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In Wilbon's World

Blatche part of the problem

Updated 1 a.m.

One day after saying he was more disappointed in Andray Blatche than he'd been in any player his entire coaching career, Flip Saunders put Blatche in the starting lineup and played him a team-high 39 minutes in Indianapolis.

Clearly, the Washington Wizards have learned nothing from the Gilbert Arenas debacle, nothing about professionalism, nothing about establishing who's in charge, nothing about being accountable. We know now that Blatche is a liability. It doesn't matter that he can get you 30 points, 12 rebounds and a half-dozen assists in a game and at times look like the next Kevin Garnett. It doesn't matter that he's 6 feet 11 and only 23 years old. Just two weeks after putting together a string of impressive games for the Wizards, Blatche has revealed himself to be a team killer, a player whose personal agenda interests him more than the agenda of the team.

He's exactly what a rebuilding franchise doesn't need, which is to say a knucklehead who thinks putting up big but meaningless numbers for a bad team makes him Wilt Chamberlain. What it should make Blatche is trade bait. To reward him for selfishness and insubordination by letting him play is unthinkable. Wizards management ought to be embarrassed. Instead of playing him 39 minutes he should have been suspended for at least one game, probably longer. And Saunders shouldn't have been the one dishing out the punishment; GM Ernie Grunfeld, the moment he received word of Blatche's insubordination, should have told the player to go home indefinitely.

What, the Wizards need Blatch to lose by 17? A whole lot of players in the NBA are good enough to look the other way when they do something selfish or dumb. Blatche isn't one of them and probably never will be. He's played the best stretch of basketball in his life and his team has lost 13 straight in the process. So who the hell needs him? Wizards management had the perfect teaching moment, a chance to teach every young player to behave professionally or get out -- and management whiffed.

Blatche is somewhere between clueless and delusional. He seems to actually believe his coach is at fault. Blatche said during one radio interview, "To me, I think this will all go away if I receive an apology."

I used to think Wizards players exaggerated when they said Blatche was the laziest player they'd ever seen, one of the most uncoachable as well. But their criticisms weren't hyperbole and Blatche is well aware of the perception of him, which is why he changted his jersey number to 7. It was to symbolize his new dedication to the game "seven days a week."

Perhaps the problem is that Blatche doesn't understand how to dedicate himself to the game. When would he have learned? Twice the Wizards have drafted kids straight out of high school. Both times have been disasters. Blatche is more productive than Kwame Brown was, but he's never going to be a player of impact, not here in Washington, anyway. Blatche and Brown both needed apprenticeships. Both needed to learn how to be part of teams and how to accept coaching. You learn that in college. Even one year would have benefitted each.

The lesson should have been than unless the kid was the best player you've ever seen (which was the case with LeBron and to a slightly lesser extent Kobe and Kevin Garnett), then don't take him. Big men take longer than guards in almost any scenario; the Lakers are finding this out with Andrew Bynum, who also didn't go to college. These kids come out of high school and AAU programs worried primarily about "my numbers." They play on so many teams and live such a nomadic existence by the time they're 18 they simply haven't developed any sense of team or what sacrifices are necessary to win.

The Wizards should have known this about Blatche. Nothing about him, according to his teammates and former teammates, suggests he knew anything about work or dedication. His suddenly impressive numbers are (to borrow a favorite phrase of Coach John Thompson's) "fool's gold." His interests have been about being marketed, becoming a star -- everything but winning. This is how he can think because he averaged 25 and 12 for eight games or so that the Wizards should consider giving him a new contract.

You cannot win with a player like this in a primary role. But much of this is the team's fault for wasting a draft pick and human resources on Blatche for five years. Moving Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood doesn't mean the housecleaning is done. I don't know that anybody will give something of value to the Wizards for Blatche, but he, too, has to go. How are players supposed to take Saunders seriously after this latest episode, one where he lets a non-star like Blatche blatantly disregard him? This cannot be difficult to see. I received two text messages before 9 p.m. Wednesday night, one from a current NBA player and one from a future Hall of Famer, wondering how in the world the Wizards could let Blatche play in Indianapolis.

It's too bad because Blatche showed some signs, at least temporarily, of becoming an asset. He can score, rebound and pass. He started to find the weight room on occasion. He was remembering the team's plays, even the ones for other people. Even though nobody was under the impression he'd be a franchise player, the hope had to be that those games of 20 or more points and 10 or more rebounds meant he could be at the very least reliable, maybe a No. 3 player who would grow to appreciate what was expected of him.

But here we are, after 15 or so impressive performances, and Blatche is already back to being the same old same old unprofessional, irresponsible, unaccountable Blatche. Bad enough to be one of the wors teams in the league, but far worse to let insubordination and selfishness slide once again. And if Blatche is the best player the Washington Wizards have as they work on a club record losing streak, they're in far more trouble than they seem to know.

By

Michael Wilbon

 |  March 24, 2010; 7:37 PM ET  |  Category:  Andray Blatche , Wizards Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Comments

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This is what you get in a culture of narcissism. And what happens when those in authority have no sense of what responsibility means.
Blatche has million dollar talent and a ten cent mind.

Posted by: Vermeer14331 | March 31, 2010 4:33 AM
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WHATSNEWINTHEDISTRICT, don't be silly! As a life long NY Knicks sufferer, I will tell you that most everyone will agree that Pat Riley was responsible for the Knicks success and not Ernie. Riley was successful before and after NY. Riley ran the team and provided all the discipline need. Please!!! Ernie was along for the ride and his success in Washington is underwhelming.

Posted by: Phillip258 | March 25, 2010 10:27 PM
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Andre Biatch needs to go to the NBDL.

Posted by: bs2004 | March 25, 2010 7:07 PM
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Typical shoot-first, ask-questions-later bluster from Wilbon. This was the same guy who ridiculed Sean Taylor after he got shot, mind you.

The Wizards know they're going to have a new ownership group and take the entire franchise in a new direction, with a complete overhaul. The goal now is to preserve your assets, so that you can leverage them in trades if need be. The team gains zero benefit from a public argument with Blatche, so they've wisely decided to drop the issue.

Posted by: cali_snowboarder | March 25, 2010 6:43 PM
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Let me say this Blacthe,needs to be suspended.All is not his fault The Wizards do not have a true leader in the locker room. I didnt see one player get in his face about the incident. The only way the Wizards can reverse this losing culture is by getting a few true vets on there rosters . Remember the Big 3 was winning games and had a good run becuase the had Antonio Daniels ,Larry hughes guys that had excellent locker room leadership. Kwame "the Bust" brown was late for practice . It was Larry Hughes who agree with Eddie jordan to sit him down for the whole playoffs. FLIP IS A JOKE

Posted by: harveyclifton6 | March 25, 2010 6:40 PM
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Don't trade him. Don't cut him. Don't send him.

But do,,,GIVE HIM too the Chicago Bulls for free.

Happy Easter Mikey !

Posted by: dashriprock | March 25, 2010 6:20 PM
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at least he didn't rape anyone yet.

