Saturday update

Caron Butler is out again (strained left hip flexor) and is sounds as if it may be awhile before he gets back. Coach Eddie Jordan: "I'm not speculating on Caron's return. The best thing I can give you guys is to say that we are going to calm down his activity in rehab, maybe not fire the muscle up right now. Just rehab."

Also, I wouldn't count on seeing Gilbert Arenas in uniform one week from Sunday when the Wiz host New Orleans. Gilbert had set that night as a possible date for a return to action but he has yet to go through a single full contact practice. He has done plenty of shooting and has also played some serious games of full court one-on-one with rookie Nick Young.

Gilbert: "It may take me longer to get in shape. That's why I'm out there with Nick, trying to get some rhythm back in my legs, get some cardio in and that's all I'm working on right now. Truthfully, it's hard to tell (when he'll be back to game action). If I really wanted to get out there, I can go play now but you're going to get two good minutes out of me. Right now, it's about trying to get in shape and get my body used to playing again."

And it gets worse folks: your faithful beat reporter went to hoop today and felt something pop in the right achilles. It's killing me and right now, I'm limping around like a old man. I'm day-to-day......

By Ivan Carter |  February 23, 2008; 6:45 PM ET
Previous: Butler out, Daniels will go | Next: Hello from New Orleans

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Get healthy Ivan, they're gonna need you for a practice body soon.

I'm hoping Charlotte sans Wallace is just the medicine. But I'll believe it when I see it.

Posted by: Jim | February 23, 2008 6:58 PM

Looks like Bobcats scoring leader Gerald Wallace is out tonight.
Always a bad sign for the Wizzies when opponents star is out. Sorry about the achilles. Been there done it several times. If you want it to get right the best thing to do is get it put in a HARD CAST for 6 weeks. No fun but the alternative is putting up with it and reinjuring it after you think it's healed. Just walking keeps it from healing. Just mho.

Posted by: Va.Beach Fan | February 23, 2008 7:06 PM

Tonight's game, without Wallace, would probably be the usual doom and gloom lose anyway scenario as mentioned by the VA Beach fan. One saving grace is that the Wiz Killer, Walter "Air Jesus" Herrmann, is not on the team anymore.

If EJ wants a chance at keeping his job and getting some wins, he's got to keep AB on the court for the entire game!!! Not play him 29 minutes like last night when he was hot going 6-8, 7 rebs, and 4 blocks, but only getting 29 mins.

I hope Ivan is well, but from the way it sounds, it might be a partial tear of the achilles and/or stretched ligaments. I just hope Ivan doesn't ask any of the Les BouleS medical team for advice.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 23, 2008 7:27 PM

Re: the achilles, give it a day or two and then start rehabbing by running at full speed on a high school track with a parachute strapped to your back.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 23, 2008 7:55 PM

Goodbye season...hello lottery.

Posted by: EP1 | February 23, 2008 8:59 PM

6:21 left in 4th and starters are back in. Seen this before...watch the lead disappear!

So frustrating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Rob P | February 23, 2008 9:06 PM

This should be a rule.

If the subs are hotter and more active and out playing the other team, leave them in until a string of bad plays occur!!!!!!!

Posted by: Rob P | February 23, 2008 9:09 PM

Figures...starters are trying to make me look bad for once! 'Bout time!

Posted by: Rob P | February 23, 2008 9:14 PM

I'd love to see one year when Eddie Jordan finally have his starting five intact for a full season. I understand in an 82 game season, there will be bumps and bruises, but this team have key guy's miss chunks of games every year in the five or six years since Eddie's been coach. Becuase of these injuries every year, we're always struggling/fighting to get the 6,7,8th spot in the playoffs.

Posted by: Skyerocket1969 | February 23, 2008 9:29 PM

"

I'd love to see one year when Eddie Jordan finally have his starting five intact for a full season. I understand in an 82 game season, there will be bumps and bruises, but this team have key guy's miss chunks of games every year in the five or six years since Eddie's been coach. Becuase of these injuries every year, we're always struggling/fighting to get the 6,7,8th spot in the playoffs.

Posted by: Skyerocket1969 | February 23, 2008 09:29 PM "


Plenty of teams, in fact most of the teams, fight through injuries every season, but win anyway. Suns, Rockets, Spurts, etc....

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 23, 2008 9:43 PM

Big win tonight, really needed this one. im really impressed with Deshawn this year and the past couple weeks in particular, and they gutted it out and pulled out the win despite charlotte's fight down the stretch. maybe this'll give them some momentum going into New Orleans, anyone think that's crazy to believe that?
And i hope it's not too serious Ivan, get that checked out and take it easy, as much as you can anyway. and do stay away from that parachute, nice post there.

Posted by: bruce | February 23, 2008 9:47 PM

Well let's take the two best players away from the Suns, Rockets, Spurs, etc and see what happens.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 23, 2008 10:13 PM

"Well let's take the two best players away from the Suns, Rockets, Spurs, etc and see what happens.

Posted by: | February 23, 2008 10:13 PM "

Fortunately for those franchises, they have management/ownership with the foresight to give their stars the support players they need, not run them into the ground with an undermanned team.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 23, 2008 10:30 PM

I'm sure those teams have competent medical staffs too.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 23, 2008 10:32 PM

If Gil can give the Wiz 2 good minutes, EJ should put him on the court the last 2 minutes of the game. Better him than AD or DS.

Posted by: TOM | February 23, 2008 11:01 PM

"If Gil can give the Wiz 2 good minutes, EJ should put him on the court the last 2 minutes of the game. Better him than AD or DS.

