Brendan Haywood earned the scorn of the national media when he delivered a “hard foul” to LeBron James, sending King James into the third row of seats in the first game of the Wizards-LeBrons series. DeShawn Stevenson, depending on which talking head you listen to, either attempted to clothesline James or use a close-handed fist to straight up pop him in the dome in game four. Judging by the number of times folks in the national media have called for a Wizards player to be suspended, clearly, no one paid to cover basketball is up for any sort of physical contact — especially when it involves The Savior.
Well, that got me thinking. Maybe the Wiz are better off openly embracing the role of the villain. I mean, they’re already down three games to one and nobody outside of the beltway is rooting for them. So go with it. Cue up the intro music for Iron Sheik or Nikolai Volkoff from the WWF’s glory days and come out playing the part of the bad guy. Start one of your expendable bench players like Andray Blatche and the first time LeBron James goes for a dunk, a layup or even a drink of water, you knock his ass out. We don’t need to start a brawl like the trash in Detroit, but we can send a message that this Washington squad isn’t going down without a fight.
Which brings me to my last point — come out in Bullets jerseys. In fact, announce tomorrow morning that the franchise is embracing its roots and returning to a name that never should have gotten away. Team owner Abe Pollin has ruined two names — changing the Bullets to the Wizards back in 1995 because the name “carried violent overtones” and then being honored by the District when they renamed Fun Street to Abe Pollin Way. So he’s turned the local basketball team soft and taken the “fun” out of Washington. Thanks for nothing, dick.
You want people to take you seriously, Wizards/Bullets? Well, I want to cheer for a team not named after a Harry Potter character. Let’s work together and see if we can’t fix this sad situation. For starters, break out the old red, white and blue Bullets jerseys, grab a steel chair and show the good people of Cleveland that you’re ready for a shot at the title. If nothing else, it’ll give us all something to talk about during the offseason (besides the fact that this team is better off without Gilbert Arenas in the lineup).
Oops … did I say that?
UPDATE: Dan Steinberg’s latest entry proves the Wiz are completely on board with my suggestion. DeShawn Stevenson didn’t come out onto the court to the Iron Sheik’s music — he did one better. He arrived in Cleveland for game five wearing a Mike Vick jersey. It’s so simple, I’m stunned I didn’t think of it. Why go back 20 years, when you go sport the jersey of public enemy number one who is currently in jail for killing dogs for fun? This is especially effective when you’re in the city with a diehard group of fans who call themselves … you guessed it … the Dawg Pound. Did I mention D.C. is like no other sports town?