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Blatche speaks about reputaion with Wizards


Blatche speaks about reputaion with Wizards

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.

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.

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After getting little rest during All-Star break, Bradley Beal aims to be smart in second half

After getting little rest during All-Star break, Bradley Beal aims to be smart in second half

If anyone on the Wizards deserves some time off to rest it's Bradley Beal, who currently ranks fifth in the NBA in total minutes played. While his teammates were off on vacation, many of them at relaxing beaches far away, Beal was making appearance after appearance in Los Angeles as part of All-Star weekend.

The one drawback of Beal being selected as an All-Star and a contestant in the three-point contest was that he got little rest in the past week. He only made it one round in the three-point contest and played 16 minutes in the All-Star Game, but all of it was enough to soak up much of the free time he's used to getting this time of the year.

"Not as much as I needed to," Beal said when asked if he got any rest over the break. "I guess that's one of the downfalls of being an All-Star."


The workload has really added up for Beal. He leads the Wizards in minutes (36.4/g) and is one of two players on the team who hasn't missed a game all season.

Beal did have Monday and Tuesday off, but that was after a crosscountry flight and a whirlwind of a weekend. He called the media and sponsorship appearances "overwhelming." Many All-Stars have been there before and know what to expect, but Beal was a first-time participant.

Beal and the Wizards will be given no breaks with their upcoming schedule. They have four back-to-back sets in the next three weeks and begin with a stretch of five games in seven days. Those games will feature the Cavs, Warriors, Bucks, Sixers and the Hornets. Charlotte is the only team of that bunch currently out of the playoff picture, but they have already beaten the Wizards twice this season.


For Beal, it will be extra important to get any rest that he can.

"I will definitely be smart," he said. "I just gotta take care of my body. Listen to my body."

Beal says getting treatment from the Wizards' training staff in between games will be crucial. He also hopes to not over-exert himself in games by trusting his teammates and not trying to carry the load with John Wall out.

Though Beal may be tired from the weekend, he came out of it feeling pretty good about how he represented himself and the Wizards on the All-Star stage. He scored 14 points in 16 minutes in a game featuring the best players on the planet.

Beal now wants to make it an annual thing.

"I defintiely think it can push you more down the line. For me, it's just motivation to continue geting better," he said.




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Scott Brooks preparing Wizards for much tougher road ahead

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Scott Brooks preparing Wizards for much tougher road ahead

The Wizards entered the All-Star break having won seven of their previous nine games since John Wall went down with an injury, so a natural question to head coach Scott Brooks looking ahead to their first game back on Thursday was how he and his team can keep that momentum going in the second half.

Brooks immediately pointed to the Wizards' schedule, which gets notably more difficult in the coming weeks. They have a stretch of games over the next month-plus that features the best teams in basketball and Brooks knows that will be a big factor in whether they can sustain what they have going.

"Definitely the schedule gets tougher," Brooks said. "We've got a lot of good teams coming up starting with the first one in Cleveland. It's five games in seven nights against really good teams."


In the next five weeks, the Wizards will play 15 of 17 games against teams currently holding playoff spots. That includes the Cavaliers, Warriors, Celtics, Spurs (twice), Raptors and Timberwolves. 

That will represent a marked shift for the Wizards, who to this point have the weakest strength of schedule. Though they boast impressive wins over the Celtics, Rockets, Raptors and Timberwolves, they are about to play teams of that caliber more frequently with few nights off to rest. They have four back-to-back sets all in the next three weeks.

The upcoming stretch has been on the Wizards' minds for a while. Several players referenced their tough schedule before the All-Star break, knowing those wins leading up to the time off could prove extra important in hindsight.

The Wizards return to action on Thursday night against the Cavaliers, a team that has already beaten them twice. Both of those games were against the old version of the Cavs before they traded much of their roster at the deadline.


Gone are Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, Isaiah Thomas, Iman Shumpert, Jae Crowder and Channing Frye. But they still have that guy LeBron James.

"Shoot, they looked good the other time, right? They beat us twice with the other group," Brooks noted. "LeBron is going to go down as one of the best ever. They are younger and more athletic. They're a good team and they still have an All-Star in [Kevin] Love who hasn't played because he's hurt."

The Cavs haven't lost in three games since the All-Star break and that includes road wins over the Celtics and Thunder. They look rejuvenated and, at least so far, improved from the aging, incongruent roster they had just weeks ago.

The Wizards have also been playing better lately, of course, and this upcoming stretch will be a major test for them. Wall has been out three weeks since he had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. He is likely to miss another three-to-five weeks. The Wizards will have to get through this without him.

If they can remain competitive and even beat some of these elite teams, they will only gain more confidence in their potential. That's the way Brooks plans to approach the schedule.

"We still want to be a better team when John comes back," Brooks said. "But the schedule definitely gets a lot tougher."