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Wizards Acquire Andre Miller in 3-Team Trade at NBA Deadline

Andre Miller

Helping themselves gear up for — dare we say it? — the playoffs, the Wizards pulled off a three-team trade at the deadline on Thursday to bring veteran point guard Andre Miller to Washington, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

In exchange, the Wizards send former sixth-overall pick Jan Vesely to Denver, as well as guard Eric Maynor and a second-round pick in 2015 to Philadelphia. The 76ers will also receive a second-rounder from the Nuggets.

What the Wizards Gain

A 38-year-old point guard in Miller who is making $5 million this season, and $4.6 million in 2014/15 (only $2 million of which is guaranteed). He’s an intelligent playmaker with great passing skills and a trusted veteran in crunch situations.

What the Wizards Give Up

It’s never good when you ship off a guy you drafted sixth-overall just three years prior, but Jan Vesely (aka AirWolf, JaniV) and his 3.5 points per game wasn’t getting it done in Washington. Although us fans seemed to enjoy him, it typically had nothing to do with his on-court performance.

As for Eric Maynor — we went from being satisfied with him as a backup, to making social media accounts named after his horrific floater, to creating slow-motion Vines of his facial expressions while he rode the bench.

Maynor’s overused tweet of “wheels up” certainly wouldn’t be an accurate description of his brief stint in Washington. That project never, ever got off the ground.

And let’s worry about the Wizards drafting efficiently in the first round before we get all pretentious about finding diamonds in the rough. No one will miss that second-round pick.

Why Did the Wizards Make the Trade?

Believe it or not, the Wizards have a really good shot at making the playoffs. And if they want to have any chance at doing anything of note, they needed to add depth at point guard.

And don’t forget Bradley Beal’s minute restriction. Adding Miller will allow for the Wizards to better cushion themselves when Beal’s on the bench.

Where Does the New Guy Fit?

We’ll have to wait and see. It’ll be interesting to see how many minutes Miller plays and where they come from.

Wall’s playing time (currently 37 MPG — tied for 10th in the NBA) may decline a tad, but only for his own good. And assuming the Wizards have Beal’s minute limit in mind, Miller has the ability to play off the ball, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see he and Wall on the floor together.

In simplest form, Miller’s going to log more productive minutes than Vesely and Maynor combined. Adding a savvy veteran who can handle the ball can’t be a bad thing, right?

Final Call

I like the move for the Wizards in their current situation. I like Andre Miller and I think he’s a good personality for the team.

That said — while we were all pretty much through writing our short story on AirWolf in Washington anyway — calling a flop a flop is never easy when it’s your team. We can now definitively say the Wizards wasted the No. 6-overall pick in 2011. 1

 

2014 NBA All-Star Game: Live Blogging With Very Little Basketball

House of Cards

 

Did a belated Valentine’s date keep you away from the television? Did you wisely decide to watch three hours of House of Cards instead of tormenting yourself with pregame All-Star game entertainment? No fear! You’re all covered by way of this convenient and invaluable list of random observations from the night that was — bringing a whole new meaning to the term “live blog”.

Pregame:

- R&B performance by some guy name Mack Wilds, who looks a lot like Mike from…HOLY SHIT THAT’S MIKE FROM THE WIRE! Mack Wilds’ real name is Tristan Wilds, who’s best known (at least by me) for his role as Michael Lee in The Wire — one of the greatest television series of all-time.

- Following Mack Wilds was Jason Derulo. He lip synced about lipstick on his passport and recounted the glory days of 2010 with a performance of “Ridin’ Solo”. So perfect.

- Skylar Diggins in street clothes sighting.

- A pregame preface of sorts by Bunk Moreland…I mean, Wendell Pierce. Although I’ll always know him as Jimmy McNulty’s drinking buddy and detective partner in The Wire, Pierce is a New Orleans native and also famous for his role in Treme — a New Orleans-based HBO series.

- Indiana Pacers forward Paul George arrived at the arena in camo pants and a suit jacket. Style.

- Terrence J hosting > Nick Cannon doing anything?

 

Nick Cannon All-Star

 

- Speak of the devil! We can’t seem to escape the miserable presence that is Nick Cannon. And my goodness, he seems to have come a long way from last night’s atrocious white suit, stepping out in an equally heinous leather hat and fur.

- Somebody allowed Charles Barkley access to the White House and he interviewed the POTUS. The exchange was routine, but Barkley deserves credit for a job well done. Like most basketball broadcasts, Sir Charles retains his position as all-time MVP.

