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, thoughts, randomness, shares, Washington Bullets...]
John Wall turned 22-years old on Thursday, September 6. Kevin Willis turned 50 on Thursday, too. (Could’ve sworn he was 60 … he was still playing in the NBA less than 2,000 days ago.) Who else celebrated a birthday on September 6? None other than Pippa Middleton, Foxy Brown (the rapper), Jeff Foxworthy (the redneck), Rosie Perez, and Idris Elba (Stringer Bell from The Wire). Now let’s check out some John Wall birthday club fliers — Wall surely won’t become the next “Party All Dray,” right? (H/T DC Sports Nexus)
First, there’s New York…
And then Miami, where there will be girls holding boobs, clearly…
Seeing that pro basketball fans are essentially suspended from the NBA due to squabbling amongst millionaires and billionaires, passing time might be aided by chronicling all NBA and team suspensions of the Washington Wizards since circa 1995. Why? Well, because we humans love stories about crime and punishment, and to most, the NBA lockout fits the bill for both. So away we go (with old basketball cards to accompany on occasion)…
[Note: This listing is incomplete and unconfirmed for accuracy; information has been gleaned, copied and pasted from eskimo.com/~pbender and prosportstransactions.com with the understanding that all suspensions and fines might not have been publicized or reflected.]
Bernard King suspended by team for altercation with head coach at practice.
Couple things to consider regarding the Wizards trade of Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong going to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford, Maurice Evans and a 2011 first round draft pick…
Vladimir Veremeenko, the Wizards’ 48th overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, a Belarusian who was probably never going to play for the Wizards anyway, has been essentially flipped for Kevin Seraphin (17th pick in the 2010 draft), $3 million cash (from Chicago in Hinrich trade), Jordan Crawford (27th pick in the 2010 draft), Mike Bibby and a 2011 draft pick (currently projected to be the 22nd pick). The presence of Hilton Armstrong and Maurice Evans are negligible in this instance. Not bad though, right?
It’s fallible analysis when you total the contracts of Bibby ($6,417,616) and Crawford ($1,120,440) next season versus that of Hinrich ($8 million) and say that the Wizards are only saving around $461,944. Crawford is in the second season of a rookie contract. Money slotted to be spent on him next year should be considered an investment and not considered when tallying “savings” … Might the Wizards have instead been able to purchase a late first rounder in the ’11 for $3 million? Perhaps, if you want to make that assumption. But then you’ll have to sign that player to a contract. Getting Crawford now offsets having to spend that cash, along with him being someone the Wizards were purportedly interested in, and a player who is already acclimating himself to a professional environment. Plus, as is being reported, Bibby might seek a buyout, which could end up “saving” the Wizards even more money.
Breaking down Jordan Crawford’s very small sample size stats this season and contemplating how he’ll fit in on a team whose parts will continue to move is useless. Remove that from the analysis … for now. Crawford comes in with a clean slate, simple as that.
A future first round draft pick … enough said. Looking at historical data and saying, “Well, such-and-such team or GM doesn’t have a good history of drafting late first rounders…” is, again, useless. What does that have to do with future implementation other than as an enhancement to a static argument? Exactly. Also, why should we assume that the Wizards will keep Atlanta’s late first rounder? What if it’s flipped for a higher pick, or something (someone) else? It’s easy to judge moves alone, but just as outlined in point No. 1, this move could assist the end result of subsequent moves. Pay $3 million for a pick in the low-to-mid-20s? Okay… maybe. Pay $3 million to package a pick in the low-to-mid-20s for a pick in the low teens? It could happen.
Why trade now? Why didn’t the Wizards wait? Maybe Hinrich’s value would have improved? Maybe another team was going to offer more? Again, assumptions are great for argument, not always so much for real world analysis. As far as we know, there were two teams that showed any real interest in Hinrich: Atlanta and the Los Angeles Lakers (and in the Lakers’ case, the interest was probably minimal) … There’s not really a better time to take advantage of a fevered trade deadline environment, especially one occurring before the CBA is set to expire in the summer. Essentially Hinrich had one suitor (because LA made no moves), and Ernie Grunfeld still drove a hard bargain of a pick and a prospect when it was previously reported that Atlanta was unwilling to give up both. Pat yourself on the back, Grunfeld … just a little bit.
But wasn’t Hinrich good for Wall? Sure he was. He set good examples, answered any question Wall had of him. Great. Now Wall can ask questions of Bibby (if he stays around) … or he can continue to seek advice from Sam Cassell … or I’m sure he can just call Hinrich if he really, really wants to. Sure, there is a difference between Hinrich dropping verbal knowledge versus leading by example and being that calming veteran presence on the court during play. But does that really matter in the grand scheme of things? To Wall’s personal development, maybe … some … but otherwise, the veteran intelligence factor in this specific case should not hinder a rebuilding move. Especially when other bad players seem to be dragging down the team, I’m not sure that Hinrich’s presence made that much of a difference. It’s not like he was going to slap Andray Blatche into submission like a Kevin Garnett would.
