Remember that goofy Bobby Knight “Game Face” display during some press conference long ago? Whether you do or you don’t, let’s take it to YouTube (it’s No. 2 in the countdown of top Knight soundbites):
But what about pre-game faces? Well, thanks to TAI’s Adam McGinnis, we have some of those faces from last Tuesday’s Wizards-Lakers game below. But first …
Truth About It is giving away more free Wizards tickets, this time two lower-level tickets to Saturday’s Wizards game versus the Miami Heat, courtesy of StubHub.
How do you win the tickets?Like last time, at around 3 PM EST this afternoon, Friday, December 17, I will be posting a Wizards-related trivia question on the TAI Twitter account: @Truth_About_It. The first person to email, NOT Tweet, the correct answer to firstname.lastname@example.org will have two (2) tickets — Section 117, Row F — waiting for them at the Verizon Center Will Call for Saturday night’s 7 PM game.
The trivia question last time was: “Before playing last game @ US Airways Arena in 97, the Wash. Wizards signed a player who prev. played in 345 total gms as a Bullet. Name him”
Young Kevin Seraphin and young Hamady N’Diaye. Bound by their knowledge of the French language and born abroad, these fresh faces couldn’t be having more fun chasing basketball dreams in the capital of the United States.
Happy-go-lucky guys they are, but hard workers and promising talent as well, especially the bruising Seraphin who you’ve seen more of on the court lately (just observe him set screens), and who you likely could see a fair bit of tonight against the Miami Heat as JaVale McGee’s availability is limited — according to Michael Lee, he’s available, but won’t start.
Rewind back to last Saturday night at the Verizon Center for a second. Into the locker room, before the game while the media is allowed to mingle in the team’s home sanctuary, Seraphin and N’Diaye came bounding through the threshold, literally arm and arm as they’ve been figuratively (Seraphin’s English is a work in progress; N’diaye, fluent in multiple languages, helps Seraphin via French).
Doing a jig-type dance, they were, bringing smiles to faces. My Flip-Cam ignited to capture them doing so when someone from the media contingent dedicated to covering Yi Jianlian requested that Seraphin and N’Diaye do what they called their new pre-game dance again. So now you can enjoy …
From FreeDarko’s Undisputed Guide To Pro Basketball History:
“Madison Square Garden, the game’s most hallowed arena, is the Mecca of Basketball. But this nickname had little to do with devotion to the sport; it was borrowed from the Shriners’ Mecca Temple, a venue that hosted boxing and wrestling matches in the ’20s and ’30s.”
So, what happens when some of the Wizards’ big men go through their pre-game warm-up routine while some of the Knicks City Dancers do the same, on the same court? Or when Andray Blatche keeps loose with a game of one-on-one with Sam Cassell?
The Wizards are going to start the season with a roster of 15 that includes Cartier Martin, Lester Hudson and Hamady N’diaye. On a developing team, this was the exact, right thing to do. Anything less would have been uncivilized. And if it happens where the Wizards need an extra roster spot to complete an unbalanced trade, I’m sure something can be figured out when and if the team reaches that juncture.
So Gilbert Arenas shaved his beard. For the record, I think Beards > Long pointy sideburns.
Michael Lee has another good player profile, this time on Kevin Seraphin, which includes a funny quote from someone familiar with the French speaker, Rodrigue Beaubois of the Dallas Mavericks. Beaubois says, “He’s a beast. Physically, he’s amazing. He’s very strong. He’s a big baby, that’s for sure. I really think he’s going to be good for [the Wizards].” A big baby.
ESPN Insider has a pretty cool feature … Marvel comic book covers for each NBA team. John Wall is naturally featured for the Wizards. It kinda looks like him, but mostly doesn’t. What I’m most curious about is what that shadowy figure in the background is supposed to represent. Gilbert Arenas? Other point guard opponents? I like to think it’s John Calipari. Click here to check out the comic book covers for other teams (again, you must have an ESPN Insider account … sorry) — the cover for the Cavaliers has to be especially annoying to Cleveland fans … and no, it’s not a rendering of Antawn Jamison playing Mr. Glass.
A panel of six NBA scouts are cumulatively picking the Wizards to finish tied with the 76ers for 8th in the East. Evidently one scout believes the Wizards will be 6th in the East, two others think the Wiz will finish 12th.
A regular season chock full of meaningful games is ever so close. In fact, the last Wizards preseason game is tonight against the Pistons in Detroit Toledo, OH … and then we have to wait a whole eight days until Washington basketball opens the regular season in Orlando against the Magic on TNT on October 28.
Summer is a speck in the rear view mirror. But just before it’s set to disappear, I took the opportunity to ask several Wizards what was the most relaxing thing they did this past summer. Most seemed to enjoy the time they were able to spend with family. One particular Wizard got his heart broken and spent a lot of time watching movies about love. Just watch.
[Featured Music: "Mandatory" by The Five One -- You've probably seen me use music by this local DMV band before; be sure and vote for them for MTV-U's 'Freshman Video of the Week']
A D.C. pic, some Michael Jordan commentary, and links …
[Cavalier Liquor - 14th St. & Parkwood Pl. NW - Washington, D.C. - K. Weidie]
Not All For Nothing, Perhaps.
Michael Jordan, as owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, is trying to do things the right way, this time … so it seems. There’s a must-read on TrueHoop right now called, “Michael Jordan’s Bobcat Comeback.” This induced several thoughts: Read more »
I came across this big banner hanging on a building at the northeast corner of 13th and L Streets NW, about nine blocks or so from the Verizon Center. It features “Monumental Action” and the Verizon Center website URL followed by Alex Ovechkin, Andray Blatche, Crystal Langhorne, Beyoncé Knowles (I believe), and who appears to be Chris Wright of the Georgetown Hoyas. The logo of the Ted Leonsis-led group, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, is featured in the lower right-hand corner. I’m not sure what other monumental banners are around the city (or DMV area), or how long this has been up (the Monumental logo was released on July 16), but I am curious to see if Blatche will allow himself to be the Wizards representative of Monumental Sports in the future.
Michael Lee reports that it’s unlikely the Wizards will sign 2010 second round draft pick (56th overall) Hamady N’diaye, rather likely opting to let him develop in Europe.
I had a feeling something like this was coming, as N’diaye remained unsigned, and it was previously reported that an Italian team had interest in him. The Wizards will still hold N’diaye’s rights for the future, but now, since it looks like Kevin Seraphin will need a fair bit of time to develop (and he isn’t going to the D-League — link below), it makes sense for Hamady to get more experience overseas.
Once, when asked about what his team would look like in the coming season, whether it would be more offensively minded, and how it would keep up the intensity on the defensive end, Flip Saunders said:
Well, defensively, the team always takes the personality of their players. The players we have here … are very defensive oriented. The strength of this team from a defensive aspect – how hard they play and how aggressively they play won’t change. What will change is the changing defenses we’ll use, being able to change the tempo of the game will full-court pressure, half-court traps and defenses. Offensively, like our defense, we will always stay aggressive. I always want my teams to attack, and so we will look to push the ball more and score more out of our fast break.
And on whether he would try to evolve a player into a superstar or continue with the teamwork mentality:
In Minnesota, even though we had a great player in Garnett, the team was built on team play. I look for this team to continue that. This team will move the basketball, become a high-assist, low-turnover team playing a very aggressive style.
[500 block of Florida Avenue NW - Washington, D.C. - K. Weidie]
Andray Blatche won’t officially turn 24 until Sunday. Yes, he’s just 24. And like many people any age, ‘Dray is ready to party. And that party is going down Wednesday night.
This year, according to the flier below, Dray will be appearing in uniform, along with Lil’ Dray (wearing backwards red cap to the lower left), and several others, many of whom are listed on the promotional material. E. Taylor, Taz Wube, Rashad Jenkins, Serge Sejour, Todd Hamilton, DJ Quicksilva and Rara The Party Starter … they’ll all be there.