Archive for the ‘Washington Wizards’ Category

I am starting to believe that there is something about playing basketball in Washington, D.C. that makes every player in to a bloggable meme. Because as recently as last year, Emeka Okafor was just some center who used to be good in college and was stuck toiling in obscurity in New Orleans, grabbing 12 points and nine rebounds and just generally being boring and kind of looking like someone named “Darryl.”

Now he’s a Wizard, and that means hilarious things immediately start happening to him. From Deadspin:

Last night saw a party for Washington season ticket holders at Six Flags America—a night spent going on rides with and getting autographs from all their favorite Wizards, and Cartier Martin too. Reader Mike was there, and he saw something he’d never seen before: a person being turned away from a ride because they were too tall.

Emeka Okafor, to the delight of employees and teammates, was deemed too tall to go on the Superman: Ride of Steel.

As Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky points out, the rules for Superman: Ride of Steel prevent anyone over 6-foot-4 from riding, which means I couldn’t even go on it, let alone 14 of the 20 players currently listed on the Wizards’ roster. Total bummer for all of us, but even more so for Emeka Okafor since he is the one who apparently wanted to ride it the most.

But safety first, then teamwork. That’s what I always say. The Wizards finally have players that John Wall might like playing with, so they can’t have them dying on roller coasters while season ticket holders are watching. It’s hard to get excited about a season when your starting center is screaming at the top of his lungs because he’s scared that his harness won’t stay buckled.

Is it fair to say that everyone over the age of 15 knows Bon Jovi? It sure seems like it is, considering that they had the highest grossing concert tour in the world as recently as 2010. It just seems like everyone should and would know who they are.

But nope. From the Washington Post:

[John] Wall was asked about Bon Jovi and he replied, “Who’s that?”

Jan Vesely, the Czech forward getting dressed nearby, was stunned as he looked at Wall.

“No. You don’t know him?” Vesely said.

Emeka Okafor, seated in an adjacent locker room stall, shook his head and laughed.

Wall smiled and said, “I’m a 90s baby. I never heard of him.”

As I’m sure you can ascertain from context clues, even Jan Vesely knows who Bon Jovi is, despite the fact he was born and raised in the Czech Republic in 1990. Yes, that also makes him a “90s baby,” so I guess John Wall needs to step his other Jo(h)ns game up. I mean, “It’s My Life” came out when he was 10, so I’m sure he’s heard of them. Not to mention, he’s played two years in the NBA, which means he’s probably heard their songs in various arenas somewhere between 20 and 50 million times.

On the other hand, lucky John Wall for not knowing Bon Jovi. If I have to hear another bad cover band version of “Living On a Player,” I’m getting feathered hair.

(via Bullets Forever)

Join me as I count down my predictions of the regular season finishes for the 2012-13 NBA season, at a rate of three teams per day. Tell me why I’m wrong in the comments.

24. Washington Wizards
The Wizards have overhauled their roster in an attempt to build around John Wall, but going into his third NBA season, it remains to be seen if Wall is a legitimate franchise player. His mid-range and perimeter shooting have been abominable thus far, and his defense has not lived up to the expectations created by his otherworldly athleticism — according to 82games.com, the Wizards gave up over 6 points more per 100 possessions when he was on the court compared to when he was on the bench. We’re going to have to wait a while to see if he’s going to make the necessary improvements in these areas because he’s expected to miss the first month of this season recovering from a knee injury.

Wall’s ceiling is not even close to the most questionable aspect of the Wizards going into this season. With a 118-238 record and a ..331 winning percentage spanning three different teams, head coach Randy Wittman has the worst winning percentage in NBA history among coaches with at least 350 games at the helm. The fact that he’s been empowered to try to turn Wall into an All-Star shows the lack of imagination prevalent in the management groups of too many teams.

23. Portland Trail Blazers
I’m not really sure what Blazers management saw in Terry Stotts and his 115-168 career pro record that led them to give him a third chance to prove that he can be a successful NBA coach, but here we are. Early reports indicate that Stotts plans to go young and athletic with this squad, with J.J. Hickson starting as an undersized center and rookie guard Damian Lillard likely to start. It’s a fan-friendly approach but it’s not likely to be a strategy that propels the Blazers into the playoffs.

