Poor Vince Carter. Above, he can be seen shooting a basketball before a recent meeting between his team and the Washington Wizards in the District of Columbia. He didn’t play in said game against the Wizards, as Carter is wont to do — not play in games due to injury, that is.
Poor Vince Carter. He’s getting paid $17 million this year. He’s previously quit on a team from Canada according to some (Like A Bosh), he could keep his current team, the Orlando Magic, from winning a championship, and he seemed to be ever so slightly perturbed that the photographer taking these pictures, aka me, was taking these pictures.
“They’re supposed to be out here already?,” blabbered Carter to an assistant coach. I appeased the man by walking away upon detection of his annoyance at such a disturbance. Sorry Vince.
First, thanks to all the Re-Tweeters who participated in TAI’s ticket giveaway for tonight’s Wizards-Raptors game. The lucky random winners were @tehbee (who will be attending her first Wizards game, second pro basketball game), and @TwiceDown, who has been a “Bullets” fan all of his life, but hasn’t been to a see a home game since Allen Iverson was with the 76ers (so about four years). TAI will have some more ticket giveaways (among other things) in the future, perhaps including some good seats for when the Miami Heat come to town on December 18th. So stay tuned …
Scenes like this will not be seen at the Verizon Center tonight:
On occasion, someone from Truth About It (usually Adam McGinnis or myself) is afforded the opportunity to sit on photographer’s row and capture the NBA game experience. One of those chances came last Friday when the Charlotte Bobcats came to town. Here are some select captures from that game.
Note sure if this is the epitome of something or just weird … but Kwame Brown, flexing his bicep, while on the injured reserve and barely in the NBA, with the Wizards logo looming in the background.
Kevin Seraphin talks with assistant coach Gene Banks before the game. Don’t take Kevin’s face to be a negative, he’s just a very expressive, goofy kid who is usually smiling otherwise. An interesting young character that Seraphin, sophomoric in every sense, yet a gentle giant who sets practice screens that make Kirk Hinrich cringe.
First Wizards-related web stuff, then pictures of rallies.
1) According to Asia-Basket, Javaris Crittenton has signed with the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association. Evidently he’ll be playing there with another former Wizard, Peter John Ramos.
2) As you probably know, John Wall tweaked his ankle versus the Hawks on Saturday, but should be okay to play against the 76ers on Tuesday. Gilbert Arenas, however, is unlikely to go (via Washington Post). Arenas is getting MRIs, Cortizone shots and seeing specialists about his ankle. Bad timing for Wizards fans who really want to see him play, but Arenas’ patience is tested more. You have to think, loving the game as he does, that he’s desperately anxious to get on the court for a real game. But it would be a good sign if he takes precaution, and it’s not much of a sign of anything else beyond that.
3) The mother of Gilbert Arenas’ children and his fiancee, Laura Govan, recently spoke with S2S Magazine. She denies the rumor about her and Shaq, saying it’s something that Shaq’s ex-wife, Shaunie, made up. But whatever with all that, here’s the best part:
“Laura is a former basketball player and coach who met Gilbert while she was working at a Golden State Warriors basketball camp. He wasn’t “Agent Zero” or the “$100 Million Man” yet. Laura said she tried to ignore Gilbert’s smiles and glances and even turned him down when he asked her out.
As the Washington Wizards were going through the last of their training camp practices leading up to an intra-squad scrimmage on Sunday afternoon at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, in the parking lot of the Patriot Center, Wizards Fan Fest brought out the franchise faithful. There were games, clowns, Wizards girls, face painting, hoops instruction, music, trivia, old Washington Bullets signing autographs (Jeff Ruland, Kevin Grevey, Bob Dandridge and Gheorghe Muresan), and the what-not. Fans were happy. Fans were excited. And I was left with the impression that people are realistic — they know their basketball team is rebuilding and are keeping expectations low, but appreciate that courtesy of Ted Leonsis (along with being very, very lucky to land a player who can have a high impact off the court, beyond statistical measure, in John Wall), the ride along the path of rebuilding will be a lot more fun than the tough times and futile seasons of the past.
Below I’ve captured Fan Fest in a video and some pictures. Enjoy.
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….
Sometimes you’ll hear people call D.C. a basketball hotbed. Or you’ll hear claims that Washington has deep basketball roots that are just waiting to blossom, especially after the takeover of the Ted Leonsis regime and the arrival of John Wall.
All good things to hear. But let’s be honest, Washington will be a Redskins town for as long as I live (unless somehow, at some point, the Wizards win four championships in 10 years, while the Skins flounder with a few insignificant playoff appearances, making the top team choice for next generation a little more difficult — a scenario that’s more of a long-distance daydream than reality, and even then …).
Nothing wrong with D.C. being a Redskins town. Football, after all, is America’s sport, even if baseball is America’s way to pass time, and basketball is more global. I’m of the opinion that all D.C. pro sports teams should be embraced together (I’m a hometown guy if you can’t tell).
Of course, in a transient city like Washington, that’s tough to accomplish. But one thing is clear, many Washingtonians take pride in their Redskins … and where better to observe that pride than at the Adams Morgan Day Festival held on Sunday afternoon? (BTW, for those outside of D.C., Adams Morgan is a popular area of the city with bars, restaurants, shops, etc.)
By now you may know that JaVale McGee has been cut from Team USA … and it also served as another example of news coming directly from a player, via Twitter. This is somewhat disappointing (him being cut, not that word came by means of Twitter). Many signs/media reports gave you the feeling that McGee would at least be taken to Europe to participate in training and exhibitions leading up to the FIBA tournament in Turkey, and it would have been good for his development. Then again, maybe he didn’t want to go, knowing he wouldn’t make the final 12. Or perhaps the team thought it would be best for him to train stateside under the direction of the franchise. Regardless of the reason, a lot of eyes, D.C. and beyond, will be on McGee in 2010-11 because of this Team USA experience. If he becomes more of a student of the game, he can really be special.
Dan Steinberg conveys pretty much the gist of the Redskins’ Brandon Banks doing the John Wall dance after scoring a punt return touchdown in their exhibition opener against the Buffalo Bills. Banks did the dance in front of his boy from Raleigh, John Wall, no less.
[DC Sports Bog]
Even the website of a Lexington, Kentucky NBC television station is covering Banks doing the John Wall dance.