Posted by: TOM | February 23, 2008 11:01 PM "

Good try, but Gilby's got little to gain, and everything to lose from this, coming off the bench cold.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 23, 2008 11:14 PM

If the Suns lost Amare and Nash, or the Spurs lost Duncan and Parker, etc., those teams wouldnt be winning much either. The Wizards have had the worst luck losing Butler and Gil in the playoffs, and again this year.

What compounds that is everyone else getting hurt. Etan having a heart ailment is something out of the blue, while AD and DeShawn are warriors for being able to play as much as they have been. If Gil or Caron were healthy, I am sure DeShawn would of had to shut it down for a few games, or AD would have stayed out a bit longer.

With all this happening, full practices cant be run, and there just isnt enough help to get it all done. Ownership compounds this issue by refusing to pay the tax, thus making matters absurd by not having enough bodies around.

I dont think Eddie is doing a bad job at all. He doesnt have much talent at all to work with right now, doesnt have enough bodies, and just simply doesnt have a full stash of players who can compete night in and night out right now. It isnt his fault that he has to rely on players such as Songalia, Young, McGuire, etc. in his rotation right now.

Lets see how this team does whenever they are all healthy. Remember, at full strength last year these guys at the best record at the All-Star break, and Gil was an MVP candidate who carried this team on his back through January. To judge Eddie on the last few weeks is very, very unfair.

Posted by: Roman | February 23, 2008 11:21 PM

The funny thing about comparing the Suns or Spurs with Les BouleS if they lost their stars too is this. Those teams are in the West, a much more competitive west, and if they lost, well, not surprised.

But, Les BouleS are in the gawdawful East. They lost to the Knicks who are 21 GAMES BELOW .500. Also, they lost to Cleveland that was without Big Ben, J.Smith, D.West, A.Varajao, D.Gibson, etc. Les BouleS also lost a game to the Warriors where they were up by 23 pts.

Again, a primary reason why Caron, AD, and DS have been hurt this season is b/c they have picked up their games since Gilby's been out, and are overworked b/c ownership/management is too cheap to bring in reinforcements, and couple that with the lack of development/trust in the younger players.

Right now, only 3 teams in the east have a better winning record than the 8th seed in the West.

Tough to dream up excuses for all that.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 23, 2008 11:33 PM

Sky, there is some truth to what you are saying and DCMan. Here is what I would add. The main injury guy is about to come up for a max contract. Do you sign him to one? If he is not a perennial all-star for whatever reason after signing a max contract, the structure of this team will be screwed for YEARS!!!

Posted by: Rob P | February 24, 2008 12:25 AM

Here's another question I have:

Instead of running Stevenson, AD, Jamison into the ground, would our record be any different if the rooks and bench got real serious minutes! The starters should not play more than 35 mins a night or the other guys will get back and these guys are going to be gone! DCMan, the other teams that get hurt know how to incorporate and develop a bench to keep them going. EJ has never done this since he's been here! Ain't his forte to say the least!

Posted by: Rob P | February 24, 2008 12:36 AM

Lebron is a guy who deserves max money. Is Gilby at Lebron's level? Not even close.

How was the team doing without Gilby, the "franchise player," but with Caron in the lineup? Easily above .500, while the team showed better chemistry, better defense, more focus, etc.

Sure, Gilby gives you a good shooter, a guy who can get to the free throw line, someone who can make some clutch shots when needed. How has any of this translated to playoff success? It hasn't. Has this wannabe "franchise player" carried the team into the playoffs? Nope.

None of that adds up to max money for a GM who knows what he's doing.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 24, 2008 12:39 AM

We should have traded GIL , he's knot going to play this year. He wants to hit the open market. And plus we have a coward head coach. MARK THIS ONE GIL WILL LEAVE AND WE HAVE NOTHING TO SHOW 4 IT

Posted by: Anonymous | February 24, 2008 1:34 AM

We should have traded GIL when we had a chance. He will knot play this year he wants to hit the open market. Gil is way to selfish and doesn't respect the coach. Who would he is a coward

Posted by: GIL will walk | February 24, 2008 1:38 AM

Roman, I agree wholeheartedly with you about Jordan. He's a done a good job keeping this team out of the tank, given all the setbacks they've had.

That being said, however ...

I think there's a good chance that we never will see this team healthy and together. There's a chance neither Gilbert not Etan will be back this season, and if they do come back, will they have enough time to get into game shape and shake the rust off? Same with Caron. In any case, if this team gets bounced in the first or second round of the playoffs again, it's fair to wonder whether a major overhaul is in order. Yeah, they've had injury problems, but they had them last season and the one before. At some point that have to stop being looked at as an aberration.

Posted by: kalorama | February 24, 2008 2:18 AM

Roman, I agree wholeheartedly with you about Jordan. He's a done a good job keeping this team out of the tank, given all the setbacks they've had.

That being said, however ...

I think there's a good chance that we never will see this team healthy and together. There's a chance neither Gilbert not Etan will be back this season, and if they do come back, will they have enough time to get into game shape and shake the rust off? Same with Caron. In any case, if this team gets bounced in the first or second round of the playoffs again, it's fair to wonder whether a major overhaul is in order. Yeah, they've had injury problems, but they had them last season and the one before. At some point that have to stop being looked at as an aberration.

