After another tough loss on Saturday night—a game where the Wizards fell behind the Detroit Pistons by as many as 22 points, before clawing back to lose by only nine—Washington’s players and staff dutifully trooped in front of the microphones.
Reporters’ questions were predictable. Do the players lack confidence? (The players’ answer: No.) Would a healthy John Wall make a difference? (Players’ answer: Yes.)
The basketball world knew who the Washington Wizards were going to select with the sixth pick in the NBA Draft well before David Stern took the podium.
The Wizards, longtime fans of Jan Vesely since his emergence on the international scene in 2009, had considered selecting him in last year’s draft, before he decided to return to his Belgrade-based club Partizan for another year. And on draft afternoon, the paper trail spoke louder than ever. The Wizards’ sales department had invited staff members from the Czech Republic embassy to the team draft party in downtown Washington.
Now, while the selection might not have mystery, the player certainly was. To some extent, Vesely was misrepresented—even undervalued—having been surrounded by the popular, though incomplete, rhetoric from just a handful of available scouting reports and YouTube highlights. But the wing from Ostrava, Czech Republic, who has played basketball professionally since he was 16 years old, was the perfect pick for the Wizards. But you don’t have to take my word for it, consider head coach Flip Saunders’ review: Read more »
Al Thornton, Nick Young and Yi Jianlian are likely to enter the Summer of ’11 with the Wizards holding the option on their qualifying offers, aka as restricted free-agents. No big deal here. Each is vastly unproven so it doesn’t make a ton of sense to lock into any of them for the unknown future.
Ted Leonsis has opening-night jitters. “Throw the kids into the deep end of the pool; let them swim!,” he says. Gosh, I hope there is a lifeguard around to combat what appears to be a poolside bully throwing all these damn kids in the pool. But really, I think the kids can swim, it’s just time to see how well. I’m looking forward to it.
Leonsis continues to stand by Arenas … probably until he doesn’t … whatever that means. Maybe a trade or something.
[DC Sports Bog]
Speaking of Arenas, David Aldridge on NBA.com has all sorts of opinions about him. First Aldridge says hope that Arenas has emerged a changed man via last season has “evaporated” via sore knee lies. Then D.A. says, “I hope I’m proven wrong,” but then says, “Not holding my breath.” Then Aldridge compares Arenas to a deadbeat dad four years behind on child-support who is also making moonshine in his basement. Finally, he says the Wizards should give Arenas the Jamaal Tinsley treatment and just tell him to stay at home. Seems like an odd amount of twists and turns from D.A., with an ultimate overboard reaction — that is, until Arenas does something else stupid, I guess.