How can you have any standards in the NBA
when the reigning Playoff MVP is a rapist?

what message is that sending to young players.

Posted by: johnwott | March 25, 2010 6:12 PM
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Dray Blatche needs to grow up and he needs to do it SOMEWHERE ELSE!

I live in DC so i root for the Wizards but as lifelong New York Knicks fan I know BAD when I see it and this situation is bad.

This is officially a rebuilding franchise and you don't need knuckleheads in a situation where the majority of the players are young and very impressionable.

That said, Flip Saunders should also hit the road because despite his bleating Kevin Garnett ain't walking through that door!

If Saunders is that upset with Blatche than he should have at least benched him for a game and not given the guy nearly 40 minutes of PT.

Dig in for a long stretch of awful fellow Wiz fans, because if Dray is the beast we have...

Posted by: larrybellinger | March 25, 2010 5:22 PM
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Is this nightmare of a season over yet? The owner dies, Arenas and Crittenton stage a gunfight at the OK Corral, the team plays like garbage and now another dysfunctional player emerges. If the last game of the season is on the road, the entire team should be provided w/ a one way ticket to that destination. Maybe they'll get the hint...

Posted by: randysbailin | March 25, 2010 4:39 PM
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SERIOUSLY, WHO CARES?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 25, 2010 4:26 PM
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I USE to like reading Wilbon's articles but I have to agree with a couple of the post, he only reports NEGATIVITY! I guess that comes from being a better student/writer than an athlete growing up. If you really LISTEN to each account of the incident, you'll hear Flip basically compare Blatche to Garnett. Earth to Flip, KG doesn't play for you anymore. Saunders is an OKAY coach at best. He was handed a championship caliber team in Detroit and BLEW IT! Blatche said what he had to say. The Wizards didn't draft him for his orator skills, he's ball player. If Blatche really did something wrong, he would have been suspended but he wasn't so what does that tell you. If the Wiz get rid of Blatche, they'll be some garbage for a long time. He's immensely talented and will blossom elsewhere while the Wizards will be in the lottery for consecutive years just like the Clippers. Get rid of that sorry coach and keep a promising player. We as fans pay money to see basketball players playing, not basketball coaches coaching..

Posted by: DCNative75 | March 25, 2010 4:26 PM
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The Wiz were right to let this blow over w/o lots of controversy. If you want to trade Blatche for value (as opposed to giving him away), you do not suspend him for insubordination. You put him out there and hope he puts up big numbers so someone else will see him as the missing piece (like NY did with Jared Jeffries). (Yes, I know JJ was a free agent when NY signed him, but the point is that NY thought it saw value there, & that is what we want people to see in Blatche.

Posted by: kauf5413 | March 25, 2010 3:44 PM
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Sorry about the second post. I didn't see the first one. My bad.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | March 25, 2010 3:35 PM
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It seems Mr. Wilbon only reports on the Wizards when there is something negative to report. At the start of the season when Wizards fans were looking for some analysis as to why the Wizards were playing poorly there was no story by Wilbon. When Wizards fan were looking for some opinion from the Washington sports media about if/why Flip was playing Stevenson and Oberto over Young and McGee there was no comment from Wilbon. However, Gil and guns hit the news here Wilbon. When Blatche makes a mistake here's Wilbon. I would prefer Wilbon stick to PTI and the NBA as a whole instead coming out when ever there is some negative Wizards news to comment on.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | March 25, 2010 3:33 PM
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I could care less if Blatche stays or goes because regardless of whether he's here or not TRUST he is not going to be the future of this franchise or the focal point of Flip's offense for this team come next season.

Posted by: blackman1 | March 25, 2010 3:31 PM
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Not that I've been paying attention, but has anyone from the Wizards (Saunders or Grunfeld)commented on the reasoning behind playing the malcontent and not punishing him?

Posted by: ShovelPlease | March 25, 2010 3:26 PM
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It seems to me that the only time Mr. Wilbon writes about the Wizards is when something bad happens. In the beginning of the year when Wizards fans were looking for some analysis as why the team was playing poorly there was not piece by Mr. Wilbon. When Wizards fans were wondering aloud why Flip was playing Stevenson and It seems to me that the only time Mr. Wilbon writes about the Wizards is when something bad happens. In the beginning of the year when Wizards fans were looking for some analysis as why the team was playing poorly there was not piece by Mr. Wilbon. When Wizards fans were wondering aloud why Flip was playing Stevenson and Oberto over Young and McGee there was no piece from Mr. Wilbon as to what the Wizards should do. Now when Gil and guns comes up here's Wilbon. Now when Blatche and Flip have a disagreement here's Wilbon. I would prefer you stick to commenting on things you find interesting and not come around every time there is something negative to say about the Wizards.
Posted by: 33dgriffin | March 25


While these comments may be 100% correct be careful what you wish for. The only news from the Lizards is usually bad - so there may never be any news on them at all.
Seriously, almost nothing would surprise any of us regarding news on the Lizards.

Hopefully, Ted L can buy the rest of the ownership of this team; change the name back to the Bullets (why the F they ever changed is a Big Sorry Joke); & bring in some players who actually want to play.

I feel bad for all of the fans that have been spending their hard-earned $$ to see some of these jokers. Aarrgghhhhh!!!

Posted by: kevinb2000 | March 25, 2010 3:22 PM
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I am a real Wizards fan. Been one all 28 years of my life. I think they should have suspended him at least two games. We aren't playing for a championship this year and he's not the key piece to get us there. Discipline him and grow him up. If he can't grow up, trade him this year get what you can and try to reload next year.

Posted by: poeticfire | March 25, 2010 3:19 PM
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Wilbon is spot on. This isn't about Blatche or Flip but rather the culture of losing that is the Bullets/Wizards. Flip, Ernie, Blatche all need to Go. For that matter why don't they cut the entire wizards roster and get an semi pro All star team from the DMV who would be more compelling to watch than the thieves in wizards uniforms collecting NBA paychecks!

Blatche is a punk who can score 23/10 a night for team that hasn't won ANYTHING since he's been the star. His contributions have helped the Wiz to lose 13 straight and we are catering to this undrafted piece of sh#%
When games matter the guy is NOWHERE to be found. He's got nothing from the Neck up and should be let go for the rest of the season and packaged up for trade bait so he can go help another team become 30-52!

1. Abe Pollin has two accomplishments; winning in 78 and Building the MCI Center! Other than that he's one of the worst owners in sports. His decision to change the name of the local team from bullets to Wizards is a joke and his management style is loyalty over success. His team execs are friends and family who stood by and created a joke of franchise while they all got rich!

2. Now his Family is still trying to get every last penny out of the Franchise he destroyed over the past 30 years. He built the MCI center with his own money. Big Deal, he made most of that money stealing from FANS who spent NBA dollars to see a CBA product!

3. Sell to Ted already if he'll take the piece of crap they call the Wizards!

Lastly, I've been a wizards fan since 78, I buy tickets, go to games, watch the product on TV. The past several years this team has been unwatchable and to think we are even discussing Blatch as a player who get's "star treatment" rather than being sent home indefinitely makes me want to puke!