- That said, no one helped Charles with his tie knot. Saggy, sloppy and sideways.

- Highlighting Saturday night’s dunk contest makes it look like it was a fun event. Not fooled.

 

Craig Sager

 

- Craig Sager’s suit looks like he trimmed down a kimono.

- Pharell takes the stage to kickoff the game, doing a fine job. But then Nelly comes out and performs Hot in Herre, completely disassembling the fun. Somewhere Kevin Harlan is jammin’.

- But wait, there’s more. Nelly no sooner exits the stage, and P. Diddy and a much larger (fatter) Busta Rhymes join Pharell to perform Pass the Courvoisier, Part II. Oh yes.

- A fantastic rebound takes place as Pharell and Chad Hugo perform Rockstar — an N.E.R.D. classic. It only lasts a minute or two before Snoop Dogg joins the stage to recite Beautiful.

- Pharell packed more punch in five minutes than Nick Cannon did in four hours the night before.

 

Busta Rhymes

 

- Intro of the Western Conference lineup (the Eastern squad was announced somewhere in the Pharell-led performance too) and that insanely catchy tune Happy is performed, with Pharell being joined on stage one last time by the whole crew — Busta Rhymes, Diddy, Nelly and Snoop.

- Screenshot of Drake amidst “O Canada”, because Justin Bieber’s on house arrest.

- Gary Clark Jr. performs the Star Spangled Banner. No lyrics, just electric slide guitar. Beautiful. And Gary continues to be the coolest dude on the planet. Unfortunately, players don’t appear anywhere near as excited as I am.

Gametime:

- And then the world’s greatest pickup game started. With about eight minutes left to go in the first half, I retired to reheated prime rib, Gordon’s fish sticks and au gratin potatoes.

- West leads the East 89-76 at halftime. The West could’ve put themselves ahead by 15 heading into the half, but Kevin Durant decided to pull up on a 3-on-none fast break to brick a three-pointer with a couple seconds left, BECAUSE ALL-STAR GAME BIA! And because the Durantula can do no wrong.

- Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue completely kill the halftime show. If you’ve never seen them live, try and change that.

- The same goes for Gary Clark Jr., but multiply it by 682.

 

Courtesy of Stu Vetter

Courtesy of Stu Vetter

 

- Two All-Stars with Washington-area roots: Roy Hibbert and Kevin Durant.

- Have to wonder how All-Star game halftimes look like in the locker room. Hotdogs? Candy? Lots of Beats headphones? Absolutely no strategic element, right?

- At the 9:06 mark in the third quarter, Reggie Miller throws out all kinds of smart with, “At some point, the East are going to have get serious on defense.” It’s 99-89.

- Not sure if it’s been mentioned already, but the NBA went through with it and put sleeves on these jerseys.

- I wish Anthony Davis played for the Wizards.

- Just a reminder that this arena is named the Smoothie King Center.

- The East made a comeback, defeating the West 163-155.

Kyrie Irving

- Kevin Durant led the West with 38 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Kyrie Irving (All-Star MVP) led the East with 31 points, five rebounds and 14 assists, which will give baseless fans a little more ammo in their argument for Irving > Wall.

- Also to note, Blake Griffin scored 38 on 19-of-23 shooting. Meanwhile, Stephen Curry and Kevin Love combined for just 9-of-25.

- Most points scored in All-Star game history. Accomplishment?

Later.

 

John Wall Wins Absurd NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Courtesy of ESPN

Courtesy of ESPN

 

“John Wall just brought the slam dunk contest back.”

Those were Magic Johnson’s words following Wall’s reverse pump slam that earned him “Dunker of the Night” honors in Saturday night’s NBA Dunk Contest — an event that lasted about four times longer than it needed to.

While Wall represented the Wizards well, it was the awkwardness of the competition and its new format that stole the show.

 

John Wall Reverse Pump Dunk

 

1. Nick Cannon was your host for the evening.

2. Nick Cannon wore a white suit that not even Mariah Carey would endorse.

3. The crowd had ZERO involvement. And when I say zero, I mean Harrison Barnes could have heard a single fan screaming “You’re a robot!” from the nosebleeds if any fan actually cared enough to do so.

