Opinion Corner: Blatche is an NBA beautyPresident Barack Obama received a second chance as president with another four-year term bestowed to him by voters on Tuesday evening. Another man who called D.C. home for a number of years has a second chance in the NBA.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
President Barack Obama received a second chance as president with another four-year term bestowed to him by voters on Tuesday evening.
Another man who called D.C. home for a number of years has a second chance in the NBA.
This season could be the last shot at redemption that Andray Blatche will receive, and instead of years to prove his worth, he will likely receive months to make it work as a member of the Brooklyn Nets.
Blatche had potential for the Washington Wizards, coming straight out of high school in the second round of the 2005 draft. Since then there is no doubt that he has been the most booed player to ever don a Wizards jersey.
He could have developed into a reliable big man, but now he’s on the verge of being pushed out of the league at the age of 26. Blatche will play backup center to Brook Lopez for the Nets at least at the start of this season.
Let’s go through some of Blatche’s finer moments as a Wizard, courtesy of DC Sports Blog at the Washington Post. Young ball players take note as this is most certainly what not to do.
Blatche’s conditioning was miserable as a young player, so much that in 2009 he changed his number to 7. This was supposed to mean hard work seven days a week. He was also a four-year veteran when he decided to give it his all.
“I told him, the one thing that’s preventing him from being a great player is just making sure he gets in phenomenal shape,” his coach Flip Saunders said.
So Seven-Day Dray then took to the airwaves to defend his work ethic and called into a Washington based ESPN radio program.
“I’m far from soft,” he told host Mike Wise. “When I do lift, I’m the type of person, I don’t see results at all. I mean, I tried everything, man. I got a chef so I could start getting as healthy as I could eat. I don’t know what it is, man. I’m trying.”
He was trying all right, but not sure at what because results didn’t come, as coaches later pointed out.
Blatche was then possibly the only NBA player to not play because of conditioning. The official listing ran “NWT (not with team) — conditioning.”
Later that week on Twitter at 3:32 a.m. Blatche posted “Let’s get it!” Of course because he just left the gym and got a good workout in.
He also told reporters he cut his hair and lost 5 pounds because of it. Really Dray?
Here’s where things gets a little risqué.
Blatche enjoyed partaking in some nightspots in the District of Columbia, also in south Florida where he was listed and publicly promoted on handouts as the host of “Lapdance Tuesday.”
The following story may not ever be confirmed officially, but it’s already something of a legend in D.C.
Apparently some teammates cut up one of Blatche’s suits, so he in turn threw all of then-teammate Gilbert Arenas’ clothes in the Jacuzzi. Agent 0 got back at Blatche with a No. 2 — in his shoe, if you know what I mean.
Despite all of the above, Blatche did have backing from ownership and in 2011 was given a contract extension.
Before that, however, he was arrested for soliciting sex from an undercover cop. That’s the influence on my team I want to extend open arms and bags of money to — not!
Here’s another example of character before the prostitution scandal.
A much younger Blatche posted in a vlog: “The right way to go is to go sit on the bench and cheer your team on,” Blatche said. “When keepin’ it real goes wrong, if you go up to the ref and cuss the ref out, like [$^#@ $ $#@&*], then get another tech and get thrown out of the game for real. You know what I’m saying? There’s a right thing to do and the bad thing to do.”
Fast forward more than two years later and there’s Blatche refusing to go into the game.
“We had coaches go up to him three different times, they said he didn’t want to play,” said Saunders, the former longtime coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. “Fifteen years, never seen anything like it.”
This next highlight is on YouTube and has close to 750,000 views and shows in detail Blatche desperately trying for a triple double.
First fouling for the ball, then getting mad a teammate for grabbing a board. Then asking the opposing player at the foul line for a board and finally sprinting the entire length of the court to miss on purpose and grab the rebound, which he failed to do.
Blatche first caught fire in the sports department here when the story came out that he was waived from Washington with the amnesty clause. The story highlighted this particular moment last season when Blatche grabbed the microphone during the opening introductions.
“This is your captain, Andray Blatche,” he told the crowd — to much uproar I assume. Except he wasn’t the captain.
After the game he then criticized the coach for not getting him the ball down low.
“You can’t keep having me pick and pop and shooting jumpshots,” he said then. “Gimme the ball in the paint. That’s where I’m most effective at. I’ve been saying that since training camp.”
Ladies and gentlemen that is Andray Blatche — quite possibly the worst example of what happens when teams give millions of dollars to an immature teenager.
But now he has another shot in Brooklyn and he’s grateful for it. Who knows, maybe he’ll keep his mouth shut and have a productive year — but I wouldn’t bet on it.
Ben Rodgers is a frequent contributor to the Opinion Corner