Future basketball historians may heavily sway their chronicles toward the 2009-10 Washington Wizards season. The infamy surrounding the heavily dramatized whirlwind that was Gilbert Arenas, locker room guns and court cases, and the losing that magnified it (or that it magnified) will go down in D.C. lore just as much as team media guides will gloss over the affair.
Meanwhile, Arenas continues to be in the contradictory mode of ‘they wanted me out, but I gave them plenty of reasons’ on Twitter. He is very ‘woe is me’, while claiming a lesson has been learned. If only Arenas knew how to not keep himself from proving maturity when it counts.
The abrupt end of one long-running and significant ownership era resulting from the passing of Abe Pollin will only add to the natural sensationalizing of ’09-10. But old flames — the one time poster boy and the patriarch of D.C. pro basketball — passed by new sprouts on their way out.
The 2010-11 season, on one hand, as another lottery year for the franchise, might be as forgettable as the rest. But a change in ownership is a very important event. Just think about how crucial ownership is to your opinion of the Washington Redskins.
While I and others may criticize and analyze and break down the Washington Wizards to varying degrees, sometimes it’s best to sit back and appreciate that the game of basketball is fun, or at least it’s supposed to be. And that’s just what this team is trying to do, play ball and have fun. Of course, the millions they make comes with strings attached. Darn. So for now, enjoy the fun of some choice cuts from Media Day to Midnight Madness in pictures and video … at least until we starting counting wins and losses, and judging effort, and crunching advanced stats, and deciphering measured locker room comments, and analyzing coaching decisions, and etc….
Ernie Grunfeld recently, somewhat, let the cat out of the bag regarding an impending team color scheme change — which was really inevitable anyway, it’s just that hearing a formality from the team president of basketball operations before it comes from the blogging owner of transparency, Ted Leonsis, perks up some ears.
Leonsis made himself available to the media toward the end of Monday’s Midnight Madness, even though I imagine he was pretty exhausted from his travels. He had meetings regarding the NHL, American Express and the NBA in New York City during the day on Monday, and said, “I didn’t think I’d get back here in time. I was really tired, but I walked in and all these kids were screaming and hollering, and now I have a lot of energy.”
I figured I’d ask him about the color change (to red, white and blue), to see if he was ready to make some sort of announcement … that’s not an “as you know” as the end of the press conference.
[As an aside, I think I'm ready to claim "As you know..." as Ernie Grunfeld's go-to equivalent of Antawn Jamison's "And things of that nature ..." and Mike Miller's "It is what it is."
“Midnight Madness” in the NBA? Unheard of … probably mostly because there aren’t staunch rules about when you can start practicing like there are in college. Although, like the Memphis Grizzlies owner, I haven’t read through the league’s current collective bargaining agreement.
In any case, via a team press release, your professional basketball Washington Wizards will be hosting “Midnight Madness” at the Patriot Center on the campus of George Mason on Tuesday, September 28th at 12 am … but make sure you get there before 11 pm on the evening of the 27th, because that’s when the doors will open.
All of the 2010-2011 season training camp will be held at the Patriot Center, the team has announced, the “Midnight Madness” event will just be the kickoff. Training camp will conclude on Sunday, October 3 with a “FanFest” at 11 am and a scrimmage at 12:30 pm.
All aforementioned events will be open to the public and free of charge. Wizards season ticket holders will be able to attend a “Rookie Class” event featuring a private session with Wizards’ rookies on September 29.