Games in Europe Highlight Wizards' Preseason Schedule
The Washington Wizards released their seven-game 2008 preseason schedule yesterday.
The team will open exhibition play Oct. 7 at Dallas, play at Memphis on Oct. 8, host Detroit at Verizon Center on Oct. 10 and then embark on a weeklong trip to Europe that will feature exhibition games against the New Orleans Hornets in Berlin on Oct. 14 and in Barcelona on Oct. 17.
The Wizards will conclude preseason play with games at San Antonio on Oct. 22 and in Columbus, Ohio, against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Oct. 24. The team opens regular season play on Oct. 29 against New Jersey.
The team is finalizing plans for training camp, which will probably open during the final week of September on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
The Wizards have 14 players under contract -- one fewer than the league maximum -- but will invite more players to training camp. . . .
At least one Wizard will be sporting a new look when the season begins. Guard DeShawn Stevenson, who played all of last season with a beard, recently shaved it off after winning a bet with former Orlando teammate and good friend Drew Gooden, who now plays for the Chicago Bulls.
Last summer, Gooden bet Stevenson that he could go longer without shaving and Stevenson was willing to wait him out. Stevenson, who wore dreadlocks during his first season as a Wizard in 2006-2007, is now wearing a flattop style, which was popular during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
"I went old school," said Stevenson, before a recent workout at Verizon Center. "I even have the part and everything."
-- Ivan Carter