Posted by: kalorama | February 24, 2008 2:18 AM

I wouldn't worry too much about Gil leaving and the Wiz not getting anything in return. If Gil does leave-which i'm sure he will because I don't think EG is going to give a max contract to a player who has two yrs with a bad knee. If Gil wants that max contract he will have to do a sign and trade with another team in order to get the big money, thus giving the Wiz a couple of good players or draft picks. I personally would resign Jamison and move Butler to his natural position at the 2-guard and let Blatch move to the 4 and try to find a nice young point guard like Haris now with the Nets. Thats my take!

Posted by: G | February 24, 2008 2:43 AM

If you believe what Gilby says, and that is that he will take less money and go to another team, then EG has zero leverage and Les BouleS will be left with their thumbs up their @sses for not getting rid of him earlier.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 24, 2008 3:36 AM

"If you believe what Gilby says, and that is that he will take less money and go to another team, then EG has zero leverage and Les BouleS will be left with their thumbs up their @sses for not getting rid of him earlier."

Except for cap room and room under the luxury tax, if that's what matters to you.

Posted by: Jim | February 24, 2008 8:33 AM

DCMan, of course this team can be over .500 with Caron healthy. Caron is an All-Star, and one of the best (and most underrated) players in the NBA. But with Gil added to Caron, this team is even better. Remember, this team was #1 in the East last year at the All Star break with them healthy, and Gil was a leading MVP candidate.

I agree with Kalorama when he says none of them will be totally healthy this year. I couldnt agree more. Gil could be back to full strength (maybe), but I dont think Caron, AD, or DeShawn will ever be this season. They have nagging injuries that will be with them all year because they keep having to play through it. Its sad, but I dont think we will be able to truly see what this team can do until next year, when hopefully Antawn and Gil are back, and when Caron, AD, DeShawn, and Etan all recover from their injuries. Maybe by then this team could also fit more than 13 players in under the luxury tax and have depth. So watch out, because this team could be very good next season.

Posted by: Roman | February 24, 2008 9:32 AM

This team is not ever going to be real good, since they do not have a high caliber point guard or center. How could they ever consider competing at a higher level with those 2 essential and missing ingredients.
In addition they would need a top level coach. One who communicates, incorporates the whole team into a winning concept, including effective defensive schemes and properly adjusts to changing game situations.
We currently do not have those ingredients.
Also it would require ownership committed financially to acquiring the mentioned missing parts, no matter the financial considerations.
Obviously, I do not seeing that ever happening with the current regime.

Posted by: mricklen | February 24, 2008 10:04 AM

I agree with Kalorama and Roman -- as I watched last night's game there were a lot of times when I said to myself, "If Gil and Juice were in there, that (turnover, failure to finish -- your call) probably wouldn't have happened. Then I read the Post's stories about how neither of them has a timetable for returning, and it hit me that they very well might not contribute anything, let alone even play, anymore this season. Gil is truly a "face" of the team, not only for his play in the past but also his personality. However, whether he can resume his previous level of play following two knee operations is at least open to question. EG has a real dilemma on his hands if Gil goes through with his plan to opt out. And what makes it even more difficult is that the player he's dealing with is so mercurial and unpredictable. I mean, let's not forget how he came here in the first place!
However, the first thing I'd do if I were EG is to sign AJ. Not only is he carrying the team right now when there's really been no other viable option -- thus making it easier for opponents to focus on him -- but his overall game has actually improved this season.! And signing AJ is something that the Wiz can actually work on with some level of confidence, since he seems to be more, uh, predictable than Gil. Then let Gil decide whether he wants to remain in a comfort zone where he's idolized by a community and gets along well with his teammates, or whether he wants to go somewhere else either for more money (how much can a guy need?) or for less money just to prove a point (whatever that may be -- I wouldn't dream of trying to understand what's going on his his head, but I've sure enjoyed whatever it is).

Posted by: dzl | February 24, 2008 10:14 AM

EG should have tried to get Kevin Martin from the Kings for Gilby and thrown in a no.1(the Wiz have two 08 picks) he is very good shooter plays d and is not a headache would fit perfect into EJ's system but he is trying to find a reason to fire EJ so that ain't gonna happen!!!!!.As a huge WIZ fan I love Gilby but like most people I think he's gonna walk so why not try to get something for him.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | February 24, 2008 10:19 AM

Just waiting for Miami Heat fan Clewiston to come on and tell us that the Wizards were lucky to get a win at Charlotte because Wallace was injured....

Posted by: Anonymous | February 24, 2008 10:26 AM

I think people are misreading the "no timetable for return" regarding Arenas and Butler. As the Wiz move into March and the playoffs loom, I think it will be hard for Butler and Arenas to resist not getting back on the floor. The longer they stay out at this point, the better, for their health and for the experience Pecherov, Young, DMac, Blatche are picking up; invaluable at playoff time.
As Jamison said the Wiz have been competitive in most of the games they lost recently, the bench players just don't have the closer mentality that Butler and Arenas have, the game last not was a step forward in development of such an attitude.

Posted by: myshkin | February 24, 2008 10:50 AM

As a huge WIZ fan I love Gilby but like most people I think he's gonna walk so why not try to get something for him.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | February 24, 2008 10:19 AM

We have another "Gilby" lover/hater?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 24, 2008 10:58 AM

Blow it up! Fire Eddie Jordan, he only knows how to play with his best players, doesn't know what to do with the bench. Lets his first unit get away with nonsense, but parks his bench guys for the slightest little mistake. Yeah, Eddie what have you got to say everytime Jamison junks up another clunker without anyone even near the goal for rebounds? Nothing, but once one of the youngs guys does a little booboo, there you are screaming your head off or shaking your head and grinning sarcastically on national TV for everybody to see.

