Sometimes, Blatche Is Still Just a Kid

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 27, 2008

SEATTLE, March 26 -- One of the unique aspects of the Washington Wizards' locker room dynamic is that third-year forward Andray Blatche is younger than the team's three rookies, Nick Young, Dominic McGuire and Oleksiy Pecherov.

That makes it difficult for Blatche to properly haze the only teammates who rank below him in seniority.

"I have to call 'em 'rook' because I can't talk about how old they are," said Blatche, who will be 22 in August.

Blatche entered the league as a 19-year-old when the Wizards selected him in the second round of the 2005 draft, the last draft in which teams could select players who were not one year removed from high school.

Commissioner David Stern may be interested in raising the age limit to 20 when a new collective bargaining agreement is negotiated after the 2010-11 season.

Blatche, who signed a five-year contract worth about $15 million last summer when he otherwise might have been preparing for his junior season of college basketball, is not a fan of the idea.

"I don't think they should have an age limit," Blatche said. "I think it should be about when a player is ready. If he's ready, he's ready. A lot of great players come out of high school so if you think you're ready and your body is ready, you should be able to come out."

For further evidence, all Blatche had to do was look across the court Wednesday night at Seattle rookie Kevin Durant, a 19-year-old who entered Wednesday's game averaging 19.6 points per game.

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