Over the last several years, I’ve been lucky enough to have access to the Washington Redskins, and recently I have also begun covering the Capitals. I’ve never tried to attain a media credential for the Wizards, mostly because they suck.
But if I did have a credential, I would use it to track down Gilbert Arenas and tell him one simple sentence – “don’t do it.”
Word on the street is that Arenas, who seemingly a lifetime ago was known as Agent Zero, Hibachi and a relevant basketball player, is planning on making his triumphant return to action this weekend after being sidelined for nearly a year due to a knee injury.
While it’s great to see a player anxious to bounce back from injury, this is quite possibly the worst decision Arenas can make. Doesn’t he know that this year’s Wizards are on the verge of something special?
Had the Wiz not rallied to steal a 95-93 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats at home last night, they would have become the first team in NBA history to go winless in their division for an entire season. Now, they’re 1-14, meaning they’re bad, but not bad enough to be memorable. For the year Washington is currently 17-56, which is the second-worst record in the league (ahead of only Sacramento, who is 15-55). Again, bad, but not enough to actually do any good.
If the Wizards were to finish with the worst record in the NBA, it would increase their chances of landing the number one overall pick, which means they’d be able to draft Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin to help turn things around. But because they’re the Wizards, I don’t even know why I’m getting my hopes up.
When healthy and at their best, Washington is a fundamentally flawed franchise. General manager Ernie Grunfeld is one of the best in the league, but what he’s built in D.C. is a team of jump shooters who either cannot or will not play defense. They can’t score tough baskets when the game is on the line and they give up entirely too many easy buckets to their opposition which means, best-case scenario, they’re good enough to qualify for the playoffs but have zero chance of doing anything once they are there. Teams that can’t score tough points in the paint don’t last long in the postseason, but because the bar was set so low for so long, no one seems to actually acknowledge this.
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