Do not resign Mason, do not resign Arenas. Keep Jamison and Butler to lead the locker room, but keep an eye out to deal Jamison, Thomas, Songaila and maybe Daniels.
Get Veremeenko on board, grab two guards with the draft. Keep Hopla, who can help train more three shooters, and definitely improve free throws.

Get a coach who knows how to play and bring along the younger guys. Play them as much as the other teams do their rookies. Build a team to win the championship in three years. And oh yeah Abe, you can retire now.

Oops I just woke up, ain't none of that gonna happen. More same old same old. Cheers!

Posted by: After this season | February 24, 2008 11:11 AM

Let's not make too much of their record with Caron in the lineup. Our schedule up until he got hurt was one of the easiest in the league.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 24, 2008 12:16 PM

"Let's not make too much of their record with Caron in the lineup. Our schedule up until he got hurt was one of the easiest in the league.

Posted by: | February 24, 2008 12:16 PM "

Sure, and so was first half of last season.

Could have been worse. Could have lost all the games and not be above .500 when Caron was carrying the team while Gilby was out.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 24, 2008 12:58 PM

"I think people are misreading the "no timetable for return" regarding Arenas and Butler. As the Wiz move into March and the playoffs loom, I think it will be hard for Butler and Arenas to resist not getting back on the floor. The longer they stay out at this point, the better, for their health and for the experience Pecherov, Young, DMac, Blatche are picking up; invaluable at playoff time.
As Jamison said the Wiz have been competitive in most of the games they lost recently, the bench players just don't have the closer mentality that Butler and Arenas have, the game last not was a step forward in development of such an attitude.

Posted by: myshkin | February 24, 2008 10:50 AM "

Both Caron and Gilby have learned from veterans, KG and JKidd respectively, and know better than to sacrifice their future for an exercise in futility for Les BouleS with the playoffs. Also, I'm sure these two players know now that the medical staff cannot be trusted.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 24, 2008 1:01 PM

"EG should have tried to get Kevin Martin from the Kings for Gilby and thrown in a no.1(the Wiz have two 08 picks) he is very good shooter plays d and is not a headache would fit perfect into EJ's system but he is trying to find a reason to fire EJ so that ain't gonna happen!!!!!.As a huge WIZ fan I love Gilby but like most people I think he's gonna walk so why not try to get something for him.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | February 24, 2008 10:19 AM "

Not so fast.

Gilby pulled an ace card out of his backpocket and threatened Les BouleS by saying that any team that they trade him to, that team will be assuming a huge risk because he's most likely not going to necessarily resign with them next season. So, they will be trading a player/picks and ending up with nothing in return.

Why would any team trade for an injured one dimensional shoot first defensive liability in Gilby who's going to opt out this offseason?

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 24, 2008 1:05 PM

"This team is not ever going to be real good, since they do not have a high caliber point guard or center. How could they ever consider competing at a higher level with those 2 essential and missing ingredients.
In addition they would need a top level coach. One who communicates, incorporates the whole team into a winning concept, including effective defensive schemes and properly adjusts to changing game situations.
We currently do not have those ingredients.
Also it would require ownership committed financially to acquiring the mentioned missing parts, no matter the financial considerations.
Obviously, I do not seeing that ever happening with the current regime.

Posted by: mricklen | February 24, 2008 10:04 AM "

Here here.......

We've seen this for about 30 years since the last championship with Unseld. But, it does not matter to ownership as long as he's in the black financially and can continue to collect the welfare from the lux tax penality monies from other teams who are serious about winning and will do everything it takes to win, unlike Les BouleS. Even a Les BouleS insider, the head coach, freely admits this:


--------------------------------------------


On a larger scale, Jordan wants to win now. Like any coach who signed a two-year extension with a team option for the third year last summer, the continuity line gets old.

"But I understand Mr. Pollin's standpoint," Jordan said. "We want to stay within a certain budget for the Washington Wizards. We're not going to be like four or five or six other teams that can do anything it takes to win. Those are decisions we made within the organization. It doesn't bother me. There are times when you say, 'How come we can't get this guy?' But then you say, 'These are the parameters the organization has set.' "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/16/AR2007021602210.html

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 24, 2008 1:09 PM

"DCMan, of course this team can be over .500 with Caron healthy. Caron is an All-Star, and one of the best (and most underrated) players in the NBA. But with Gil added to Caron, this team is even better. Remember, this team was #1 in the East last year at the All Star break with them healthy, and Gil was a leading MVP candidate.

I agree with Kalorama when he says none of them will be totally healthy this year. I couldnt agree more. Gil could be back to full strength (maybe), but I dont think Caron, AD, or DeShawn will ever be this season. They have nagging injuries that will be with them all year because they keep having to play through it. Its sad, but I dont think we will be able to truly see what this team can do until next year, when hopefully Antawn and Gil are back, and when Caron, AD, DeShawn, and Etan all recover from their injuries. Maybe by then this team could also fit more than 13 players in under the luxury tax and have depth. So watch out, because this team could be very good next season.

Posted by: Roman | February 24, 2008 09:32 AM "

Or, could be very bad if AJ leaves and Gilby leaves and Les BouleS have nothing to show for their departure, just like when LH left and Jared Jeffries left and Jarvis Hayes left. Two were draft picks while another came from a trade. In essence, Les BouleS are squandering opportunities to get better by not drafting the right people, not putting people in the best schemes to win, or not getting something of value in return before these people walk away scott free.

