Wednesday, April 11, 2 p.m. ET
The Washington Wizards
Wednesday, April 11, 2007; 2:00 PM
Washington Post staff writers Michael Lee and Ivan Carter were online Wednesday, April 11, at 2 p.m. ET to field your questions and comments about the Wizards and all the latest NBA news.
From The Post:
The transcript follows.
Michael Lee: Oh my. I covered my first post-Gilbert-and-Caron game and that was pretty painful. I don't think I've ever seen the Verizon Center with so little energy. I could just hear fans snickering over how bad these boys look. At no point did anyone feel secure. When they were up five with less than two minutes remaining, you were just waiting for the whole thing to collapse and it did.
In a matchup of DeShawn Stevenson against Jason Kidd, I'd go with Kidd 10 times out of 10. Last night, Kidd was 2 for 2 when the game was on the line.
Oh well. Let's get on with the discussion. For those of you who are in mourning over the Wizards, feel free to ask about the other 29 teams.
San Diego, Calif.: Carter and Lee,
The Wizards are obviously toast in the playoffs. Does this franchise have the assets to put together a package to move into one of the top two choices and (assuming that they both come out) snag either Oden or Durant? How about their No. 1, Butler and/or Jamison and maybe a couple other players to get to the Top 2? Oden and Durant are obviously gonna be studs in this league and it might be worth the Wizards while to move heaven and earth to get their paws on one of them. This league is about stars. I say gut the roster, get Oden in camp and build around Oden and Gil!
Michael Lee: As our trusty chat host reminded me, this would not be unprecedented for a team to trade the No. 1 pick after winning the lottery. The Cavaliers snagged Brad Daugherty from Philadelphia in exchange for Roy Hinson in 1986.
Philly never wanted the No. 1 pick, but this year, every team would love to have to the top pick, now that Kevin Durant has entered the draft and Greg Oden might follow. Daugherty had a great career, but wasn't considered a franchise player. Oden is considered "The Next Great Big Man" by many scouts. If Oden enters the draft and a team trades the No. 1 pick, I guarantee that general manager would never be able to show his face in the arena, at the grocery store, at church, in his house.
Trust me, too many teams are praying for the top choice this year. Sorry to disappoint you, but the Wizards won't get Oden. They blew any chance of getting him by qualifying for the playoffs last night. What a year for the East to be completely wretched, huh?
D.C.: Is Jamison going to play for Team USA this summer?
Michael Lee: He certainly plans on going to Las Vegas for camp, but the question remains if he'll be selected. You have to remember that last year, the team didn't have Kobe Bryant, Shawn Marion, Lamar Odom, Amare Stoudemire, Michael Redd, Paul Pierce and Chauncey Billups. If those guys are healthy, chances are Jamison won't make the final cut.
Richmond, Va.: With the Wizards failing to meet expectations, will Ernie make some major changes in the offseason to the roster?
Michael Lee: I don't know for sure if he will, but he certainly needs to do something. Gilbert Arenas has already made it clear that he wants to be on a winning team and he can opt out of his deal and become a free agent after next season. So, the Wizards need to address their needs - a defensive-minded big man to erase his teammates mistakes, a lights-out shooter to spread the defense, and some athletic above-the-rim players to provide a spark off the bench.
The East is going to be better next season, especially if Rashard Lewis switches conferences or Oden and/or Durant land in the conference, so the Wizards will have to take advantage of the situation and seriously go all in. Otherwise, Gilbert might opt all out.
Falls Church, Va.: Why didn't Andray Blatche get more run last night?
Ivan Carter: Just from watching the game, it appeared that Andray was moving a little stiff on that left knee. Remember, he hadn't played in eight games so you had to figure that his first one back would be limited. If that knee holds up, I see him carrying something in the 10-15 minute range.
Warrenton, Va.: How can Jarvis go for 29 points one night against the Nets, and post 3 points against the same team last night? His inconstancy is excruciatingly painful to watch!!
Ivan Carter: That about sums his season up in a neat little two-game package especially when you consider that they were playing the same team. The pull up jumper he forced while going to his left late in the game didn't come close to going down.
Washington, D.C.: I disagree. The Wizards COULD put together a trade to get the No. 1 or No. 2 pick, but it would have to include Gilbert.
Michael Lee: Why would you trade Gilbert, a proven commodity in this league, for an unproven one? Just because people project stardom for somebody doesn't mean they will be a star. Gilbert already is a star.
Washington, D.C.: Another DNP-CD for No. 33 last night -- and it probably stung all the more watching two of his UNC teammates on the floor.
Can you tell us any more than what we know about the lack of playing time Haywood has been getting? Has he burned his bridges with the Wizards that thoroughly? And if EG tried to deal him, where might he go?
