#1) Throw out this ‘Jan Vesely was the 6th pick, he wouldn’t be picked there in a re-draft’ stuff. You know what? He’s on the team now, and he’s displayed more than enough signs that he will be A-OK one day, capable of diminishing your concerns about mere draft position over time.
#2) Yea, he can’t shoot. And he’ll never be able to unless he doesn’t develop some confidence, which is why Wizards coach Randy Wittman wants him to shoot, and which is why Coach Witt will yell at young Janny when he passes up an open shot… to keep him in Czech. (See what I did there?) Let’s just watch…
The take away by most is that it was one of the most entertaining NBA All-Star weekends in a while, and JaVale McGee helped anchor it with his performance in the dunk contest on Saturday night. But just as some people are entertained by reality television that’s actually scripted, the show put forth by the NBA can follow the same narrative. Was Blake Griffin really ever going to lose the contest in Los Angeles? Maybe … if Griffin had failed to complete a dunk within the allotted time when it counted. But that wasn’t going to happen. The city of LA, the fan vote on the final and the made-for-SportsCenter player all but predetermined the deal, according to McGee’s teammate Rashard Lewis. There was no topping Griffin jumping over a car, an “officially sponsored by the NBA car,” with a choir in the background, the hype-man efforts of Kenny Smith bringing it all together, and the icing on the cake if you ask Nick Young, LA Clipper teammate Baron Davis popping out the sun roof to throw Griffin the oop.
What about Serge Ibaka’s role? His dunk where he grabbed a stuffed animal hanging from the rim with his teeth before dunking was very similar to a dunk McGee had in mind. McGee originally displayed a maneuver where he grabbed a piece of paper from the net before dunking; the video of him doing so after practice went viral back on January 6, perhaps an unfortunate consequence. Still, there’s no way to know the inception of Ibaka’s creation. McGee said that his version for the dunk contest involved grabbing a judge’s scorecard and showing it to everyone afterward. After Ibaka’s similar attempt (or, “exact same dunk” as JaVale says it), McGee was forced to move the three-ball dunk he was saving for the final higher in the program. Using that dunk as a last attempt might have kept him in the conversation, but again, with Griffin winning 65-percent of the fan vote in the end, it’s highly unlikely.
According to Flip Saunders, McGee would’ve had to pull of a 720-degree dunk from the free-throw line to top the pomp and circumstance surrounding Griffin. However, the Wizards coach also admitted that McGee probably should have won the contest because likely no one else could replicate two of his dunks — the two-ball, side-by-side basket dunk and the three-ball dunk (with help from John Wall). Also to note, as I’ve readily reminded people, some dude named Marko Milic has dunked over a car before … Griffin’s version was special, but not that special.
Here we go again. Yet another opinion from the cornucopia of experts about John Wall that this site will be unquestionably unabashed about posting because, well, John Wall is involved. Makes sense, right?
I can’t wait until Wall actually suits up in a Wizards uniform so we can get opinions on how he looked and what he did instead of all the maybes.
[Speaking of, Wall will be slipping on Wizards gear and playing in an organized basketball game for the first time on Sunday, July 11th at the NBA's 2010 Las Vegas Summer League -- and this here writer will be there to cover that game and the four Wizards summer league games to follow.]
But alas, when someone like TNT’s Kenny “The Jet” Smith speaks about Wall in an appearance with Ivan Carter on Washington Post Live, we should all listen because going Wall-Nuts is fun, right?
Plus, the two, Smith and Carter, had already talked extensively about Taco Bell; the deliciousness of Wall’s game would probably be the most sensible progression in the conversation. Let’s watch …
Today the Wizards signed Shaun Livingston to a 10-day contract. Yes, that Shaun Livingston. The once Magic Johnson-esque prodigy who devastatingly injured his knee in just his third season in the NBA. On February 26, 2007 at the 8:10 mark of the first quarter, Livingston went up for a fast-break layup and came down awkwardly on his left leg, tearing his ACL, PCL, MCL and lateral meniscus. He also dislocated his patella and tibia/femoral. Ridiculously painful sounding doesn’t even come close to describing. Seeing it happen is even worse. I’m not going to even link the video.
But get this weird, connected sh*t. Not a week after Livingston’s injury, on April 4, 2007, Gilbert Arenas originally injured his knee against Gerald Wallace and the Charlotte Bobcats. Guess who Livingston’s then team, the Los Angeles Clippers, were playing on his fateful night. You guess it, the Charlotte Bobcats.
It would be really weird if Howard suffered his recent knee injury against the Bobcats and not the Chicago Bulls. However, guess who checked in for Livingston after he got hurt? Wizards assistant coach Sam Cassell. Exactly. Weird sh*t.
In going down their All-Decade NBA lists and highlights, the TNT crew of Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley couldn’t resist mentioning a specific sensitive moment in the Wizards’ failed history … The Michael Ruffin Ball Toss.
Ruffin’s infamous gaffe, the one where he tossed the ball in the air with around three-seconds left only to see Mo Peterson of the Toronto Raptors catch, shoot, and make a crazy buzzer beater to tie the game (the Wizards would go on to lose in overtime), wasn’t officially apart of any All-Decade list, but the guys could help but mention it.
“The second dumbest basketball play I’ve ever seen,” said Kenny Smith.