With regard to your statement about it not being a surprise that Les BouleS were above .500 with Caron, an all star in the lineup, I'm glad you see that. It's not just b/c he's an all star, but b/c he took the team and led the team. He added toughness to the team and improved it's chemistry.

You can't just add an all star and expect a team to still prosper. All stars are not created equal. How did Les BouleS do 2nd half of last season when Caron was out and they still had Gilby and AJ? The franchise went on a downward spiral and almost failed to make the playoffs, after being #1 at the break. I'd call that an utter collapse.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 24, 2008 1:14 PM

If Jamison and Arenas both leave, this franchise is cooked for the next half decade. I know, I know, wow stop the presses with that brilliant bit of analysis.

I think if either one of them leaves, the franchise will be solidly stuck in the second tier for the next 3-4 years. Make the playoffs at 38-42 and get knocked out the first round.

My guess is that one but not both will re-sign.

Some huge offseason questions to answer.

Posted by: SteveMG | February 24, 2008 1:21 PM

Having both guys leave will leave a lot of cap space to pursue guys like C.Paul or D.Williams. There's got to be other guys coming due too, but the thing is that Les BouleS would be essentially starting over again.

Gilby is a guy that can give this team 30 pts a night, but you have to take the bad with the good, such as no defense, no leadership, wild shots, undermining the coach, no chemistry, no team involvement.

AJ is a guy who can score too, but you get sick and tired of those dipsy doo unorthodox shots and lack of on the court teaching or leadership.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 24, 2008 2:01 PM

I don't like the fact Gil is playing with the wizzards like this. Perfect trade (J- Oneal for gilbert and antwaun. Gil would opt out and come back. Daddy but Abe will knot go over the cap for nothing, its so sad to see a owner who only cares about the bottom dollar. Time for Eddie to go he can't control his players. How can you let the same to players fight several times. Hurts him respect wise. Gil needs Brown for him to reach the next level.

Posted by: GIL | February 24, 2008 2:50 PM

didn't the bulls win 6 championships without a high caliber point guard or center? Oh yeah and i guess damon jones was the man for the heat a couple years ago at PG. and who can forget 'what's his face' who won when david robinson and tim duncan were champs?
idiots!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 24, 2008 2:59 PM

"didn't the bulls win 6 championships without a high caliber point guard or center? Oh yeah and i guess damon jones was the man for the heat a couple years ago at PG. and who can forget 'what's his face' who won when david robinson and tim duncan were champs?
idiots!

Posted by: | February 24, 2008 02:59 PM "

Hmm, if only Les BouleS had the greatest NBA player ever like MJ in his prime, then maybe Les BouleS wouldn't need a dominant PG or C. Gilby would never come close.

MJ, in case you don't remember, was a great defender and of course, scorer, and he was no shrinking violet when it came to leadership on the court. Oh yeah, he was a 5 time MVP.

Idiot!


------------------------------------------

* 14x All-Star (1985-1993, 1996-1998, 2002-2003)
* 5x MVP (1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998)
* 6x Finals MVP (1991-1993, 1996-1998)
* 1985 Rookie of the Year
* 1988 Defensive Player of the Year
* 3x All-Star Game MVP (1988, 1996, 1998)
* 2x NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner (1987, 1988)
* 10x All-NBA First Team selection
* 9x NBA All-Defensive Team selection
* NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
* 1982 ACC Freshman of the Year
* 1984 ACC Men's Basketball Player of the Year
* 1984 USBWA College Player of the Year
* 1984 Naismith College Player of the Year
* 1984 John R. Wooden Award
* 1984 Adolph Rupp Trophy
* 1991 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year
* 2000 ESPY Athlete of the Century
* 1990's ESPY Male Athlete Decade Award
* 1990's ESPY Pro Basketballer Decade Award

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 24, 2008 3:41 PM

GIL, you must be flippin' kidding! Talk about hurt - Jermaine O'Neal is hurt 95 % of the time......

Posted by: Anonymous | February 24, 2008 4:40 PM

I'm with "After the season", great post. There is more on this bench than some people are saying. Pecherov and Young are both 1st rounders! Blatche should be a bench guy if not for the injuries. Any team in the league would take him and his contract in a second to come of the bench. Songalia is a solid pro and is finally playing better. It's a better bench than we've had in years unless you liked the Ruffin, Hayes years.

Granted it's a young bench, but also full of potential. EJ just does not know what to do with it. I'll say it again. During this bad stretch of games we've had games our bench has outplayed the starters a lot of nights yet still get no minutes! EJ is partly responsible for the lack of development and proper usage.

I say if GA demands max money say goodbye. He is turning into Bernard King! What he should do is sign a one year max contract. If he plays up to his level of last year and stays healthy, then we can talk long term big money. I think it's a big gamble that ain't worth it at this point! Plus, what has GA won?????????

Posted by: Rob P | February 24, 2008 5:06 PM

AJ and Gilbert for O'Neal?

Maybe four years ago. He's almost 30 and is on the downside of his career.

Detroit beat Phoenix by 30. In Phoenix.

Shaq - 7 points and 11 boards. He just can't do it anymore on a consistent basis.

Great game, mediocre game, fair game, fair game, good game, mediocre game, great game... rinse and repeat

Posted by: Anonymous | February 24, 2008 5:10 PM

Oh...left off Mason. Solid solid bench guy and when we are at full strength AD is a bench guy too!!! Hell, the San Antonio Spurs who I think have a clue as to how to build a team wanted Mason this summer, but he showed real loyalty as the team that gave him his chance. Let's see if GA does the same bc we gave him his chance to be Agent Zero and if he plays hardball he will completely change my opinion of him!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Rob P | February 24, 2008 5:10 PM

There is more on this bench than some people are saying.