4. The new format felt forced and unnecessary. No one was having fun.

5. Drake was used as a prop in Terrence Ross’ battle round.

6. Did we mention Nick Cannon yet?

7. Kevin Harlan responded to a mention of Nelly — who was sitting courtside — by saying, “It must be getting hot in here.” As a result, fellow commentators Reggie Miller and Steve Kerr struck him down with lightning, and did so violently. “You really didn’t just say that, did you Kevin?” (This brutal ordeal may have actually occurred during the 3-point contest. I’m not really sure. Not like it matters, though. The whole night was a fat cluster of clumsiness.)

8. The judges were forced to use iPads rather than old-fashioned posterboard & sharpie to display their given scores. Dr. Julius Erving appeared to struggle mightily with this.

9.  Poor Ernie Johnson. Thanks to the new rules, he had no idea where he was or what he was doing. And to help him along, he had Shaq and Charles Barkley. Dammit, Ernie! *slams two fists on table* We’re all sorry!

10. Nick Cannon deserves a fourth mention in a 10-point list. He earned it. More than just the ridiculous suit and the corny jokes, the dude is unbearable. Does anyone turn on a broadcast, see Nick Cannon and then suddenly feel this overcoming emotion of “Oh my goodness, this is going to be thrilling and fantastic!”? No.

Can’t wait for the All-Star game!

 

John Wall Likes the Bullets and Recruiting Kevin Durant

IMG_3667

Courtesy of PointGuardU.com

 

After earning his first trip to the NBA All-Star game, Wizards point guard John Wall sat down with Grantland’s Bill Simmons as part of a special interview series taking place in New Orleans this weekend.

The interview lasts about 17 minutes, but the juice is squeezed for you below.

At the 12:53 mark, Simmons asks Wall if he prefers the Wizards or the Bullets. And ever so brilliantly, Wall responds, “I love the Wizards, but I like the Bullets thing. I like they way their jerseys were. And I like the name. But I’m a Washington Wizard and I love it.”

Preach, preach, preach. Had Wall added a shout for America at the end of that response, he’d likely find his name on the ticket for 2016.

Then, after Wall gave some love to Washington fans, Simmons asks, “You kinda threw out the Kevin Durant/Washington thing didn’t you?”

Without missing a beat, Wall replies, “Yeah, I did.”

“I enjoyed that,” Simmons says, with a grin. “So did I,” Wall said.

“Do players recruit each other?” Simmons asks. “Oh yeah,” said Wall. “I think guys get an opportunity to be around each other for All-Star break, definitely talk to guys.”

So quid pro quo, yada yada yada, boom boom pow, and we can all rest easy this weekend knowing that John Wall and Kevin Durant are talking about how beautifully magical it would be to team up in Washington for the 2016/17 season.

Bliss.

Enjoy All-Star weekend.

 

Michael Jordan Playing Beer Pong

Because why the hell not?

MJ the GOAT playing beer pong while dressed in himself — Jordan XI kicks, an AIR tshirt and some khaki shorts (also likely Jumpman).

Michael Jordan Beer Pong

Despite being 50 years old, something tells me Jordan calling next on your beer pong table is a little different than your girlfriend’s father stepping up to bury you in 10-cup.

 

Wizards Send Okafor and First-Rounder to Suns for Marcin Gortat

Okafor - Gortat

The Washington Wizards made a large splash last Friday when they sent center Emeka Okafor and a 2014 first-round pick to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for center Marcin Gortat, Shannon Brown, Kendall Marshall and Malcolm Lee.

My thoughts and opinion surrounding the deal were put on the back burner for the weekend for a couple of reasons.

1.) I felt like I was in the minority in terms of liking the trade,

and

2.) that made me feel somewhat guilty.

Many are quick to call this deal a scramble job by Washington, blaming them for hastily sending away a valuable draft pick in order to better their chances at fulfilling a preseason promise for the playoffs in 2013.

I tend to think it was a smart deal by general Ernie Grunfeld in the final year of his deal.

For the first time in what feels like forever (DC’s last postseason appearance was 07-08), the Wizards entered this season with a legitimate chance at the playoffs. There was John Wall with his massive new max deal, Bradley Beal entering his second season after a promising rookie campaign and Emeka Okafor and Nene holding down the frontcourt.

Then Okafor went down with a herniated disc and the Wizards were suddenly left with a not-so-durable Nene playing center and a 31-year-old Okafor on the bench with a bad back due to make $14.5 million.

Would the Wizards have made the playoffs without Okafor? I guess you could argue they could. But does anyone really think Nene can stay healthy for an entire 82 games?

I don’t. And without Nene, the Wizards don’t make it with Jan Vesely, Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin logging significant minutes.

