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Tuesday , Jan , 10 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Andray Blatche: Wizards have tuned-out Flip Saunders

 "Flip is definitely doing his job," Blatche said. "I just don't feel like guys are listening and following behind what he says and what he wants us to do." Never a good sign, eight games into the season.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Andray Blatche will never learn. Ever.

For years, the Washington Wizards have hoped the talented forward would grow up and mature. That, however, seems unlikely.

Blatche's latest infraction: telling reporters the team has tuned-out veteran coach Flip Saunders.

This, of course, could be true, but nothing is gained by going public with such declarations. Saunders looks like a lame-duck sideline boss; Blatche's splotchy reputation takes another hit; and the Wizards once again look dysfunctional.

Bottom line: the Wizards are a miserable 0-8, so changes are coming. It's a when and a who, not an if.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.



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Tuesday , Dec , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Andray Blatche to Wizard teammates: ‘I need the ball in the paint’

“He probably was talking about me for the simple fact that I said I need the ball in the paint to be effective,” Blatche said. “You can’t keep having me pick and pop and shooting jumpshots. Gimme the ball in the paint. That’s where I’m most effiective at. I’ve been saying that since training camp. I need the ball in the paint. I don’t wand to be the pick-and-pop guy I used to be because it’s not working for me.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It would be oh-so easy to criticize Andray Blatche’s comments, especially when considering his track record.

After all, Blatche, a talented post with the Washington Wizards, has a track record. Consider the following:

1) When he first entered the league, veterans mocked his poor professionalism. 2) He openly feuded with coach Flip Saunders over playing time. 3) He got angry at a teammate for grabbing a rebound that fell in his hands and prevented him from registering a triple-double. 4) And he fought teammate JaValee McGee outside the club.
This time it‘s different, though. Blatche is making sense.

When asked about Coach Flip Saunders’ comments following the Washington Wizards’ season opener, the young forward explained he wanted the ball in the post to balance the offense.

And he’s right. Blatche's ability to attract double-teams in the paint would provide open looks for young point guard John Wall and shooting guards Jordan Crawford and Nick Young.

The Wizards’ perimeter players - like Wall, a former first overall pick trying to make his mark in the NBA - wouldn’t have to force shots down the stretch.

Credit Blatche for taking a measured tone. Perhaps after years of struggles, he's learning.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Oct , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Union mocks Javale McGee’s comment about ‘folding’

In a news conference later, union President Derek Fisher didn’t appear to be ruffled by what McGee said. “The person that spent the least amount of time in the room can’t make that statement,” Fisher said. “He’s in no position to make that statement on behalf of the group.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Remember the ribbing JaVale McGee took when his mum smooched with judges at the Slam Dunk Contest?

Or, the criticism he took for fighting Washington Wizards teammate Andray Blatche outside a DC nightclub?

Well, that’s nothing.

The Wizards forward is facing heat for comments he made that some NBA players were prepared to fold, take the owners’ current offer, and end the work stoppage.

His union brethren responded rather viscously, saying McGee was in no position to make such comments.

This brings up an interesting aside: as this dispute drags on certain players, like McGee, will speak out of turn.

Will they face a backlash on-court from their peers when the work dispute is solved? And how will they be received by teammates in their own locker room?

Certainly McGee is being made an example of. The message is clear: keep quiet or face consequences.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Monday , Sep , 12 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Andray Blatche: I have to change

“I’m 25 years old,” said Blatche, who celebrated his birthday last month with John Wall, Hamady Ndiaye, Josh Howard and Trevor Booker in South Beach. “I’ve been in the league six years now. I know my goal. I want to be an all-star. And to be an all-star, I have to make changes, and those are the changes that I have to make now.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: His actions will speak louder than his words.

Andray Blatche can talk about changing his lifestyle and cutting out the negative influences, however, only he can realize his goal of becoming an NBA All-Star.

For that to happen he must put his team, the Washington Wizards, first -which means he stops fighting with coach Flip Saunders, stops fighting teammates for statistics to get a triple-double, and stops fighting teammates in nightclubs.

Amongst all the drama is a world of talent. Blatche is a stretch-four, with a wonderful skill-set and flair for the game.

Now is the time. Blatche is in the first year of a multi-year deal for $35 million, so there are expectations.

It seems only he and the Wizards have faith it will happen.

