Washington Post‘sMichael Lee reports, the team is “seriously considering” parting ways with Andray Blatche’s three-year, $23 million contract. But should they?