Sunday, May 15, 2005

Wizards - Final Commentary

Sorry, I've been a bit delinquent in writing more blogs, but my fingers have been swollen for over 2 weeks for some unexplainable reason, and quite frankly it's tough to be creative when you're working 13+ hours a day in the heat (finally, it's Spring) and chemical-laden truck.

However, all these days of work give me ample time to listen to SportsTalk radio and hear the commentary about many things, including the Washington Wizards. Now, I'll be completely honest. I haven't been a diehard Wizards fan my whole life. In fact, I really only started liking the team once I got out of college and moved back here to DC. This is also around the time that they hired Michael Jordan as GM and the ensuing debacle that I refer to as the "Jordan-Set-the Wizards-Back-Four-Years Era" began. I told you it was hard to be creative.

Frankly, had Michael Jordan not come out of retirement, there is a very strong possibility that the Wizards would have been the worst team in the NBA in 2000-2001, which could have landed them Yao-Ming. Can you think of a better fit than Yao-Ming on the Wizards? The MCI Center is in freakin' Chinatown for god's sake. And having a big man like that in the East playing along side Rip Hamilton. That sounds like a pretty good foundation to me. I'd put them in the playoff picture in 2002 for sure. And maybe Kwame doesn't end up being such a bitch because there's less pressure when you're playing with a bunch of young guys and an interior presence, instead of "Pass me the Ball" Jordan.

But that's not how things went, and I must applaud the Wizards management for recognizing Jordan's shortcomings and doing an excellent job shipping him and his boy, Stackhouse, out of here and completing the "Big Three."

The team is exciting again and though they were swept by Miami, I can not say that this season was anything less than spectacular. Screw all the sports analysts who were talking bad about the Wizards inability to compete with the Heat. If you went up to any Wizards fan before the season started and said we'd make it to the second round of the playoffs, they'd be pretty psyched. Everyone on the team took a big step forward this year and with the youth on the team, they should be able to compete for the next 4-5 years.

Eddie Jordan is a great leader and I really liked how he handled the Kwame Brown situation and dealing with adversity throughout the season, including the injuries to Hughes and Jarvis Hayes, among others. He, and the whole Wizards management, have created a true "team" feeling and an identity to the Wizards which they have been lacking for as long as I can remember. Keep up the good work (read: re-sign Larry Hughes) and go talk to Dan Snyder, because he needs help.

No comments: