By Amman Affa
To say the least it’s been a long time since we have had something to root for other then a lottery pick in DC. The Washington Wizards future finally looks bright; the days of 10-20 game-losing streaks to start the season may finally be behind us. As a Wizards fan I have seen the worst of the worst in these last few years. From signing Arenas to a max deal while still injured, to having Arenas repay us by trying to kill a teammate in the Locker room… literally. Gilbert Arenas was not the sole reason for our quick transformation from a playoff team to the worst team in the NBA, but his impact or lack thereof started the downward spiral.
Although the gun incident was a freighting time as a Wizards fan, nothing was worse than knowing the three stooges were left to take over the team. What’s embarrassing is that we all know exactly who I’m referring to, Nick Young aka Swaggy P , Andre Blatch aka “Mr.VIP” and last but definitely not least Javelle Mcgee aka Mr. Goaltend. If these are not the worst three players to ever build your team around then… actually there is no room for comparison, they are the worst three of all time. These three are literally the polar opposites of the Miami Heat’s big three. I honestly tried to look for an Andre Blatch picture in his Wizards jersey but I could only find photos of him in various DC nightclubs (no surprise there). Javelle McGee is a 7 ft. center who plays defense like a WNBA player and has the basketball IQ of a freshman high school player, and Nick Young has more swag then talent, yet he would show flashes of brilliance and fool us all into thinking one day he would get it together. The person responsible for the circus formally known as the Washington Wizards was the GM Ernie Grunfeld. Although ever since Ted Leonsis took ownership of the team ( and turned the heat up on Ernie), Grunfeld has been a new man.
Since 2010 we have had four straight top 10 lottery picks. Besides the self-proclaimed Blake Griffin of the Czech Republic, Jan Vesely, all of the selections have played well and are expected to have bright futures. We are now led by a potential All star caliber point guard who is arguably the most explosive guard in the league. John Wall was entrusted with being the leader and center of the team this summer when he signed a max contract comparable to super stars such as James Harden and Kevin Durant. If John Wall does not play like a top 5-point guard in the league, then we are all doomed, we expect him to lead us to the playoffs on a yearly basis. Coming off a very impressive pre season Bradley Beal is expected to take on the major portion of the Wizards scoring needs. As the number 2 pick last year Beal is only going to get better, as he has been adding more to his game and has an increased amount of confidence. Finally we have the 2013 selection, Otto Porter. The Wizards decided to play it safe with this selection and fulfill a long-term need at the small forward slot. Otto Porter is not the flashiest or most athletic player, but he makes up for it in IQ and leadership. If Otto Porter can be a lockdown defender and average 12-15 a game, he would be well worth his number 3 draft choice. Ernie has been making many acquisitions such as obtaining Al Harrington and trading an injured Okafor for a healthy Gortat. In order to get the Wizards into the playoffs (and for Ernie to keep his job), these trades and draft picks will have to play to their full potential. The wait is over Wizards, playoffs or bust.