Across the way in the desert, the 29-year-old Marcin Gortat was entering the final year of his deal, perhaps growing a bit agitated given the Suns current roster position.

Due to his desirable skill set in the trade market and Phoenix GM Ryan McDonough’s craving for as many first-round as he can get his hands on by next summer, Gortat was the perfect trade bait for all parties involved.

Because the Polish Hammer is set to make $7.7 million this year, the Suns were required to throw in additional pieces in order for the money to work. That’s where guys like Kendall Marshall (!), Shannon Brown and Malcolm Lee came into play. But according to reports, the Wizards aren’t expected to keep any of the additional fluff — making no Marshall in Washington probably the most disappointing part of the whole deal.

Although the departure of Okafor also means kissing his efficient defense goodbye, Gortat brings more offense to a Wizards team that ranked dead last in points scored per game last season.

Not to mention, the amount of content written by knowledgable roundball guys about how good Gortat is in the pick-and-roll is, quite honestly, the most excited I’ve been about a big man in Washington since becoming eager about Andray Blatche’s “potential” in 2007.

For at least a season, the Wizards have a true center. A guy that can score, defend, move, rebound — and perhaps more importantly — allow Nene to return to his more natural power forward position.

Obviously giving up future draft picks isn’t a real comfortable feeling. Not when you’re the Wizards, anyway. And that’s what gives me that guilty feeling.

The unknown, or what could be in terms of that draft choice, is scary to give up. But it’s also important to remind yourself that it’s a protected top-12 pick, meaning the Wizards hang on to it if they wind up sucking something awful and picking somewhere inside the top-12.

So here I am confessing my love for the trade, while cautiously waiting to see what would’ve fallen to the Wizards — in what’s supposed to be a loaded 2014 draft class — had they held on to their first-rounder, a crippled Okafor and maybe an eighth seed in the East.

Happy basketball season.

 

Seven Days of Steez Presents: The Ghita

With just a week five days to go before the Washington Wizards embark on their 2013-2014 season, we’ve decided to countdown the days by way of an exclusive “Seven Days of Steez” episode, named after former Wizards guard and village idiot Jordan Crawford. Although the direction of this nostalgic Shae & Dr. J production isn’t exactly clear, we hope you enjoy the photos and quick blurbs in all of their glorious randomness. And to increase effect, please take a marker now and inscribe “Playoffs” on your footwear. 

* * * *

Ghita Half II

An introduction isn’t needed. Neither is a story.

Gheorghe “Gita” Muresan goes down as one of the most legendary Bullets players of all time, despite just four seasons in Washington.

Muresan averaged more than ten points and nearly seven rebounds per game during his stay with in Washington, which begs the question: how does a man standing 7’7″ not grab at least a dozen boards a game?

And I don’t know the answer.

Ghita Half IAll Ghita errything.

There’s five days left til the Wizards tipoff the season in the Phone Booth.

Warmest regards.

 

Seven Days of Steez Presents: The E/A Y’s

Jordan Crawford Seven Days

With just a week to go before the Washington Wizards embark on their 2013-2014 season, we’ve decided to countdown the days by way of an exclusive “Seven Days of Steez” episode, named after former Wizards guard and village idiot Jordan Crawford. Although the direction of this nostalgic Shae & Dr. J production isn’t exactly clear, we hope you enjoy the photos and quick blurbs in all of their glorious randomness. And to increase effect, please take a marker now and inscribe “Playoffs” on your footwear. 

* * * *

Referring to them as the E/A Y’s due to the matching vowels in their respective last names — and because it seemed really creative at the time — Chris Whitney, Tracy Murray and Calbert Cheaney all played an integral role in our childhood fandom of Washington basketball.

Chris Whitney was waived by the Spurs two years after San Antonio selected the 6′ shooter out of Clemson in the 1993 draft. Less than a month later, Whitney signed a 10-day contract with the Bullets that eventually led to eight seasons in Washington, where he averaged 7.1 points (50 percent of his field goal attempts came from beyond the arc), 1.5 rebounds and three assists per game.

In October of 2002, at the age of 31, the Chris Tucker semi-lookalike was traded to the Nuggets for George McCloud. He spent another two years in the league, including a last stop in Washington. According to his Wikipedia page, Whitney is now a front office guy with the Charlotte Bobcats.