--Oly Sandor

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Mar , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

JaVale McGee belives his triple-double is ‘totally different’ than Ricky Davis’

“I got a triple-double,” McGee said. “Who can say they got a triple-double? I’m not really worried about it.”

McGee said, if anything, he was upset that some tried to discredit his accomplishment by comparing it to other failed triple-double quests — such as the one eight years ago by Ricky Davis, who was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers when he attempted to rebound his own miss on his basket in order to get a triple-double in a win against Utah. Davis finished with 26 points, 12 assists, and 9 rebounds.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It wasn’t as bad as Andray Blatche or Ricky Davis. It was close, however.

This week, JaVale McGee got a triple-double. Sadly, the young post showed too much emotion when he achieved his statistical feat, especially since his Washington Wizards were getting blown out by the Chicago Bulls.

Clearly, there’s a problem with the working environment of the Wizards. Their young building blocks like Blatche and McGee seem overly concerned with ‘getting there’s’.

They seem to be suffering from what Pat Riley calls me-disease, spending too much time on individual goals like minutes, points, blocks and rebounds.

While winning, the only number that should matter in basketball, is an afterthought.

Worst of all, McGee is defiant. He doesn’t see the error of his ways. And he won’t admit to getting carried away or lost in the moment.

With players like Blatche and McGee, the Wizards will be hard pressed to turn things around.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Jan , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Cavaliers interested in Wizards’ Andray Blatche?

The Cavaliers have inquired with the Wizards about Andray Blatche, according to Bob Finnan of the News-Herald.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Desperate times, desperate measures.

Since losing you-know-who last summer, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been searching for a player to give them an identity. They want someone to be the face of the franchise, and help owner Dan Gilbert and Cavalier-nation turn the page.

Money is no object, either. Gilbert will spend his considerable resources. And the Cavaliers have cap space to burn.

This is where things get tricky and dangerous. The Cavaliers could easily trade for a decent talent like Blatche, give him superstar billing, and hand him an exorbitant contract.

Instead of rebuilding through the draft, the Cavaliers would then be married to a talented but troubled four-man. After all, Blatche has had his share of off-court issues.

For instance, he once solicited a prostitute, who turned out to be a police officer. He has feuded with coach Flip Saunders and displayed unprecedented selfishness in his quest for a triple-double.

Recently, he fought teammate Javale McGee outside a Washington nightclub. Both were suspended for one game.  

Perhaps, the Cavaliers should step back and be more selective than Blatche.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.


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Saturday , Jan , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Josh Smith feels ‘disrespected’ by Serge Ibaka and Russell Westbrook

Asked if he was upset by Ibaka’s dunk, or the foul, or both, Smith said, “You know what it was. That’s showing disrespect (dunking the ball). Everybody in the whole league knows you don’t do nothing like that. I talked to Durant about it. He said he would talk to him (Ibaka) about it, and he knew that wasn’t right.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It wasn’t as offensive as Andray Blatche screaming at a teammate or Ricky Davis shooting on his own basket.

It was close, though.

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook and center Serge Ibaka won’t win any friends on the Atlanta Hawks by padding their statistics in the final moments of yesterday’s game.

Last night, the Thunder had beaten the Hawks. Time was set to expire. Both teams seemed content to let the final seconds play out and move on to the next game.

Then Westbrook suddenly passed the ball to Ibaka for an uncontested, breakaway dunk. Westbrook needed one assist for a triple-double, while Ibaka needed two points for a double-double.

This is a no-no.

The Hawks’ Mike Bibby and Josh Smith rightfully took exception to Westbrook and Ibaka’s actions. Thunder superstar Kevin Durant was left to play peacemaker after the game.

Even Thunder coach Scott Brooks couldn’t defend his players, telling The Oklahoman “when you got the game won, you run the clock out”. Anyway, watch the clip and get at us with thoughts on Westbrook and Ibaka’s last second basket against the Hawks.

(Ibaka's dunk is at the end of the highlight package.)
--Oly Sandor.
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Sunday , Dec , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Should the Wizards cut ties with Andray Blatche?

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that forward Andray Blatche and center JaVale McGee have both been suspended one game for conduct detrimental to the team. “After further investigation into an incident on Thursday night, we concluded that Andray and JaVale conducted themselves in an unprofessional manner,” said Grunfeld. “As a result, both players will be suspended for tomorrow’s game at San Antonio.”

