There is no reason for me to break down the embarrassing 117-94 loss to the 76ers on Wednesday night, but the events before and after that debacle in Philly are fascinating. First, Ernie Grunfeld found a way to get a 2011 first round pick from the Atlanta Hawks for Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong. Sure, it is frustrating that Mike Bibby is demanding a buy-out instead of being a potential tutor to John Wall. However, I can’t see why anyone would fault Bibby for being upset with leaving a playoff team for a cellar dweller. Washington is already having issues with Rashard Lewis giving them maximum effort since his arrival from Orlando, so why keep another player on the roster who will just cause more problems.
But more on team chemistry later. This trade was a great move for Washington. The first round pick, though it will be late in round one, gives them the ability to add more youth to an already young team, while Jordan Crawford could be a decent player off the bench in the future. For those of you who don’t remember, Crawford is the player who dunked over LeBron James, prompting Nike to try and pull the video from the internet. Unfortunately for Wiz fans, Grunfeld couldn’t find a way to off-load Andray Baltche, or Blatche, whichever. Not even the Wizards seem to care what his name is anymore. John Wall definitely doesn’t care. In fact, if Wall had his way, only a hand full of players would join him on the court, and Hinrich would have been one of them.
As good as the trade of Hinrich is for Washington in the future, the future of the Wizards knows Kirk was one of the few reliable assets at his disposal. In Wall’s post-game interview on Wednesday, the rookie voiced his frustrations with Hinrich’s departure and the lack of effort by his teammates still on the roster. Wall may only be 20-years old, but he isn’t afraid to be the undisputed vocal leader for Washington. Again he referenced his team’s lack of rebounding (a shot at Blatche and Lewis), and really other than Nick Young and Wall, no one is playing well for Flip Saunders. I have previously voiced my displeasure with how Flip has handled the team this year, and I still maintain the Wizards need to go in a new direction at head coach. Sadly, Saunders will likely be given the rest of this season and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he was given a chance to turn things around to begin the 2011-12 campaign. At least now Wizards management has their key asset voicing his frustration with certain players, which should give them the freedom to off-load the dead weight once this disastrous season is over.
For me, as this season winds to an end, Flip needs to let his team run up and down the floor a la the New York Knicks and give younger players like Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin chances to prove themselves in the final 26 games of the year, starting tonight in Miami.
About the Author
Written by Robert Bode
A sports die-hard through and through. I grew up playing almost every sport possible, and to this day I try to stay as active as possible. However, since I'm not a professional athlete, talking and writing about sports is the next best thing. A University of Florida graduate but living in my hometown of Washington D.C. (well Northern Virginia), my favorite teams are the Florida Gators, Miami Dolphins, Chicago White Sox, Washington Nationals, Real Madrid, good up-tempo NBA teams (so not the Knicks), and Washington Capitals.