By: Jason “Big J” Allen
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In the words of Popeye the Sailorman, ‘That’s all I can stands, cuz I can’t stands n’more!” I admit when it comes to the Washington Wizards I’m embarrassed, most people think I’m a Lakers Fan but I’m not. I’m an old school Washington Bullets, Wes Unseld, and Abe Pollin loving fool. Yet these last few years have been making me turn Gold and Purple more and more.
Remember in D.C. the hope we felt when “His Airness” himself took over as the President? Then you went and drafted Kwame Brown (who some how still has a job), but to make it right MJ come down from the heavens or rather the box suites and played for us. I still have my Wizards Jordan jersey hanging in the closet. We soon realized that Jordan had some left in the tank but “His Airness” was more ground bound and could only show flashes of his former self. We still all ate it up and loved him more for his attempt, but when the hatchet came down to fire Michael Jordan we were not that hurt or upset. Again he drafted Kwame Brown (who has a job with Philadephia 76ers??? HOW!!!).
Ernie Grunfeld came down as a shining light he put together a Knicks team that went to the Championship, he also made the Bucks a playoff team. So when he became our head of operations we were ecstatic. He made two separate “Big Three” before the Celtics had a Championship “Big Three”. He got us Gilbert Arenas (Agent Zero, The Hibachi), Larry Hughes, and Antwan Jamison, and then turned around and replaced Hughes with Caron Butler. For the first time we were not giving away our stars (Chris Webber, Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace, and Juwan Howard) we were making them. D.C. was just happy to have a playoff team because our expectations were so low. We even made shirts about making it out of the first round when we beat the Bulls in 2005. See we don’t ask for much just to be competitive that’s all.
2009 was the turning POINT (Guard) in my eyes. This is where we went wrong. We traded our 5th pick to the Timberwolves for Randy Foye and Mike Miller and the Wolves selected Ricky Rubio. So in an evolving league of Point Guards we don’t draft one in the deepest PG draft in years. These are the PG that went after the 5th pick, Jonny Flynn (6th), Stephen Curry(7th), Brandon Jennings(10th), Jrue Holiday(17th), Ty Lawson(18th), Jeff Teague(19th), Eric Maynor(20th), Darren Collison(21st), and Taj Gibson(26th). What were we thinking?
So the following year we Draft our “Next Generation” Captain Picard aka John “Teach Me How to Douggie” Wall (Thank you for the 1st pick Abe R.I.P) . Nothing against Wall, but a PG without a jump shot is not going to be overall successful (exception is Rod Strickland, because he was a baller). 2011 they draft Jan Vesely in the first round, and we know Euro players take about 3-4 years to develop and people compare him to Dirk Nowitzki we will see though. Then we draft Beal this year, I like the pick because we need a shooter from three point range and he is young so he has time to develop. In between all of this Grunfeld has done a good job of getting rid of bad attitudes and worse work ethic (Blatche, Young, McGee), but as a Wizard fan that doesn’t demand much we at least want to see progress.
People are paying money to see 0-7. While everybody is making a big fuss about D’Antoni in LA, I think D’Antoni would have been perfect for John Wall and a young Wizards team that can run. I know NeNe and Wall are out right now, but your playing in the same building as Alexander Ovechkin, you have Bryce Harper down the street, and The Savior (RGIII) right down the Beltway in Redskin Park; we need to see some life in the Verizon Center. “I’m tough to the finich cause I eat green spinach, I’m Popeye the sailor man *toots pipe*” That’s the answer give the Wizards some Spinach.