But aren't they all complementary players?

I can't see any of them stepping up and being a solid, fulltime all-star. You need at least two of these types; maybe three.

They're young and maybe I'm wrong; but I just don't see it ...

Posted by: SteveMG | February 24, 2008 5:12 PM

Yeah, O'Neal is done!

Sadly, IMO Phoenix got screwed out of their championship run last year!!!!

Teams built on offense don't get the opportunity to be dynasties. Seems the window is much smaller as opposed to say San Antonio or Detroit who are in the hunt year after year. Defense wins championships is a cliche bc it's true. Hell, New England Pats could not even bring it home being the best offensive team ever bc they ran into a really good defense and their D was not as good as it had been in years past!

Posted by: Rob P | February 24, 2008 5:17 PM

Steve, come on! What team is stocking all-stars on their bench???? Be real.

And to be honest, Nick Young and Blatche have the potential to be. I'm not saying they will but they have those kind of skills.

Put it this way - here is our bench at full strength

Antonio Daniels - very solid pro

Mason - very solid pro who is playing himself into a nice contract.

Songalia - solid pro who bangs and can hit the open set shot with regularity

Blatche - a kid FULL of potential if his frame and mind catch up to his raw skill

NY - instant offense with loads of potential

Etan Thomas - solid backup center

Pecherov and McGuire - nice young players who could grow into solid pros.

Where did the franchise leave EJ hanging? Arenas has left this franchise hanging. Nobody else whether it's his fault or not the best of the best don't spend chunks of seasons hurt. And you can't plan for it to happen if your a GM. Well, maybe now you can.

Posted by: Rob P | February 24, 2008 5:24 PM

If that is not one of the best benches in theory this team has ever had, I would love to hear a better one. That being said, it's EJ's job to play to the strengths of what his players that are healthy have to offer. I don't think he's very good at doing such.

And no 10 day contract guy is going to make a damn bit of difference. Practice maybe, but I submit this team does not need to be running hard practices regardless. The starters look like rag dolls out there at times!!!!!!!!!! Rest'em Rest'em Rest'em

Posted by: Rob P | February 24, 2008 5:32 PM

If Abe wants to win, he needs to go kidnap Joe Dumars out of Detroit. What Dumars has done there is work of a genius. Gets McDyess and Billups in free agency when nobody wanted them. Trades a breaking down and overrated Stack for an emerging star in Hamilton. Trades a pile of junk for Rasheed. Nails a late 1st round gem in Prince.

Oh, and this just in, Detroit's bench is lethal. Stuckey and Afflalo are very good for rookie guards, Jason Maxiell is an absolute manchild, and Amir Johnson is a superstar in the making. Oh, and Dumars drafted them all, and none were lottery picks. He also picked Jarvis off the scrap heap (17 points for him today). Hell, Detroit cant even find room for two guys who could crack any teams rotation in Juan Dixon and Walter Hermann.

I dont mind Ernie, but man, having someone like Dumars running the Wiz would be incredible.

Posted by: Roman | February 24, 2008 5:47 PM

It is starting to feel like a lost season. I'd almost rather keep Caron and Gil out, let them fully heal, and get a high draft pick. Use the pick to get another solid player, or use it as trade bait for another bench vet. Resign Gil (which I do think will happen) and Antawn (which I also think will happen) and see what they've got with a healthy team and another year's experience for the young bench players.

I really don't think it's panic time - I do think this year could be over, but I believe in the team Ernie's put together, for the most part.

It's hard not to blame the struggles on the injuries. Just think about it: two all-star starters; backup C; promising rookie out for half a year; Daniels lost for a dozen games (or more- don't remember exactly). And for most of this month, Daniels and Deshawn have been significantly hobbled.

When bench players start, and end-of-bench players get significant backup minutes, 11-game losing streaks are what you get. Any team, and I mean any team, would be struggling like this in these circumstances.

It's simply been incredible. I think it's premature to blow the team up.

Posted by: Keithinator | February 24, 2008 5:53 PM

What team is stocking all-stars on their bench????

Sure, but I'm talking about the future, not now. Of course right now they're bench players. Too young, inexperienced, et cetera to be fulltime players.

But which of those guys will emerge as a stud? If any?

It's much like young starting pitchers in baseball. You may have 3-4 solid minor leaguers; but which will become #1 or #2 starting pitchers?

I think Blatche definitely has the ability to be one of those types.

Of course, we can say this about just about every other team.

Posted by: SteveMg | February 24, 2008 6:06 PM

I think it's easy to say that the Curse of Les BouleS is going strong until proven otherwise.

You can hire Joe Dumars, but he won't do squat here b/c again, it all depends on ownership and what they will and won't do for a championship. As Eddie said:

"On a larger scale, Jordan wants to win now. Like any coach who signed a two-year extension with a team option for the third year last summer, the continuity line gets old.