The EY's Edited_edited-1

Alongside Whitney for four years in Washington was swingman Tracy Murray. During his time here, Murray shot 38 percent from three-point while averaging better than 11 points and three rebounds per game. He was later traded to the Nuggets in 2000 in exchange for Popeye Jones (another one of my favorites).

Honestly, Murray didn’t play that big of role for me, but his appearance was easy to remember (for whatever reason) and he happened to have a last name that fit the lame criteria for this segment.

Not to mention, who wouldn’t want to be featured in something like the Seven Days of Steez? I’m sure Mr. Murray, who currently works as a UCLA radio guy, athletic trainer and streetball coach, would be thrilled.

And then there’s Calbert Cheaney — easily one of the more memorable players of my childhood, again for reasons I can’t really explain.

One thing I do remember, however, was that I somehow managed to acquire a ton of Calbert Cheaney trading cards. Like, a lot of them. And there was also an unforgettable dream I had when I was just a young pip squeak, in which ol’ Calbert and I played on the same team in a 3-on-3 tournament in Florida (at that age, I had never even been to Florida).

Cheaney was drafted by the Wizards in 1993 with the sixth-overall pick following a brilliant four-year career at Indiana under head coach Bob Knight, capping his college stay with a National Player of the Year award.

During his six years in Washington, Cheaney averaged 12.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. He was also a lefty and appeared in that awesome movie Blue Chips in 1994.

After a pretty lucrative 13-year NBA career, Cheaney worked as an assistant coach in Golden State with the Warriors before returning to his alma mater Indiana, where he served as the Hoosiers Director of Basketball Operations. Today, Cheaney serves as an assistant coach at St. Louis University.

Another note on Cheaney that is of great importance: he was the first part of the Bullets’ 1993 draft class. The other part was Romanian sasquatch Gheorghe Muresan. CONNECTED TO GHEORGHE FOREVER AND EVER.

The Wizards tip the season in six days.

With love.

 

 

 

Seven Days of Steez Presents: The Wallaces

Jordan Crawford Seven Days

With just a week to go before the Washington Wizards embark on their 2013-2014 season, we’ve decided to countdown the days by way of an exclusive “Seven Days of Steez” episode, named after former Wizards guard and village idiot Jordan Crawford. Although the direction of this nostalgic Shae & Dr. J production isn’t exactly clear, we hope you enjoy the photos and quick blurbs in all of their glorious randomness. And to increase effect, please take a marker now and inscribe “Playoffs” on your footwear. 

* * * *

Remember the Wallaces?

Before going on to earn four NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards and an NBA title with the Detroit Pistons, big man Ben Wallace was an undrafted free agent on the Washington Bullets 1996 roster. In his three seasons in Washington, Wallace played in 147 games, averaging 3.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest.

The Wallaces

The Bullets drafted North Carolina forward Rasheed Wallace in 1995 with the 4th-overall pick. In his lone rookie season in Washington, Wallace averaged 10.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. But because the Bullets were set with Chris Webber as their power forward, Washington traded Wallace to the Portland Trailblazers in exchange for point guard Rod Strickland. Wallace would eventually make his way to Detroit, joining Ben Wallace in winning an NBA Title in 2004, and spending six seasons with the Pistons.

Oh, you don’t recall Sheed in a Bullets uniform? Perhaps that’s because he looked younger and drew a strong resemblance to Bubba from Forest Gump.

Rasheed Wallace BulletsSeven days left until the Wizards host the Philadelphia 76er’s.

Later.

 

Gilbert Arenas Is Fine, Living off Wizards Dime

gILBERT - cOSBY

Former Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas is doing just fine since playing his last game in the NBA back in 2012.

In fact, Arenas is so financially set that he could “spend every penny he has in the bank and still have $38 million coming” from you know who.

The Washington Wizards.

TMZ released a video of Arenas — seemingly tracked down in a parking lot — reacting to a list published by Yahoo! Sports that ranked Arenas’ six-year $111 million deal handed out by the Wizards in 2008 as the worst NBA contract of the 21st century.

Arenas was surprised to learn his was deemed the worst of all, but he didn’t necessarily disagree with the ranking, noting the NBA rewards players for what they’ve done, and not what they’re going to do. A solid point by Arenas, actually.

The 31-year-old former Shanghai Sharks guard also mentioned — despite not having to actually work — he has kept busy with his current gig of designing apps and fueling the tech companies that build them with his wheelbarrows full of cash.

You can watch the video below. Pay close attention to how awkward Arenas is when dishing out numerous Bill Cosby faces.

 

 

 

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