When the story idea was sent my way at HOOPSWORLD to write on the recent events of the Washington Wizards spending $161 million to retain two all-stars, I wasn’t sure what to think. The question was easy enough: did the Wiz get better?
The answer however was difficult to answer, especially knowing how a handful of teams in the East are restacking their rosters as we speak (or type and read).
You have to think with teams like Milwaukee, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Toronto and Orlando all getting better….and I’m even going to add Charlotte in there simply for the Larry Brown factor….I’m not sure Washington will even make the playoffs next season. Throwing up another 43 wins isn’t going to cut it. I know for a fact that the Sixers aren’t done building, but anything can happen between now and the start of pre-season.
Besides, I’m not sure Gilbert Arenas – even with his Agent Zero persona and bombastic blog –and his $111 million dollar deal isn’t one more knee injury away from being Darius Miles.
Speaking of the Portland Trail Blazers (although Miles is no longer a member), the team officially welcomed Jerryd Bayless, Ike Diogu and Nicolas Batum today in a press conference which took place outside the Rose Garden at 11am. Good thing the press release reached my inbox until about 50 minutes prior to introductions.
That’s plenty of time to re-arrange the afternoon.
Quick Manute Bol story since I’m on the topic of the Bullets….I mean Wizards.
Two seasons ago while I was covering the league in New York, Bol (who played with Washington from 1985-88, ’94) made a brief postgame appearance in the Knicks locker room. Can’t for the life of me remember who they were playing….anyway, Bol – all 7 foot 7 of him strolled out of the shadows to swap some “hello’s” with the guys before making a quick exit. He was the last person I thought I’d see in the Knicks locker room, next to an exiled Larry Brown that is. Now it wasn’t uncommon to see former players and celebrity types in the Knicks locker room (seeing the Reverend Jesse Jackson chat-up Eddy Curry is also unforgettable), but there was just something about Bol that left you in awe.
It was the size. He went on for days.
“What’s up Manute,” said then Knick and current Blazer Channing Frye on his way out the door.
Even Frye at 6-11 had to look up at Manute, so you know I (at 6-2) basically got an eye full of knee-cap when I got close to the cat.
Hard to beat a good old fashioned Manute Bol story.