Posted by: jdb70 | March 25, 2010 3:11 PM
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It seems to me that the only time Mr. Wilbon writes about the Wizards is when something bad happens. In the beginning of the year when Wizards fans were looking for some analysis as why the team was playing poorly there was not piece by Mr. Wilbon. When Wizards fans were wondering aloud why Flip was playing Stevenson and Oberto over Young and McGee there was no piece from Mr. Wilbon as to what the Wizards should do. Now when Gil and guns comes up here's Wilbon. Now when Blatche and Flip have a disagreement here's Wilbon. I would prefer you stick to commenting on things you find interesting and not come around every time there is something negative to say about the Wizards.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | March 25, 2010 3:00 PM
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N07H4NX please put that out. Whatever it is you are smoking. You are talking as if the numbers Blatche is putting up mean something. The league is filled with dudes that can fill the bucket up. Its nothing to be the leading scorer on a team that has lost 12 straight. Flip is probably the best fit for this team since he worked with the same type talent in Minnesota for years and they were always competitive. He is most likely shocked at the lack of professionalism of his team. Blatche is a 23 year old little boy. At 23 with 4 years in the league his claim to fame is that he lead the lottery bound wizards in scoring after they traded away there 3 best options.

Posted by: bacontown13 | March 25, 2010 2:56 PM
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Most of the people calling for Blatche being traded probably arent from the area thus have no real history with the team as fans.

Posted by: ged0386 | March 25, 2010 2:40 PM
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Leonsis will probably clean out the front office - including EG - when he starts his rebuilding effort. Everything starts from scratch.

Posted by: shanks1 | March 25, 2010 2:36 PM
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Andre is nothing but an uneducated immature NBA player. Like the majority of these idiots. Over paid and stupid! Basically children with money. You enable them and they will keep doing bad things. An example should have been made. I have a feeling someone in the front office over stepped Flip. I am thinking this was done to not hurt Andre's trade value. The problem here is not Andre....its his parents (Ernie). When the top leadership is not strong the teams core values aren't either. Stronger new management needs to take over and restructure this team. I'd keep Flip and maybe even Andre. He just needs to be taught what's right/wrong acceptable/unacceptable.

Looking forward to seeing the tone the Wizards set over the next few months. It will define this team for the next 5 years. This is the time to make a change. When one is rock bottom.

Posted by: pstate11 | March 25, 2010 2:30 PM
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I am with Andray. I could care less about this column by Wilbon. He throws Dray under the bus but speaks nothing about Flip Saunders total smear campaign against this team throughout the season.

I find it funny that this has been a cyclical issue in Washington....going back to the days of Rasheed Wallace and Chris Webber.

Even Michael Jordan himself said: "Look out for Washington. This group of young men is the team everyone should look out for in the future."

And what did Washington end up doing? Dealing BOTH of these guys away only for them to be on winning squads...one winning rings, the other a NBA supertar with Sacramento.

REAL Wiz fans are STILL mad at this management for that! We let go of the best players and keep junk for way too long!

And trust me, Blatche is no slouch. This boy can flat out ball! Flip Saunders is simply mad at Blatch over that Boston Celtics game when him and Garnett were going at each other...and I KNOW Blatche didn't start that mouthing....that' Garnett's m.o.

Flip isn't fooling real basketball people. He's a plague in the locker room and you can sense it. He's already tried to destroy Nick Young, Javale McGee and he STILL plays this bum Oberto!

What's wrong with this freak?

Ditch him. Bring back Bernie Bickerstaff please!

Posted by: cbmuzik | March 25, 2010 2:14 PM
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If this was Eddie Jordan, I would agree with Wilbon. At least he never threw players under the bus in public (so if he ever did it, you knew the player had it coming). But Flip? That's all he's been doing. Even after last night's game, he said "James (Singleton) was the single bright spot we had" Now, what's the point of a statement like that? How will that inspire other players to play well? And how can you complain when a guy is shooting over 50%?

Flip is a punk and he'll soon find out that it's easier to replace a coach than the entire team. Maybe then he can go back to sniffing KG's butt full time.

Posted by: tundey | March 25, 2010 2:05 PM
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Big #'s (20 & 10) on a team that loses 13 in a row? A lot of players could get those #'s if they played enough minutes & put up enough shots - like GA when he was leading the league in scoring & the Lizards barley made it to .500. Big deal.

Posted by: kevinb2000 | March 25, 2010 2:01 PM
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I would expect this from Wilbon, since he could fit what he knows about the NBA into 30 seconds. But did it occur to anybody else that Flip, not Blatche, might have been the one who screwed up here? Since he got put back into the startling lineup, Blatche has been playing great,not just scoring a lot of points but passing out of double-teams for assists and making plays at the defensive end as well. He's also been playing with a pretty bad ankle sprain. Okay, so he screwed up and didn't get back on one play. That happens sometimes. So you call a 20 sec TO and calmly point that out to him. You don't pull him out of the game and berate him. Beyond that, anyone who thinks the Wizards should trade a guy who makes $3 million and is averaging 25 and 10 or thereabouts since the break is an effing idiot. That's the opposite of Moneyball--Stupidball?

Posted by: pjkiger1 | March 25, 2010 1:44 PM
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yes, the kid is talented, but he's shown that the risk is not worth the reward. 20 and 12 when he feels like it does not help the team. you can tell that he plays according to his interest in the game at hand. maybe Flip isn't a good coach, maybe Ernie isn't a good GM. so what? this kid will never amount to a franchise player and he should go. guys like Miller, Foye, Livingston, Boykins and McGee come out and play hard while this clown loafs. he should not have started and he needs to load up a u-haul and kick rocks. and, take Flip and Ernie with him.

Posted by: wade_carver | March 25, 2010 1:31 PM
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Arent you fans the same ones that will trash EG if he gets rid of blatche and we see him on a playoff team or the all star game afterwards? Same fans calling for one of YOUR teams best players head on a chopping block will want the head of the GM if he trades him and he turns out to be a good player. I know he is not perfect but he is a kid, 23 years old. He is what we know is a product of todays NBA environment of young immature players. But remember just a few year ago their was an arrogant ball hogg straight out of high school who took bad shoots and seemed selfish and uncoachable during his younger years. Kobe Bryant. We as fans need to stop treating our sports teams like we treat everything else in our instant gratified starbucks world. Wilbon just needs something to yap about. Maybe he should think about his own immature behavior sometimes before he calls for the head of someone else. I guess he forgot how he attacked Sean Taylor for being a thug and causing his own demise after he was shot. Maybe the post and ESPN should have let him go.

Posted by: ged0386 | March 25, 2010 1:31 PM
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I agree with Wilbon on this one and thats usually not the case.

First off Ernie has to go. To be in charge of this organization and have everything thats happened happen, then allow a player to behave in that manner and not dish out some punishment is clearly incompetent. It undermines the coach and empowers an idiot like Blatche.

Even if it was Flip that didn't want to suspend him Ernie, being the GM, should've made something happen. Unbelievable.

