Regret is a word often mentioned when it comes to Andray Blatche, who spent the first seven seasons of his nine-year NBA career with the Wizards.
There's regret from the Wizards that they drafted the 19-year-old in 2005 out of high school, though his talent made the 6-11 forward a steal late in the second round.
There's regret that he was given a $35 million extension. There should be regret that Blatche tried to purposefully miss shots to pad his stats so he could get his first triple-double, and his visible anger at a teammate for not letting him get one more rebound was disgraceful.
There should be regret over getting into a fight with a teammate at a D.C. nightclub and soliciting a prostitute that led to his arrest. There has to be regret about him hosting a supposed "grand finale" party as the Wizards were finishing the season with the league's second-worst record. You get the picture.
But there's also regret from Blatche about the way he treated the coaching staff in Washington, namely Flip Saunders, who passed away at age 60 on Sunday. The one quote that comes to mind -- told to me by a coach on Saunders' staff at the time -- was so vile and disrespectful (an expletive followed by a racial epithet) I can't even paraphrase it.
Now, none of these transgressions matter. Blatche, 29, and out of the NBA after playing two years with the Brooklyn Nets and playing overseas, is among the NBA horde mourning Saunders' shocking loss to lymphoma in his second stint with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He shared an Instagram message to his late former coach that appears genuine and hopefully it means he himself is on a better path.
No this is unreal a dint n my heart for sure we hardly seen eye to eye n person because I was young and prideful but behind closed doors I would tell everyone he was one of my favorite coaches I'm so sad even mad I didn't get the chance to tell him wat he really did for me 452/452 twist my fav plays will forever be drilled n my head my prayers go to your family I'm so sorry
A photo posted by Andray Blatche (@draylive) on Oct 25, 2015 at 5:40pm PDT
After all, if you're the same person as a grown man that you were as a teenager, you're a fool because you've learned absolutely nothing. And Blatche, despite a litany of foolishness in Washington, is at least better for having had Flip Saunders as his coach.