Leonsis: ‘I support Jan Vesely’

December 3, 2012
By Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post

There have been several distinct focal points of fan dissatisfaction over this collapsed flaming flan of a Wizards season.

Some Wizards supporters have concentrated on the decision to bring Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor to D.C., arguing that these veterans block the progress of youngsters at the same positions without offering much in the way of production. Others have complained about the deal for Nene, arguing that his problems with injuries are well-documented.

But many fans have reserved their strongest angst for Jan Vesely, the No. 6 pick in the 2011 draft who still has more fouls (34) than points (29) or rebounds (30) this season.

I mentioned the other day that David Aldridge has already predicted Vesely is out of the NBA within five years. Many fans angrily retweet Vesely’s stat lines, filled as they are with bagel after bagel. And I’ve heard his skills derided on at least four local sports-talk shows just within the last two weeks.

Which brings us to Ted Leonsis’s blog item Sunday night, reiterating the team’s determination to build through youth and the draft, and offering a huge dose of public support to Vesely. Over more than 800 words, Leonsis sounded many familiar themes, but the specific and sturdy support for Vesely was something new. One passage:

We have now had to slow down play without John Wall in the lineup, and we are asking players to play half court sets. This is a miss -match for their specific skill sets. Jan Vesely is in his second year of development. You always support a young, talented player, who is 7 feet tall, can run and is fundamentally sound. Jan has our support, and is working hard to develop his all-around game. But this is his second year in the NBA, and he is playing without a starting point guard who can push the pace of play. We shouldn’t be so fast to write him off as a player. This is easy to do in media but not something that is smart to do for our franchise.

I support Jan Vesely.

Of course, fans have also directed a huge amount of angst toward the front office, meaning the next show of public support might have to be for an executive, not a struggling second-year forward.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg | December 3, 2012