As far as Blatche what can you say. At best he is a #3 on a playoff team at best. He does have ability but his numbers are inflated right now which makes him seem better than he is.

How you manage Blatche is very key as to if you keep him or not. I was a fan of Ernie's eary but his resume the last 2 years or so is atrocious. His management of players impedes development and he simply is not the solution here he must go.

The Pollins need to sell the team and let a real leader start putting together a competent front office that assemble and manage a team.

For God sakes this issue is just another symptom of the piss poor organizational operations that have hampered the Wizards for decades.

Posted by: Eman8 | March 25, 2010 1:26 PM
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The only positive that can come out of this season is finishing with the best chance to get the ping pong balls to fall in a favorable circumstance for the team.

Trading Jamison, Butler and Haywood meant that the season was no longer about winning basketball games in 2010.

So, Wilbon is correct that the team has nothing to lose in making the right call in suspending Blatche for 'conduct detrimental to the team' and letting him sit for 3-4 games.

Instead the team rewards him by playing him the next night.

By doing that the organization is basically giving Blatche the face-saving out of maintaining that he didn't in fact do anything wrong.

If I were Saunders I would tell Grunfeld to fire me now.

Grunfeld as the GM is in charge of the basketball operation.

Other players including Al Thornton, Singleton, McGee - guys the club may decide to keep around, are learning by what goes on here.

And what they learned is that one player in Washington CAN buck the team's front office and coaching staff and not get sanctioned for it.

I agree that Blatche needs to go, but Grunfeld needs to go with him.

Posted by: leopard09 | March 25, 2010 1:25 PM
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I remember Wilbon and fans saying the same things about Chris Webber and Wallace. Sending them packing did not improve the Bullets/Wizards but Portland and Sacramento sure did get better. And yes Both CWeb and Rasheed still had some character issues but how many of us wiz fans would have taken those trailblazer and Kings teams over our high character last place wizards teams during those years?

Posted by: ged0386 | March 25, 2010 1:19 PM
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Poor Abe is rolling over in his casket...

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | March 25, 2010 1:09 PM
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What I'm hoping is that the Wizards will showcase all that talent and some coach will get suckered into the old, "I'm the one who can change him," belief. If so, maybe we can get something for him in the off-season.

Posted by: Charles_Day@comcast.net | March 25, 2010 1:02 PM
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"We are losing all of these games because we are a bad team."

- Flip Saunders

Inspiring words there Flip. Way to lead the team and stay positive. Sounds a lot like Eddie Jordan before he got fired and in my opinion is a direct shot at Ernie Grunfeld the day after Ernie forced him to swallow his pride and castrated him in front of the team by forcing him to keep Blache in the starting lineup with significant minutes.

Want to hear something else funny? Pollin said on a CSN interview that he currently has no plans to sell the team. Don't expect to see Leonsis wearing a Wizards cap any time soon.

Posted by: N07H4NX | March 25, 2010 12:50 PM
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I think having to play for the putrid Wizards is more of a punishment than suspending him.

Posted by: IHateJLC | March 25, 2010 12:45 PM
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Why is it that the ONLY NEWS we hear about the Wizards is negative?!? Gilbert (doesn't have a clue about the impact of what he did), Javaris (lucky to be on this ride, yet blows it with an equally stupid act), Andray Blatche (another imbecile who has no concept of maturity, respect or discipline), the consistent losing....

Now, the Wizards give this guy a free pass and not only do not suspend his a$$, but START HIM the next game!! Clowns leading clowns....unbelievable!

Posted by: chris1chris | March 25, 2010 12:44 PM
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Wilbon also supported trading CWebb in '98 based on his perceived character weaknesses. Look how well that turned out.

How about this for a cardinal rule: don't prematurely trade away young potential All Star bigs when they do something stupid in their youth. If the Wizards had followed this rule, Sheed, Big Ben, and CWebb would have hung up championship banners in the early '00s.

Posted by: Dellis2 | March 25, 2010 12:29 PM
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If that's the best perspective Wilbon has on this situation, he may be in far more trouble than he knows.

Posted by: ajrich77 | March 25, 2010 12:20 PM
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Typical Wilbon. Those darned enabling Wizards. How dare they take the high road with a chump like Blatche.

Posted by: PlayByTheRules | March 25, 2010 12:19 PM
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is this EG's doing? flip is far too experienced a coach to not understand the implications of trashing a player one day in the media and then starting him the next. my guess is that he was pressured from up top. wouldn't be the first time something like that happened.

wilbon, congrats for finally making a point i agree with.

Posted by: thickman22 | March 25, 2010 12:10 PM
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You can't trade an "attitude" if they don't play. You always say the NBA is a player's league and that management and coaches aren't in control. You need a buyout.

Posted by: KDSmallJr | March 25, 2010 11:59 AM
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I agree with the comments about Blatche. But whats with all the negativity Mike? Remember this column that you wrote: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/02/AR2010030203721.html
I'm surprised you don't want to talk about the Caps third win over Crosby and the Pens this season? Crosby walked into a GREAT situation in Pittsburgh his first year in the league while Ovie had a team built around him. In 11 games without Malkin, Crosby he has 0 goals. He still your superstar or does Ovechkin, the slew of 20 goal scorers on the Caps, and Washington sports fans deserve a little more hope and respect from your columns?

Posted by: JordanSavitz | March 25, 2010 11:58 AM
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Wilbon POSTED Blatche! I guess the Wizards are the yin to the Capitals yang.

Posted by: clearingsmoke | March 25, 2010 11:30 AM
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Wilbon is a little one sided on this one, but makes some good points re: AB. Honestly this issue needs to be dealt with from the top. Insubordination/obstinance can't be tolerated in any employment situation. remember, gilbert had some similar issues with eddie j; how soon we forget him telling the media when he wasn't going to play before telling coach. once walked to the bench w/o warming up and announced himself ready for duty and actually played. not a peep from mgmt. (wish him the best, but he's about to learn how real world works) How about the new owner hires competent leaders and makes everyone accountable? Flip/ernie are wrong for this organization, whats needed is strong leadership, not just bunch of people in positions. cant wait for new ownership!!!

Posted by: hsjr25 | March 25, 2010 11:24 AM
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cohenra- what is an embisarry

Posted by: CelticFCbhoys | March 25, 2010 11:16 AM
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Sorry...anyone who doesn't believe Mike on this one is ignorant. He is right on the money about how Blatche doesn't know how to be professional in demeanor and how he approaches the game. Can you believe any pro athlete not embracing what he has to do to be a pro, ie team player, gym rat, proper diet and work habits. He thinks he can get by on talent only. HE'S A KNUCKLE HEAD. GET RID OF HIM.

Posted by: mwgaithersburg | March 25, 2010 11:04 AM
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Look, let's calm down for a second. The bullets stink, and AB has been a shinning light.

Second, the season is lost. I'd repeat that but I don't need to. Blatche is playing hard and effectively, and the coach takes him out and tries to create a teachable moment. Blatche didn't need the charade, nor do we. Flip was a terrible hire, in a series of terrible moves made by Ernie which includes having gotten rid of Flip's predecessor.

