Over the last 24 hours, we've learned the following: You can amnesty Andray Blatche out of town, but you can't get him to stop discussing and debating all that led to said amnesty in the first place. That's the case even after a night to sleep off such desires, inexplicable as they may be.
From chatting up reporters at Monday night's historic game in Brooklyn between the Nets and Knicks to taking shots at his former organization on Twitter to calling into a D.C. radio station, Blatche thrusted himself back into the local sports conversation. Oh, joy.
First, a refresher: After seven often-tumultuous seasons in Washington, the Wizards organization used the NBA's amnesty clause to jettison Blatche, paying him the remaining $23 million on his contract. The 6-foot-11 forward subsequently dropped some weight, signed with the Brooklyn Nets this offseason and become a viable scoring threat off the bench.
Following the Nets win on Monday, which moved Brooklyn into a first place Atlantic division tie with New York, Blatche brought up the subject of his old team to reporters, asking, "Anybody seen how the Wizards are doing?" (this morning during a radio interview with 106.7 The Fan, Blatche claimed he simply did not know whether the Wizards had won a game yet or not)
Apparently not content with poking the Wizards bear once, Blatche used his own Twitter account to take additional shots.
Feels good to be part of a winning organization
— andray blatche (@drayblatche) November 27, 2012
That created a firestorm among Wizards fans (and honestly gave the amused media covering the Wizards' latest loss Monday night something to discuss rather than 0-12). Blatche kept on tweeting, responding to fans and reporters (here's the link to his time line if you want to dive in deep).
But of course, that wasn't enough. Blatche called into 106.7 The Fan Tuesday morning for an interview (and grilling) with Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier. Topics discussed the 24-minute back-and-forth included:
The organization: “They could’ve explained exactly what was going on. They’ve could’ve had my back. They could’ve done anything. I don’t care what they could’ve done. It could’ve been small, than to say, you know what, ‘This is our escape route. We’re going to leave him out for himself. He’s going to have to fend for himself now.' No, that’s not what you do when your family and supposedly say this is a brotherhood. That’s not what you do. I don’t care, whatever my brother, my uncle, my sister, whatever anybody does, I’m going to have their back 100 percent because that's family. And that’s what you do with family. That’s all I’m saying."
Conditioning: “I was out of shape. I 100 percent admit that and that’s 100 percent on me. But my thing is, I’m not necessarily blaming it all on injuries because it’s other things I could’ve possibly done…I could’ve did a lot more workouts. Do more stuff in the pool to take stress off my legs... I’m talking more of the booing and the ignorance of certain fans of certain situations with the media that the organization didn’t have my back with. That’s what I’m talking about.”
Relationship with Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld: “It was okay...“I don’t like how he didn’t have my back.”
On whether his take about the team not supporting him was contradictory considering the team signed Blatche to a $28 million contract extension in 2010: “It’s easy to be in somebody’s corner when things is good. That’s the easiest thing in the world, that’s for anybody. I’m talking about when things are bad, when things are going wrong. That’s when you can tell when somebody is really on your side or not, when things are going bad... That contract was great because things were going good.”
Reputation: “For them to say, ‘Oh, he’s a bad teammate. He’s a cancer in the locker room.’ All that is a bunch of lies!”
On being amnestied: “To be honest with you, me being amnestied from that team, that was one of the biggest things to help me. Now I’m in a whole different organization. A different part of my life, that I’m going to be able to succeed in.”
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis: “He’s a first-class guy. I have nothing against him.”
On his infamous arrest for solicitation with the woman being an undercover police officer. "That was a joke gone bad. Nobody had money on them. Nobody had no money in the car, period. I was young, immature and playing around. She was not dressed as a prostitute. She was in front of the club while we was talking trash playing around. For me talking to her automatically made it soliciting.”
And yes, Lap Dance Tuesday: “It was a regular club in Miami, called Cameo, there are no strippers, it's just the theme of the club.”
End, scene, for the moment. After the interview (which you can listen to here), Blatche tweeted, "I feel much better I'm moving on and leaving the past where it's at."
Let's hope so because I'm not still not sure the benefit of what just transpired for him. I'll admit to liking Blatche during my interractions with him while covering the team over the past few seasons, even feeling a touch sorry for him at times when the booing became overwhelming. Still, time to move on. Enjoy Brooklyn Andray, I hear the new arena is the bomb. Oh, also don't forget to fill up your gas tank, just a thought.
As for the Wizards, at least for one day the organization can answer questions about anything other than still needing a win. That's a victory right there.