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Just when you thought the Washington Wizards’ Andray Blatche was becoming a professional, this happens.

Blatche and teammate Javale McGee have each been suspended one game for an altercation outside a Washington nightclub during the late evening/early morning of December 23/24th.

Blatche, a talented but troubled power forward, has showed up coach Flip Saunders by refusing to re-enter a game and even got mad at a teammate for grabbing a rebound, which compromised his chances at a triple-double.

Of course, as a young pro he was arrested for soliciting a prostitute. The prostitute was an undercover police officer.

Yes, Blatche is a gem. Now he’s involving McGee, an equally talented post.

The Wizards must decide if such a character is worth having. Sure, he can score. And sure, he can post numbers. But this often comes at the expense of others –like teammates.

And, it seems, he’ll never grow up.

Perhaps, the Wizards should find a way to make his suspension more permanent.

-Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Tuesday , Jun , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Nets save $3 million by trading Yi to Wizards for Ross

The New Jersey Nets traded Yi Jianlian to the Washington Wizards for Quinton Ross on Tuesday.

The Nets sent the Wizards $3 million to complete the deal and also received the Wizards' trade exception, according to league sources.

The move allows the Nets to clear another $3 million in cap space to spend on free agency this summer.

Yi is scheduled to make $4 million next season. Ross is set to make $1.1 million. The Nets should now have roughly $30 million in cap space to spend after the move, according to sources.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: One team's junk is another team's treasure.

Cap space is king for the New Jersey Nets, as the club needs financial flexibility to sign free agents this summer. And trading Yi Jianlian saves the Nets $3 million and puts them on equal footing with the Chicago Bulls.

Instead of conserving cap space to take a run at a big ticket free agent, the Washington Wizards are taking a different approach. The Wizards are acquiring assets on the cheap from teams who need to cut payroll to compete in the Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and/or Dwyane Wade sweepstakes.

For instance, the Wizards scored Kirk Hinrich on draft day. The cost: assuming the combo guard's $9 million per season salary.

Hinrich can back-up both guard spots and mentor first overall pick John Wall, while Yi will fill in for - and hopefully replace - injured four-man Andray Blatche.

Expect a few more of these deals before the July 1st free agent market opens.

Got thoughts?       

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Sunday , Jun , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Is Andre Blatche’s injury good for John Wall and the Wizards?

Wizards forward Andray Blatche underwent successful surgery this evening to repair a fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot. The procedure was performed by Dr. Ed Magur at Sibley Hospital in Washington, D.C. Blatche is expected to take approximately three months to return to basketball-related activities.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: John Wall is in. Andray Blatche is out –at least for three months.

Days after selecting Wall first overall in the 2010 NBA draft, the Washington Wizards announced that Blatche, their young power forward, is undergoing foot surgery.

Opinions are mixed on this. Blatche is talented, but troubled.

For instance, he averaged impressive numbers – 20 points and 8 rebounds per game –after replacing the departed Antawn Jamison in the starting line-up.

Blatche also showed that numbers –as in his individual numbers – were all he was concerned with.

The Wizards rarely won with him starting. He clashed with Coach Flip Saunders and, worst of all, exonerated Ricky Davis with his selfish quest for a triple-double. Perhaps, the less Blatche is around a rebuilding squad, the better.

Still, maybe Blatche has matured this summer. Maybe not.

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how he fits with Wall in DC later this season.

Got thoughts? 

Weekend Rant: Ginobili’s future with San Antonio Spurs, video of Stoudemire’s greatest dunk, and Washington Wizards botch Blatche-gate
Saturday , Mar , 27 , 2010 Oly Sandor

Weekend Rant: Ginobili’s future with San Antonio Spurs, video of Stoudemire’s greatest dunk, and Washington Wizards botch Blatche-gate

For most, the weekend is about rest, relaxation, and reflection. Well, not here at Breaking Down The NBA. While you’re chilling, we’re droppping a little venom called the Weekend Rant …

-Guess who is back?

After months of looking washed up, over the hill, and slow afoot, Manu Ginobili has found his old form for the San Antonio Spurs. Love him or hate him, the Argentine swing is again driving opponents crazy with his scoring prowess and trademark flops.

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