So, Blatche didn't want to listen to the coach when the coach has shown himself to be superfluous, worse than that, a lame duck waiting for a new owner and the slaughter.

Flip should have left the guy alone and coached the game--you know, made substitutions and call plays and whatever else overreaching coaches do these days that try as best they can to take away the thinking part of play from the guys who play.

Having made the misstake of trying to create a teaching moment when Blatche came out for a blow, Flip threw gasoline on the fire by sending embassaries to get Blatche to listen to Flip's banal advice. Blatche refused. Flip should have let it slide. So should the rest of us including Wilbon.

Posted by: cohenra | March 25, 2010 10:58 AM
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Maybe they didnt suspend him to not hurt his trade value by sweeping the whole mess under the rug?

Otherwise Blatche, Ernie and Flip should be fired.

Ted instead of buying the wizards sell your remaining shares.

Posted by: rockbroker | March 25, 2010 10:56 AM
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I have lost all respect for Wilbon. What a suck up b*ith! He and Flip can Fu@K off!

Dre can ball point blank. We never hear both sides of the story b4 we make an opinion. I with Dre on this one.

Posted by: digger76 | March 25, 2010 10:52 AM
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Wilbon your a hack. After your comments regarding Sean Taylors death I have lost all respect for you. Didn't you having that heart attack teach you anything? I swear I wish you would go crawl back to Chicago where you belong. You know nothing and what cause Flip Saunders is the coach he is perfect? Fact is Andre is the only reason to watch the Wizards and maybe the argument about him not putting the numbers up when the Butler, Jamison was here is due to the fact that the calls went to them where now Andre is showing the talent that should have been used all along. I swear you simply piss me off with your hack attempts on our sporting teams and the players. Get your sorry excuse for a reporter out of DC it's clearly evident you have no clue about much of anything.

Posted by: russellpenmaniii | March 25, 2010 10:49 AM
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DOES ZACK RANDOLPH RING A BELL ANYONE HE WAS ANOTHER KNUCKLEHEAD SELFISH 20 AND 10 MAN WHO WAS A TEAM KILLER. BLATCHE I REALLY DO NOT GET BECAUSE HE FINALLY DOES SOMETHING AND HE ACTS LIKE HE IS THE LEAGUE MVP. THE PROBLEM IS THERE ARE NOT ANY TRUE LEADERS ON THIS TEAM TO TAKE THIS KID TO TASK. IF HE TRIED THIS ON THE CELTICS KEVIN G WOULD BE WIPING THE FLOOR WITH THIS KID. TRADE HIM AS FAST AS YOU CAN WIZARDS. HE IS READY TO IMPLODE LIKE ALL THE OTHER SUPERSTARS THAT COME TO YOUR TEAM.

Posted by: johnluter | March 25, 2010 10:47 AM
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Wilbon...... I couldn't have said it better myself...

Lets just hope Ernie and Flip are listening.... even better, the soon to be NEW OWNER!!!

Posted by: fishin41 | March 25, 2010 10:42 AM
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Thanks for popping your head in Wilbon. As usual, your comments are purely based on perception based on second hand information--nice blogging.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | March 25, 2010 10:41 AM
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Blatch is a joke around the league. The Wizards will not receive significant compensation for Blatche if they try to trade him. Better to put him in an 'inactive' status and let this cancer go away. I would pay to see guys with less talent but hustle play instead of these players with obvious talent who don't give a crap about the team on our town!

Posted by: DCGuyInPhilly | March 25, 2010 10:41 AM
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dear wilbon: your reference to andrew bynum is completely bogus. he has become a beast, and had it not been for his several injuries, would have achieved more already. the thing the lakers did with him was to hire a big man coach whose only job was to develop the kid. plus, that coach, kareem abdul-jabbar is an intelligent guy who achieved success in his own right. what have the bullets done with kwame brown or blatch? or damn near anybody else for that matter. they take what you bring and try to use it. get better? who on this team has this and previous coaches made better????? i ain't saying blatche ain't a jerk, but it ain't all HIS fault. it is and has always been that this franchise sucks. they sucked when they won the championship. they're my team and i love 'em, but they still SUCK. and YOU oughta know that and SAY there in these pages. flip saunders couldn't relate to his players at detroit and has not done a good job of doing that here.

Posted by: dcjazzman | March 25, 2010 10:40 AM
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Mike,
Again, in your detail BS, did you talk to Flip on what happened, NO, so you just go on a rant about one side of the story, you are a reporter, no? Reporters are to get the WHOLE story, good or bad, THEN comment, with FACTS, not one side of the story - you have gooten way off base in your years...maybe you are tired of the new school players we deem themselves above the team, just look around the league(s) they are on every team....god help the younger generation, they will probably think they should own the teams they are playing on....BUT, get some comments from Flip, write about Flips history with Teams, what was his issue in Detroit? How is Flip with players, does he call out players (which is taboo) in the papers more than he should, does he NOT handle things in the right way, THEN he demands RESPECT from all - you know that isn't happening - WHAT is Flip's Track record???? THEN, we deal with AB's issue -playing on a bad team, now being the "knucklehead" face of the team...good or bad, who else is putting up 25 and 12 for the Wiz, EXACLTY no one! Isn't it about production...who said we have to be friends, just play and get the job done!
I am NOT defending AB, but you failed miseribly in NOT getting ANYTHING from Flip, just posting your "Professional OPINION" like "I have seen this before" crap - need more than that....you are becoming a "weather person" who's right 25% of the time, yet get 100% of the airwaves AND getting paid good to do it - being so inaccurate, plus, report FACTs, not one-sided stuff, my 3yr old can do that!

Posted by: talbottj | March 25, 2010 10:34 AM
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Andre is young and stupid, and obviously bought into the Giblert Grape philosophy of me first and get mine. Gilbert is to blame for a lot of this attitude with everyone watching what he can get away with, they are impressionable and uninformed. but after 4 plus years , enough is enough

Posted by: Oilcan4148 | March 25, 2010 10:31 AM
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6 and a half day Dray is 6 foot 11 baby. The Wizards are a colossal embarrassment!

Posted by: yampaco | March 25, 2010 10:26 AM
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N07H4NX, you make a big deal about how Blatch is putting up crazy numbers, but what does it matters if the team is still LOSING? You've got the same problem as Blatch--you don't know what is important. It's all about the individual and not the team with narcissists like you.

Posted by: nuzuw | March 25, 2010 10:22 AM
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During a miserable season we are left to ask where is the leadership on this poo-poo platter of a team?!?! If you are a fan attending the games, God bless you because you are supporting a team that has shown no desire in at least fostering an atmosphere of good basketball. I think we all want success from this franchise but a fish does stink from the head down...