In the end, it was wholly essential to take advantage of this opportunity. It was a good trade for the Wizards (but doesn’t necessarily change the underlying opinion of the job Ernie Grunfeld has done in totality).
Agent David Falk, decorated history with the Washington Wizards, representative for Mike Bibby. Bibby is the guy who was just traded to D.C. along with Maurice Evans, Jordan Crawford and a 2011 first round pick in exchange for Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong, who are flying high to Atlanta as I type.
So, it makes one wonder, would Falk have said, “Ernie [Grunfeld] and I will sit down” back then, during the Cold War, as he did over the phone in an interview with Comcast’s Ron Thompson on Wednesday night?
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in 2007 Gilbert Arenas hit a game-winner walking away against the Utah Jazz in Washington… barely looked to see if it went in. Tough shot against a tough player in Deron Williams.
Four years later, the consistency of the Utah franchise and a Jerry Sloan-led team continues to carry an air of toughness wherever they go. The Wizards franchise remains in vastly different territory, with a fan base yearning for something they’ve never really known, that same toughness and consistency Utah always conveys.
“This is going to be a great test because this is by far the most physical team that we’ve faced,” said Wizards coach Flip Saunders before this afternoon’s game. “The other teams we’ve faced, Orlando and Miami, they’re good teams and they’re good defensive teams, but they don’t have the physicality of what a Utah has, and they do a lot because they have such great talent — a LeBron James and Dwyane Wade can take the game over — this team has a guy in Deron Williams who can take the game over, and [Al] Jefferson can do some things inside, but they’re so much better as a whole, such a great offensive execution team.”
As much as Sloan exhumes the toughness of his team, his second great point guard, Williams, carries that message while on the court.
“He’s tough, hard-nosed. Offensively, he knows how to run a team, he’s aggressive. He’s one of those guards who will sneak up behind you, set a good screen,” Wizards backup big man Hilton Armstrong told me before the game.
Upon Rashard Lewis’ arrival in Washington, Flip Saunders lauded him as a professional. Ernie Grunfeld called him a lead-by-example veteran. But these terms easily get demeaned amongst the press conference speak. They are used almost too often to describe just about any veteran who is victim of a trade from contender to bottom-feeder, perhaps as a proclamation of what’s expected from them. But what Lewis has made of his new challenge several games in has given real meaning to these proclamations.
We all know what ‘professional’ means. On the surface, yes, it means you get paid to do a job. A lot of people get paid to do a job but aren’t exactly earning their money … it happens in every profession. Being ‘a’ professional is about more than just earning your keep. For NBA players, it means consistent performance on the court and measured, but worthy, comments in the locker room.
Antawn Jamison was the last professional the Wizards had with an all-star pedigree; some called him the Gentleman Jamison. He was surprisingly consistent for his age, which was only accentuated by the way his game sneaked up on you. In post game media sessions, Jamison could fill a tape recorder with clichés, but he would also give long-winded answers, so one was always sure to find a good quote in there somewhere.
Much of what got lost in the reverberations from the Gilbert Arenas trade was that in Lewis, the franchise might have found their new Jamison. But in a weird twist of circumstance, Lewis means much more to this current group. Toward the end, Jamison was hanging on to hope in an uncompromising manner. He wasn’t on a rebuilding team, he was on a broken team … and he was trying to shoulder the load amidst futility. That philosophy reared its ugly head in the form of a paltry 1.2 assists per 36 minutes for Jamison as a Wizard during 2009-10, a career-low aside from the season he won the Sixth Man of the Year Award as a Dallas Maverick.
Limbs get tangled all the time in the NBA. But for some reason, when it involves tangled arms, you can depend on a two things: arms from two opposing players will become inexplicably intertwined so fast that you’d think elastic were involved, and the result is going to be tension filled until there is separation.
Sometimes the tangles and locks are unintentional. Sometimes the maneuver is enacted by a foe with the simple intent of getting under someone’s skin by quite literally, getting under their skin … knowing that referees are more likely to see and respond to retaliation rather than the instigator’s act. And the instigator can be an offensive or defensive player.
Before their first game in the new year, the Washington Wizards seemed to have some extra pep in their step … a new pre-game intro routine confirmed that. The players huddled in a mass before the announced starter burst out of the pile and onto the scene. It didn’t really work/change much against the New Orleans Hornets on Saturday night, but it was fun to see and to try to take a picture of in the dark nonetheless.