[NOTE: Truth About It.net 2011-12 Player Reviews continue, where we take a look at the past, present and future of those players who have touched the Wizards franchise during the 2011-12 lockout-shortened season. Now, we review the former Wizard and Washington, D.C. native who returned home... That's right... Roger Mason Jr. TAI's Rashad Mobley and Kyle Weidie assess Roger's 52-game stint in D.C. -Kyle W.]
The NCAA men’s basketball tournament and the Washington Redskins trading for the number two pick in this year’s NFL draft (Robert Griffin, III) have been competing for time at the water cooler over the past couple of weeks in D.C. Before the Indiana Pacers game last week, I first asked several Washington Wizards players how their brackets were doing, here are some of their responses:
“I don’t wanna talk about my bracket. It is awful right now.”
I have a confession to make: I have booed Andray Blatche. I’m not proud of it, but it happened.
It was a Friday night, and the Washington Wizards, coming off an improbable 105-102 win over Kevin Durant and the Thunder, were hosting the Denver Nuggets. Having won just two games all year, the wretched Wizards were good for a cheap punchline or two every few hours. But they weren’t just the butt of jokes; all-knowing pundits smelled blood in the water and gnashed their teeth in response — even those who had previously supported the Wizards.
“So they don’t have that much talent,” said a presumably well-layered Michael Wilbon on the Scott Van Pelt Show; the very same Wilbon who once maintained the Wizards were on the right track to march deep into the playoffs.
[The DC Council -- After each Wizards game: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the bench, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is over the table. Game 3 contributors: Rashad Mobley, Arish Narayen and John Converse Townsend.]
Andray Blatche pounded his chest as he strutted off the practice court at training camp Wednesday evening, mean mugging and dripping with sweat.
“That’s one, that’s one, Dray,” shouted assistant coach Gene Banks from under one of the main baskets. “You’ve got one more!”
Banks was overseeing a heavyweight battle between Blatche and second-year bruiser Kevin Seraphin, and tried to persuade him to run it back for a best-of-three series. Blatche, unconvinced, waved a flippant hand in the direction of his coach before proclaiming, “I won. I just won. Gosh!”
It’s now being widely reported that Roger Mason Jr. — native son of D.C., attendee of Sidwell Friends/Good Counsel, UVA Cavalier — will soon sign with the Washington Wizards, making it his second stint with the team. Teams can officially sign players at 2 pm on Friday, just before training camp is scheduled to commence. The Post’s Michael Lee reports that Mason will be in Washington, ready to join the team.
How do I feel about this? Iffy, yet content. For one, the signing fits the Ernie Grunfeld mold. The Wizards team president values the presence of veterans, and even though the Wizards hopefully aren’t promising Mason too much court action, nor are overpaying him (the veteran’s minimum, they say, which is just fine), Washington likely offers Mason the most comfort and opportunity over other potential suitors. The Boston Celtics were also said to be interested in Mason; in that situation, Roger might’ve easily found himself relegated to those spillover seats behind the bench, following the inactive dress code, and wondering how and why.
[Frazier's Funeral Home - Florida Ave. & Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. - K. Weidie]
Josh Howard recently said ‘all the right things’ in an interview with HoopsHype … ‘all the right things’ that are almost hard to believe. Perhaps it was a proclamation, of sorts — a personal challenge from Josh to Josh. Howard saying that the Wizards “see a natural-born leader” in him certainly drew faint scoffs from several prominent websites: ESPN Dallas, SLAM, Yahoo!.
Which makes me wonder … is skepticism wrong? Why are we skeptics? I’m sure there’s been a ton of psychoanalysis about it, but does it accomplish much aside from a potential future “I told you so”? That being said, I’ve been guilty of skepticism before … from being leery of Ernie Grunfeld’s romanticism of old school team management tactics to past battles with assessments of Andray Blatche (after being around him as a person this past season, I’ve grown to like him … it’s just that his previous bonehead decisions and court attitude have been teeth-grinders).
Recently, the two first-named Michelle Marie of YoungHollywood.com caught up with Antawn Jamison at some location in the world … and it wasn’t in a dark room featuring an old wooden table, an uncomfortable stool, and a solo Jamison sitting and sipping on some Jameson.
Marie asked ‘Twan how the Cleveland Cavaliers were going to transition without LeBron. The gist of his answer: “It’s going to be interesting.”
Indeed it is, Antawn, indeed it is. He also spit out some generic clichés such as, “It’s a business,” and “It’s not going to be easy.” I don’t think the Gentleman will ever change, and he shouldn’t. In any case, you can watch the video yourself via Yahoo! Sports.