Posted by: bigceedee | March 25, 2010 10:20 AM
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I agree with Wilbon 1000% on this one. Many of you guys never played sports and only know sports via ESPN. At no level can a player be allowed to disrespect the team. you can try to paint it of a player vs. coach scenario, but it's 12 guys against the world. sometimes those 12 have to go against the caoch too. This isn't like putting a player in with 15 seconds left in the game. this guy quit after being taken out in the 1st quarter!

yes, Blatche has poor shot selection. why? because he is weak. he's 6-11 and 250 pounds but every night the opposing big man from Paul Gasol to Zach Randolph go right through his chest for points.

Posted by: oknow1 | March 25, 2010 10:20 AM
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I lot of the comments here show exactly why the NBA is full of spoiled brats who have no clue what it means to work for a living. Blatch--or it is Bi-aatch--is a big dumb baby who should be sent packing.

Posted by: nuzuw | March 25, 2010 10:18 AM
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Go get 'em N07H4NX!

Posted by: letitrain1 | March 25, 2010 10:14 AM
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I don't believe in coaches coaching on a proffessional level, they're just good motivators, and encouragers. Teaching the game comes alot from the asistant coaches. So, a good Owner, or GM, and or coach, will surround themselves with good assistance coaches. This is why when you look at "the great ones" you'll find they had great assistant coaches that go on to be very successfull when givin the opportunity. only a few (and due to the demand of this fast age world) last on the proffessional ranks. that's also why a lot of good college coaches stay put.
So with that said, if you want to succeed here in the DC area as an owner, hire a good GM, if you want to succeed as good a GM hire an "above good" coach, and you want to succeed as a great coach, hire very good assistants; and oh yeah, it doesn't hurt to have a couple of Great players.
Until then, if you're a fan here in this area, look for Mediocrity.

Please see coach Phil Jackson-Bulls years
with, and w/o this formula.
See Pat Riley with , and w/o.
Coach Saunders, is a product of, No owner,
a bad GM, and no great/good players.
guys it is, what it is!

GO WIZARDS (one day)

peace out!

Please aply to the Redskins too.

GO CAPS, they finally figured it out

Posted by: letitrain1 | March 25, 2010 10:11 AM
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Mike has some good points in this article, so I can’t say he’s ‘clueless’. If the Wizards did learn anything from the whole Arenas affair, then why didn’t Flip Saunders punish Andray Blatche for this insubordination that he spoke about? Do we really know who has ‘taken charge’ with this team losing 13 games in a row – and counting? Sure, there may well be a Flip Saunders side and an Andray Blatche side to this story, but both sides have obviously missed the most important point. The TEAM doesn't win when the coach blasts a player in the media, and then doesn't punish that player for blatant insubordination. The TEAM doesn't win when the player can’t get past self-centeredness and immaturity after 5 years of being in the league. Blatche clearly has the on court skills that can benefit a TEAM, and I don't necessarily agree that he should be traded at this point. But when has he ever shown any self-discipline? Why does “To me, I think this will go away if I receive an apology” even come out of his mouth? Who does he think he is anyway! However, I’ve always said this team needs a coach that naturally commands respect from the players. That means a coach who knows how to win AND also knows how to take charge and ‘drop the hammer’ when needed. Saunders clearly isn’t the answer – not with a 21 and 49 record, guns in the locker room, blatant insubordination, etc. He’s got to go. (BTW, I thought Sam Cassell was brought in to be ‘the hammer’, but that obviously hasn’t worked either!) Ernie has to go as well! There are a couple of guys still out there (Avery Johnson? Mark Jackson?) who should have been considered before Saunders. I believe that had either one been hired, Arenas wouldn’t be facing jail time, and maybe we would be talking about seeding for the playoffs right now instead of Andray Blatche!

Posted by: PhiliR | March 25, 2010 10:10 AM
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Too me it does not matter who is at fault. A coach at the professional level should never scold or criticize his players publicly. I was always under the impression that coaches in every sport consider these things internal family matters. You never ever heard Joe Gibbs do this with a player publicly. This is Saunders way of doing things though. Too bad because he appears to be a good coach with a very good understanding of the game.

Posted by: Wizfan4ever | March 25, 2010 9:35 AM
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7 Day Dray is an idiot, but he's a 23 year old big who can get you 20 and 10 every night, and he's signed for two more years at low salaries. He's gotten cocky the past month, but he's a building block. We've all made mistakes in judgment, particularly in our lower 20s.

Posted by: Dellis2 | March 25, 2010 9:28 AM
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Some of these posters write as if they were sitting behind the bench and heard everything that went on between Flip and Andray. Wilbon has inside contacts that let him know what's going on. Who's are you talking to? That's what I thought!

Posted by: bestowens | March 25, 2010 9:22 AM
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I still say that when they fired Eddie Jordan they sealed their fate. Jordan at least demanded some semblance of discipline but he and Grunfeld were at odds so Eddie went. Blatche is a good player, but he can see that the Wizards franchise is a wreck. I really don't blame him for looking out for himself. Our problem is, who would even want to come here? And Flip Saunders? Hasn't brought much to the table in my view.

Posted by: curtb | March 25, 2010 9:04 AM
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So have you changed your opinion about the ability of Ernie Grunfeld to run a team? I believe that, in the past, you have said he was a good GM. Does the evidence supporting that view REALLY outweigh the evidence suggesting that he isn't?

Posted by: whughes1 | March 25, 2010 9:04 AM
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"You aren't out there to be a kiss up hoping for a pat on the back from your boss. You are out there to put up numbers and make money. PERIOD"

Nothanx you speak like a typical streetballers mentality. problem is we aint talking about the And 1 tour, this is the PROS.
And In the pros you are out there to WIN, and part of winning is having the right attitude and be dedicated to leading a team.
Its the difference between guys like Kobe, D Wade, and to a lesser extent Lebron, from guys like Iverson, and Starbury, guys who put up good numbers, got paid but ultimately never won anything.
Gil was on his way to being in that elite class, but somewhere along the way he let his goofiness/stupidity get in the way of being a winner.
Blatche is showing that while his talent is good, his immaturity will only get you so far.

Posted by: Predator48 | March 25, 2010 8:38 AM
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I agree with N07H4NX for the most part. Flip has a decent offensive system but he is basically an overrated coach who has never won anything and acts like his Sh$* don't stink.

He calls players out in public and he always analyzes Blatche in context of KG's shadow. It's clear that the two need to part ways.

I think it's incorrect of Wilbon to say Blatche is mainly at fault for this situation. While Flip gave AB a chance to get minutes and show his true talent he also created a situation that nothing AB does will ever be good enough. When you call out your best producing player in public repeatedly it's bound to create hard feelings.

Maybe AB does have an overinflated ego but what does that make Flip? "The coach is never wrong" What kind of BS is that? I would hate playing for a bum like that.

Posted by: ajrich77 | March 25, 2010 8:33 AM
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Wilbon shooting from the lip again.

Do you really think that if Flip's version of the story were true, Blatche would have played in Indiana? Flip is a bully who uses public humiliation to try to get absolute control over players. To his credit, Blatche called it like it was...a lie. He didn't say that he didn't want to play. He was waiting to go back into the game. The entire issue ( an animated discussion during a timeout when both Flip and Blatche were trying to get the other to listen to his point ) was made to be much more than it deserved to be by Flip's ego. Blatche is the future of this franchise. Flip is a terrible coach. If they can't coexist...Bye Flip.