The Blazers in their current iteration kind of remind me of my Raptors when they were led by Chris Bosh. Like Bosh, LaMarcus Aldridge is a very good player, a fringe All-Star that any team would be happy to have. But if he’s your best player and there’s a significant gap between him and your second best player, you’re probably not going to finish above .500.

22. Milwaukee Bucks
Every season, people wonder if a backcourt of Monta Ellis and (fill in the blank) can work. The question used to focus on Ellis and Stephen Curry, and now it’s about Ellis and Brandon Jennings. The Bucks had a fairly impressive 12-9 record last season when Ellis and Jennings played together, but only one of those wins came against a team that finished with a winning record.

In trading Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson for Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown (the latter of whom is no longer a Buck), Milwaukee sacrificed defense for offensive firepower. They’ll be a more exciting team to watch, but I don’t expect them to make the playoffs unless Jennings can start performing at an All-Star level. Considering that he’s improved gradually every season and he’s still only 23 years old, it’s within the realm of possibility that he could elevate himself and the Bucks into the post-season.

Previously in the countdown: 30-28 | 27-25

Next in the countdown: 21-19

The Knucklehead Wizards are dead. Long live the Knucklehead Wizards.

And because the time is right, take a moment to remember when Gilbert destroyed Nick Young, Andray Blatche and Blatche’s fat cousin Jamar at paintball. Reminiscing.

(via Ananth Pandian)

When JaVale McGee and Nick Young were shipped out of Washington at last season’s trade deadline, we lamented the death of the Washington Wizards, who were the NBA’s most bloggable team for the better part of a decade. It was a tour de force performance, as leading men such as Gilbert Arenas, DeShawn Stevenson, Andray Blatche, McGee and Young traded duties as the knucklehead du jour, like a really strange reworking of an ensemble film like “Ocean’s Eleven.” As a blogger, they were a gift from the heavens, as you could expect something weird to happen in D.C. on a weekly basis. Even Caron Butler and his Mountain Dews and straws became a meme for a while. It was a legendary run.

That’s all over now, as all of the main offenders have left the nation’s capitol, spreading their particular brand of basketball lunacy throughout the league. And while having all these bozos on different teams will probably pay off in the long run, it’s still kind of sad that that era of the Wizards has ended as the team is now led by a bunch of serious guys like John Wall, Nene and Emeka Okafor. The Wizards are dead. Long live the Wizards.

But wait. A new hope emerges. From Wizards.com’s Casey Phillips, on Twitter:

Asked [Brad Beal] what he would change his name to if he could (i.e. Ochocinco, Metta World Peace) he said Batman. Best. Answer. Ever.

YES. The spirit of the Wizards is still alive and well. Just when you think they’re done providing us with jokes and laughs the likes of which have never been seen, a rookie comes in and says he’d change his name to Batman (Brad “Batman” Beal is a great nickname, by the way). A rookie! This is great, great news.

There must be something in the Verizon Center’s water that makes this team’s players so good for the internet. If Trevor Ariza starts the season by playing an entire half while wearing the wrong shorts and the word “Arizona” on his back, we’ll know the reports of the Wizards’ demise were greatly exaggerated.

(via Bullets Forever)

There’s no point in wasting a lot of keystrokes introducing this wonderful artifact. If the headline alone didn’t get you excited, the fact that Naughty by Nature changed the lyrics to “Hip Hop Hooray” to help promote ticket sales for the Bullets’ 1993-94 season shouldn’t change anything. Nor should you be even more compelled to watch this video because Tom Gugliotta is just as awkward of a dancer as you’d expect him to be. If none of those teasers interest you, then maybe you’d be better off reading another blog that isn’t so much of a journalistic joke. For the rest of you… enjoy, and you’re welcome.

If there are two takeaways from this, they are 1) that John Wall will have a great Michael Jordan-ish “cut from his high school team” story if he ever becomes a Hall of Fame player and 2) he needs to re-grow his mohawk.

(via Sneaker Files)