"But I understand Mr. Pollin's standpoint," Jordan said. "We want to stay within a certain budget for the Washington Wizards. We're not going to be like four or five or six other teams that can do anything it takes to win. Those are decisions we made within the organization. It doesn't bother me. There are times when you say, 'How come we can't get this guy?' But then you say, 'These are the parameters the organization has set.' "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/16/AR2007021602210.html

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 24, 2008 6:40 PM

"With no practice today and games on Monday and Tuesday, the earliest Butler will return to the line-up is Friday in Chicago"

http://caronbutler3.com/

Ivan -- can you confirm? No Caron on Monday or Tuesday? New Orleans and Houston would be tough enough to beat with Caron; impossible without him.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 24, 2008 7:21 PM

Washington is sixth in the East after an horrendous stretch. We can assume, I think without being overly optimistic that Philly, NJ and Atlanta are not all likely to get past the Wiz for the final playoff spots.
That means March will provide time for the rooks and younger bench players to stack up game time minutes and for Butler and Arenas to get healthy, reinsert into the lineup for some tune up and barring further injuries, take a run at the best the East has to offer. I like the Wiz's chances with Arenas, Butler, Jamison, Haywood and Stevenson and a bench of a matured Blatche, Young, Mason, Songalia, Pecherov.
DC 88 may have convinced himself that Garnett and Kidd would take a pass on the playoffs but I think the truth is those guys are competitors just like Arenas and Butler, aching for a shot at the playoffs. Let's see what happens in March.

Posted by: Myshkin | February 24, 2008 7:48 PM

Roman, Dumars is not better than EG. EG is not the problem with this team at all!

Detroit is also very healthy right now.

Signing GA as a free agent and trading Kwame for Butler are two of the best moves in the NBA the past few years. He also let Hughes and the dude that went to NY go when he realized they were being overvalued in the market. EG is as shrewd as they come. Oh, let's not forget he drafted Redd in the second round in Milwaukee as well.

Posted by: Rob P | February 24, 2008 8:24 PM

"He also let Hughes and the dude that went to NY go when he realized they were being overvalued in the market. EG is as shrewd as they come. Oh, let's not forget he drafted Redd in the second round in Milwaukee as well.

Posted by: Rob P | February 24, 2008 08:24 PM "

Let me correct you right there, just so that we won't give EG more credit than he deserves.

When LH made huge contributions to Les BouleS season where they went to the 2nd round of the playoffs, EG said he would do whatever it takes to retain LH in free agency. Unfortunately, he didn't keep his word (probably via Abe) and gave LH a lowball offer.

Larry also got an offer from the Cavs, with about 10 mil more. LH jumped on that and signed right away. EG started to panic, and told LH that he would match that offer. Unfortunately for EG, he was too late. The ink was dry already.

Therefore, EG would have kept LH if LH didn't tell EG it was too little, too late. I do give EG credit for not resigning Jared Jeffries, but Les BouleS got nothing in return for losing him since he was drafted by Les BouleS. Same goes for Jarvis. Both drafted guys, not by EG, walked, so basically, Les BouleS wasted 2 drafts.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 24, 2008 8:34 PM

" DC 88 may have convinced himself that Garnett and Kidd would take a pass on the playoffs but I think the truth is those guys are competitors just like Arenas and Butler, aching for a shot at the playoffs. Let's see what happens in March.

Posted by: Myshkin | February 24, 2008 07:48 PM "

The advice that KG and JKidd gave them is that they need to take care of #1 first. If Les BouleS were a serious contender, I would expect Caron and Gilby to return. Since they are not, and Gilby could jeopardize his free agency by getting hurt again, I therefore doubt it.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 24, 2008 8:36 PM

"Ivan -- can you confirm? No Caron on Monday or Tuesday? New Orleans and Houston would be tough enough to beat with Caron; impossible without him.

Posted by: | February 24, 2008 07:21 PM "

It makes sense if you think about it. Les BouleS would be an underdog against NO and Houston anyway, so if Caron doesn't lay and they lose, whoop-de-doo, big surprise.

But, Chicago sucks this season, and Les BouleS need to beat them, because losing to them would be almost like losing to the knicks.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 24, 2008 8:38 PM

From Ivan;s game article:
"The Wizards are 9-33 in games played without Butler since the 2005-06 season and 3-9 without him this season."

Ivan, we see more and more frustrated Zards fans posting about blowing things up. I think this is an emotional over-reaction. I would love to see some facts. The 9-33 stat shouts out what I have been feeling. What is the record of the Zards with the big 3? Without 1 of the big 3? Without 2 of the big 3? I have a feeling that our percentage is lowest without Caron. I also have a feeling that without 2 of the three we have a putrid record.

I think that EJ could do much better job of trusting his puppies to develop through their growing pains. But I am not the one with my job on the line. I think that he needs assurances from EG to feel free to do that. Otherwise it is play best guys for 40 minutes and hope for the best.

I was again astounded on Friday that the game winning shot was a drive by Stevenson. It was wise to not trust AJ because he was not hot and James was not going to let him score. But DS taking someone off the dribble? I expected him to toss up a 26 footer. I was hoping that Young was on the court to take the last shot. Or maybe even Mason. But when I saw Stevenson out top dribbling I knew it was over. Stevenson is only good when he plays within himself. If EJ called his number then shame on him. I didn't catch any comments about the huddle strategy. Did anyone else catch that in postgame chatter?

By the way the ESPN team on that game was horrible. All they talked about was the Cavs blockbuster trade. Usually I like to hear the comments of Hubie Brown, Van Gundy or others when we have national games. But the D squad on Friday was horrible. Forced me go back to Comcast for the locals. (Buck and Phil are nice and solid but quite honestly don't add a lot for those who watch a lot of games.)

Unless guys get healthier don't expect much in this week's games. And don't increase the noise about blowing things up. It should be obvious that the key to success or failure this year is health.