Posted by: getabigboyoffense | March 25, 2010 8:33 AM
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Wilbon wants to see Blatche suspended for one or more games. That reminds me of the fairy tale of the fox throwing the rabbit into the briar patch. Why would you suspend a player who doesn't want to play anyway? So what his salary is deducted, but a suspension only gives Blatche more time to party and get drunk which is exactly what he really wants to do. I am die hard Wizards fan, but the tragedy of this team since the firing of Eddie Jordan has left me to wonder how I can maintain the type of loyalty that I've had for the past 15 years. My recommendation is to clean house, starting from the top! Ernie, you better spruce up your resume!

Posted by: goblow | March 25, 2010 8:27 AM
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the wizards need to get their ownership situation resolved and than clean house and get a new gm and coach.

Posted by: fkterp | March 25, 2010 8:12 AM
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Good article MW. Again, we are so use to going against the coach and letting the players slide. Yet, another blackeye for Washington sports.

The bad part is, Blatche is soo talented. This is the reason John Thompson does not coach the Wiz. His style with today's player would have him fired in an hour, because he's not taking any crap of the players and management.

We wonder why the Wiz are the "east coast" Clipper?

Posted by: csherro | March 25, 2010 8:12 AM
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Blatche has NO VALUE!!! What NBA team is going to give you anything for him??? He gets numbers when you are losing. He didn't do anything when the Wizards had Caron, Antwan and Haywood..... Why play hard now that all the stars are gone??? If you are a star you will shine with other stars, not hide in the shadows until there is no one else here to lead the team....

BLATCHE SUCKS!!!! Anybody that defends him must be on his payroll.......

Posted by: punchdaclock | March 25, 2010 8:10 AM
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This is the first time in a long time I've read an article written by you. It seems success has gone to your head and the quality of your has gone done.

As usual of late Wilbon writing a column without getting the facts. Wilbon you probably didn't even watch the game. You have become a front runner cheerleader. You should do some research before writing a column like this.

Players and coaches have problems with each other all the time. There is always 2 sides to a story. I watch Wiz games and it's not Blatches fault the Wiz are bad. Flip has a lot to do with this mess. If my memeory serves me correctly Jamison, Butler and Haywood played here and the Wiz hadn't won 15 games.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | March 25, 2010 7:09 AM
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When the heck is Leonsis buying this team?

Posted by: richs91 | March 25, 2010 6:34 AM
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Truth is, it gets harder and harder to take a case by case basis with athletes in general and DC sports athletes in particular. In addition to being tired of losing, DC sportsfans are tired of spoiled, coddled, non-caring athletes and clueless ownership/management/coaching.

I say that everyone that doesn't want to be here playing and getting paid (well) by a DC sports team: GTFO

Wish the same could be said for Snide-r but he owns the team.

Posted by: kahlua87 | March 25, 2010 5:20 AM
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AB with all the points he has been scoring the the Wiz STILL HAVE LOST 13 IN A ROW. He is a selfish player and to prove it the Wiz (again) have lost 13 in a row. It seems to me if he is so great he should be a leader--afterall he did score a lot of points BUT the Wiz still have lost 13 in a row. This begs the question-- what in the hell has he contributed to this team since the big trades--the answer NOTHING just like Nick Young. The question to be asked is--If he is so great and he is scoring points galore BUT plays NO DEFENSE AND plays for himself only to get points and t the rest of his game SUCKS. He is what he is and to try to put the blame on Flip is absolutely asinine!!! Flip has more playoff teams and champships than previous Wiz coaches. Fip hasn't lost his ability to win but look at the hand he was dealt this year. The injuries--Gilbert--BAD TRADES-Ernie. All the abovewere NOT Flips fault. He has a reasonably good coaching staff but you can't turn around a program that is devoid of talent. The guys NOW on the rooster ARE TRYING but again injuries (Josh Howard for one) has bit them again. When stuff like the above happens the COACH AND PLAYERS have to pull together and do not rock the boat. What I find missing is why the Wiz don't have a team in the nba developemnt program where rookies and rookie free agents learn the game and how to play as a team. I have no doubt Nick Young and AB and Mcgee would have benifitted greatly from that program That'sa knock on Enie. I won't shed any tears for AB in this instance because he is an immature selfish out of shape idiot.

Posted by: vergens2 | March 25, 2010 2:54 AM
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wilbon,youre the clueless one.andre did not say that he refused to play,as a matter of fact,twice fired flippy wippy saunders is a dammed liar,point blank.no one tried to talk to andre,especially not 3 coaches.the sooner flip and ernie are gone,the the sooner we can start to really rebuild.hopefuly mike,youll migrate back to chi-town where you come from and belong,just when then leave town

Posted by: billydee123 | March 25, 2010 2:53 AM
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Are you serious N07H4NX? Phillip258? Even dashriprock.

Blatche is making $3M this year (he'll make $3.26 next year, and $3,5 the next year). And he's the #1 guy right now. There is absolutely no chance he'll be the #1 guy next year. He's being paid like a #8 or #9 guy, in fact (or a 11 or 12 guy: Luke Walton is making $5M/yr for the Lakers, and averaging 2.4 PPG, for example).

Saunders has gotten two teams to the conference finals. Grunfeld got a couple of very flawed teams (NYK and MIL) to the conference finals and league championship.

The guys in charge know what they are doing. Blatche is not the franchise. Wilbon gets that. So do Saunders and Grunfeld, who have lots of cap space this summer.

This is a very flawed team this year, and may be a flawed team next year. But they will be much, much better next year...

Posted by: whatsnewinthedistrict | March 25, 2010 2:38 AM
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Blatche is still a young player and he has to learn. I disagree with getting rid of him. This article about management is true. However, jumping to the decision to trade Blatche is a mistake. The same way getting rid of Chris Webber was for Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe...I will never forget that Wilbon, because your propaganda about Webber being a thug and all of your hype was misguided as well. (That may have been the worst trade in NBA history.) What happened to holding coaches and GMs accountable for developing players that have talent? Find something else to get hyped about...maybe you should discuss Tiger Woods!?!

Posted by: bpluim1 | March 25, 2010 2:34 AM
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Blatche, refusing to go in, what a sack of crap.

Posted by: khornbeak | March 25, 2010 12:47 AM
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Please New Jersey send us your team. I would rather have the hapless Nets in town than the sorry, gutless Wizards. What a joke off a professional basketball organization.

Posted by: toddm991 | March 25, 2010 12:25 AM
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wow, this article is very disheartening. I didn't know Blatche had this kind of attitude. I agree with Mike...this guy has done nothing so where does he get this attitude. Get rid of him now unless he gets on his knees and begs forgiveness and pledges to work his butt off.

Posted by: keeferdog72 | March 25, 2010 12:15 AM
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Mike, if you're going to call it like it is for Blatche, then you've got to do the same for Flip Saunders. This is a dysfunctional organization from the top all the way down. Is there anybody actually teaching (COACHING) any of the young players like McGee, Young, and Blatche about all the things it takes to be a winner. Saunders has come right out and said he doesn't like to play young guys. Great! These guys were all very young when they came here. A well run, winning organization would have a system in place, and the right people running it, to fully develop young players. Somehow I don't think you'll find the "throwing your players under the bus to the media" tactic in any respected management training programs.

Posted by: clfrdj | March 24, 2010 11:12 PM
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Wilbon should change his name to Captain Obvious. Every article he writes is always like this.

Posted by: DaleGribble | March 24, 2010 11:11 PM
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N07H4NX, what are you smoking? How can u defend someone who's more dedicated to partying and getting drunk then to becoming a better basketball player? I've seen this guy with my own eyes at LOVE night club, drunk, barely standing on a Friday night and they had a game the next day and ur defending this idiot? And u have the nerve to say Saunders needs to "learn how to adjust to younger players" and to conform to this loser? Are u kidding me? U and Blatche should be slapped!!! Get rid of his dumb ass, its the last thing we need and u shouldn't be allowed to comment on here anymore...

Posted by: bigbad15 | March 24, 2010 11:07 PM
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Wow, what a waste of years of rebuilding..This is were we were when MJ took the court.

Who do I blame the most? Abe.. He was the one who picked EJ before his GM. GMs pick their coaches, not the owner. Six years wasted with the wrong coach and a dysfunctional front office.

Who is the blame right now. Clearly Dray. I don't care how pissed he was at Flip, like Flip said, you never bail on your team. No one was a bigger Dray fan then me and I am totally disappointed in him. Bad move and really bad timing. This team and its fan have been through enough. You were a bright spot in a storm. Now you just became part of the storm. I'm done.

Signed, someone who believed in your potential from day one. Thanks for the major let down.

Posted by: hands11 | March 24, 2010 10:53 PM
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PICK 1, Blatche. What a total loser.

Posted by: howjensen | March 24, 2010 10:50 PM
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N07H4NX - You have a point, up to a point. Saunders makes millions of dollars a year to coach this team. He should be smarter than the player, especially a prima donna player like Blatche. Why would you lessen the value of a player by criticizing them in the media. Play out this season and see if you can reason with the guy and if you can not, then build his value for a trade in the off season after he puts up monster numbers. Talk to him in private, and smile, then trade is moronic ass if he does not change his ways. In the meantime earn your millions by being a good coach, which might mean learning how to relate to younger players. There is a reason why you were unemployed when you came here, and it was not your won-loss record.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | March 24, 2010 10:40 PM
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It's sad, college probably wouldn't have helped this child. His attitude and work ethic is ,"deep rooted" and more than likely developed during his formative years. Unfortunately, it will probably take him until his 40's or 50's to understand that he was clueless during his 20's.

Posted by: Theone9 | March 24, 2010 10:31 PM
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Get rid of Blatche. He won't be missed. In fact, I might never think about him ever again. Get rid of any attitude like his and don't bring it back in the future.

You can find lots of people who can put the bouncy rubber ball through the metal ring with more class than this Blitch.

Posted by: scrappledog | March 24, 2010 9:42 PM
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he's a big KID....a big talented kid that needs tough love....I was for AJ as coach,not Flip.....soooooo, what'd you expect?...the goal at this point is to get the best pick possible....soooo, bench Blache

Posted by: devans_design | March 24, 2010 9:40 PM
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Get rid of all the cancer.

However, the common denominator with concerns to all head cases on this team. Is Grunfeld.

Get rid of him as well !

Posted by: dashriprock | March 24, 2010 9:28 PM
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this team will never turn around as long as ernie is the gm. in 30 years, i have never seen an nba team this bad. it plays no defense and has no discipline. players are more worried about the shots they get than winning games. i hope that this silly transfer of ownership happens soon and the new owners clean house and demand that the players on the team be professionals and have some pride in what they do. right now it is a joke and blatche is only a symptom of the problem and not the disease. the disease comes from the top,

Posted by: Phillip258 | March 24, 2010 9:24 PM
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I agree with you, MW. It is unfortunate, because he's obviously talented, but Blatche has got to go. The Wiz are going to suck for a good, long time (like 3 yrs, minimum), whether Blatche is there or not. He's got an ego that's bigger than his skill set, and is not a guy that the Wiz can, or should, build around. I get the comment about sales teams and such, but this guy will alienate his teammates, the media, and the fans. Let him be somebody else's problem--we've got enough already!

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | March 24, 2010 9:04 PM
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Blatche is a knucklehead and a bitch. The Wizards should suspend him for as long as he's under contract. Just send him home and let his skills erode and rot. I know they have to pay him but it's worth it for the principle. It's a shame the Wizards had to replace class acts like Jamison and Butler with this jerk off punk.

Posted by: dboz1970 | March 24, 2010 8:51 PM
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Flip Saunders is a punk.

First of all, he complains that Dre takes bad shots, yet the dude has been shooting over 50% since he became the #1 option. I never heard Flip say anything about Jamison's shots when he was shooting barely over 40%. GARBAGE.

Second of all, the guy should not be calling out his players in the media. PERIOD. He does it all the time especially with the younger players. This is not how you develop your young players or keep the respect of veterans. You just don't do it. Handle it internally with COACHING not with back handed remarks in press conferences. WEAK.

Third, why isn't anyone considering the fact that all of a sudden Dre is putting up crazy numbers now that they are calling his number? The guy can't get a single play called for him when Jamison and Butler are getting all the looks yet shooting at a dismal percentage but he's immature for letting that frustrate him? Obviously Dre knew something all along and that was that HE'S GOOD! He's a better scorer than Butler or Jamison and the numbers are proving it in both scoring average and more importantly, shooting percentage. For Flip to not realize this until more than half way through the season shows the dude has no clue. AWFUL!

Finally, the argument that "oh if this happened in any other job, the dude would get fired" holds ZERO weight. Anyone who has worked in sales knows this first hand. I have seen plenty of MANAGERS get fired for ticking off the TOP PRODUCER in a sales organization. Basketball is no different than sales. You aren't out there to be a kiss up hoping for a pat on the back from your boss. You are out there to put up numbers and make money. PERIOD! Sure there is a line that can't be crossed but a coach is no different than a manager and if the manager or coach can't LEAD his team properly and loses their respect, it's the MANAGER that gets the pink slip NOT THE TOP PRODUCER! Dude doesn't work at a grocery store stocking shelves where he just has to show up on time, smile, and stay somewhat busy during his shift to keep his job. He is paid to produce and Dre is doing that more than anyone else on this horrible team.

I'm a Wizards FAN and I'm with you Dre. Get this bum FLIP out of here.

Wilbon, I hope you issue some sort of apology if it becomes known that Saunders is lying about the way the incident transpired because despite his poor grammar and past transgressions, I find Dre a lot more genuine and believable than Saunders.

Posted by: N07H4NX | March 24, 2010 8:31 PM
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