Posted by: BmoreRev | February 24, 2008 9:24 PM

so you got to ask yourself...can this team win the whole thing with everybody healthy? If not what are the weak links...#1 the coach. he is not the tough leader you need to beat the best teams. #2 point guard. when CB is not on the floor who is the floor general that you want leading your troops? Nobody who is on the team now. #3 the owner. We ask everybody to do everything they can possibly do to help win a championship. Why do we give the owner a pass?
I dont think Ernie can fix all of this in the offseason, but unfortunately even two out three won't get the Wiz the Ring.

Posted by: oddjob | February 24, 2008 10:00 PM

How do you say "Curse of Les Boulez" in yiddish or hebrew?

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 24, 2008 10:12 PM

"Roman, Dumars is not better than EG. "

I've got a ton of respect for the job Grunfeld has done, but that is so, so wrong. Dumars is one of the best GMs in the NBA right now.

Posted by: kalorama | February 25, 2008 12:05 AM

Kalorama, so too is EG one of the best GM's. What, you want to get into GM power rankings? The bottom line is EG is not the problem of this franchise and is in fact the best thing to happen to it in decades perhaps. Bringing Dumars here changes nothing bc GM is not the weakness of the franchise at all!!!!! You want to put Dumars at #1/2 and EG at #4/5 go ahead. Doesn't bother me and it's a stupid issue to discuss in terms of what is wrong with LesBoulez.

The biggest concerns for this team should be medical staff, coaching, and major team direction decisions to be made in the offseason. Yes, this season is indeed over in terms of making any significant noise in the playoffs. Personally, if I have a good lead on a solid tough coach, I would probably fire EJ after the season.

Oh, DCMan, you can pick apart the Hughes situation all you want. Sure. Go ahead. EG also may have low balled Larry Hughes bc he knew he wasn't worth it and was subsequently pressured into trying to resign him and upping the offer after the fans reacted. Nobody has that much inside scoop. Again. Bottom line - we don't have Hughes and his stupid contract nor Jeffries and his. Hey, luck does play a part in life, but the people who know what they are doing tend to be the lucky ones.

Let's put it this way. If I could have only one person in the organization moving forward and I'm talking about players, coaching staff, GM, and owner, I would lean very heavily in favor of keeping EG as GM. The man knows how to build a basketball team. Period.

Posted by: Rob P | February 25, 2008 2:51 AM

"Personally, if I have a good lead on a solid tough coach, I would probably fire EJ after the season."

Speaking of "a stupid issue to discuss in terms of what's wrong with this team..."

Posted by: kalorama | February 25, 2008 7:40 AM

"Let's put it this way. If I could have only one person in the organization moving forward and I'm talking about players, coaching staff, GM, and owner, I would lean very heavily in favor of keeping EG as GM. The man knows how to build a basketball team. Period.

Posted by: Rob P | February 25, 2008 02:51 AM "

I like EG. Too bad his hands are tied with the cheap owner. You have to wonder how long he will stay at this job. I see Nolan hiring EG if he decides to let Isiah go.

Posted by: DC Man88 | February 25, 2008 8:48 AM

"I see Nolan hiring EG if he decides to let Isiah go."

If Dolan was going to fire Isiah, you have to figure he would have done it already. Besides, didn't Dolan fire Grunfeld so he could hire Isiah in the first place?

Posted by: kalorama | February 25, 2008 5:22 PM

Kalorama, that would be your personal opinion of EJ and the team. Myself and plenty of others here see nothing great coming from the head coach and do in fact see him as part of the problem. He's done nothing here and still has a losing overall coaching record. We're not dealing with HOF coaching material at all, we're not dealing with someone who teaches young players very well, and we're not dealing with someone who instills defense and toughness in the team. Sure, he should be untouchable?

Again, I would not do it willy nilly. I would have to have a very solid replacement in mind, but if so I would pull the trigger. This direction is getting us nowhere fast.

Posted by: Rob P | February 25, 2008 5:54 PM

"Kalorama, that would be your personal opinion of EJ and the team."

Of course it's my personal opinion. Just like saying Grunfeld is a better GM than Joe Dumars and Jordan should be fired is just your personal opinion. Regardless of what you seem to think, pointing out that what anyone says here is simply an opinion is hardly a revelation.

"Myself and plenty of others here see nothing great coming from the head coach and do in fact see him as part of the problem. "

And myself and many other understand that he's given the horrible rash of injuries to his top players, the fact that the Wizards are still in the playoff picture is largely a result of his efforts at keeping the team from going into the tank.

"He's done nothing here and still has a losing overall coaching record. "

He's endured major injuries to his key players each of the past three years and has somehow still managed to guide this team into the playoffs and has them on track to get there again, despite the near-season-long absence of its best player and ongoing lingering injuries to the 1A best player (to say nothing of Daniels and Stevenson).

No one is claiming that Jordan is a future hall of famer, but anyone who thinks that another coach could have gotten much more out of this injury decimated squad this season is engaging in either wishful thinking or indulging in some kind of particular agenda against Jordan. Because many of the real "experts" out there, the people who've played, coached, or covered the game for years have praised Jordan over the course of the season for keeping this team out of the tank in the wake of all of the setbacks.

"This direction is getting us nowhere fast."

I don't necessarily disagree with that, but changing the coach and keeping everything else the same isn't likely to yield any drastically better results.

In my opinion, of course.

Posted by: kalorama | February 25, 2008 6:56 PM

"Of course it's my personal opinion"

Yes and your opinion is always holy and correct and the rest are just talking nonesense. okay I got it! LOL

Posted by: Dave, | February 28, 2008 2:26 PM

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