Ivan Carter: I would say that Brendan has burned his bridges with Eddie far more than with Ernie. Ernie won't move him just to move him and it's hard to get equal value for a 27-year old 7-footer who carries an agreeable contract. That said, Brendan played his way out of the lineup with that bad stretch that preceded his benching and he hasn't exactly lit it up in the nine or 10 minute stretches he's seen since. However, it is interesting that this team's record was superior when Brendan was in the lineup and contributing. His plus/minus numbers indicate that as well.
Tampa, Fla.: This season is not over. The Wizards have a chance to do what that Latrell Sprewell, Alan Houston led Knicks team did by going to the Finals. Unfortunately, we probably don't have the talent or the right attitude and coaching to get that far, but let's give them a chance given the fact that the East is still weak and up for grabs.
Michael Lee: Okay, the Knicks lost Patrick Ewing and went to the NBA Finals, but they also had a shot-blocker in Marcus Camby, a tenacious slasher in Latrell Sprewell and a sharpshooter in Allan Houston. The Wizards are left with Antawn Jamison, Antonio Daniels and Etan Thomas. I'm sorry, but it's not the same situation.
You're right. The East is up for grabs, but right now, the Wizards -- thanks to Gilbert's knee injury -- can't even jump.
Seattle: You've taken on young unwed fathers in the NBA. I'd like to hear your thoughts on Imus.
(If the Wizards were actually winning games, I might have asked a question about them. Seeing as the team is decimated...)
Ivan Carter: I'll just say this: bigots with a microphone, keyboard, TV screen etc. eventually reveal themselves to be what they truly are. I'll defer to Wilbon's column from today.
D.C.: Hey, could one of you guys find out if Songaila is playing with Lithuania this summer? I hope he doesn't, we need him healthy from the start next season.
Ivan Carter: That's a great question and one I'll ask Darius tonight. I would assume that he'd take the summer off and just concentrate on getting his back and legs into real NBA shape. I think we've all noticed that Darius barely gets off the ground when he jumps right now. He told me a few weeks ago that he's around 75 percent of what he normally is. If that's the case, the Wizards will go into camp with one heck of a player next October.
Falls Church, Va.: Can you tell these EJ bashers to back off a bit, all he's done is get the team to three straight playoff appearances. Name that last coach for the Wiz that has done that.
Michael Lee: Kevin Loughery from 1985-88. Almost 20 years.
Madrid : If Juan Carlos Navarro truly gets out of that contract with Barcelona (which I doubt), do you think the Wizards will sign him or use him as trade bait, since he is considered one of the best players in Europe
Ivan Carter: Assuming the team allows Jarvis Hayes to sign elsewhere, allows Donell Taylor to walk and doesn't have the money needed to keep DeShawn Stevenson, I could see Ernie negotiating a contract with Navarro and bringing him to camp. If he's serious about coming over to this team, and he says he is, the Wiz could use a player just like him.
Annapolis, Md.: Hi guys,
I'm really bummed about the Wiz. The Curse of Les Boulez is back with a vengeance. I hope guys like Blatche and Songaila realize this is their time to shine.
Ivan Carter: That's the interesting thing about this stretch we are in right now: are these guys the type of players who can put up nice numbers on a losing team or do any of them have the ability to put a team on their back and win some games. Right now, I'd have to go with option 1. The league is full of those guys but they obviously require the presence of an all star or two (in this team's case, two) to win games.
Cleveland : Yo Mike, I asked you about six weeks ago about Mike Brown's job security and you said he could possibly be in trouble with a first round matchup with the heat looming. Could a first-round exit put him in trouble with LeBron and, as a, result management?
Michael Lee: I don't see how a first-round exit would help him. I really don't want to see Mike Brown go anywhere, but Cavs owner Dan Gilbert strikes me as a bit of an impulsive guy and based on the reaction of Cavaliers fans should they lose to Miami in the first round, Brown could really be in trouble. LeBron and Larry Hughes have already grumbled about the offense this year, and I can't remember a more embarrassing incident than last season, when Brown tried to say that LeBron got tired in the playoffs and LeBron flipped. Outside of the upside of LeBron, the situation in Cleveland is pretty bleak because it is stuck with this personnel for some time. Since you can't change the players. . .you know the rest. (Okay, if you don't, it's you change the coach.)
Question bout BTH: With Haywood's playing time all but gone as of late, do you see him going to Ernie and asking out, and, if he does, will Ernie honor his request?
Ivan Carter: As I indicated above, Ernie isn't going to make a move just to make a move. He's going to have to get value in return. The real question is whether Brendan can dig down and tap into the potential he's flashed at times during his stay here. No one expects him to be Shaq but I see no reason why he can't at least be a 10 point, 9 rebound, 2 block guy.
Arlington, Va.: Ivan, a week ago I asked if the Wiz were cursed and you said no. Care to take back that statement now?
Ivan Carter: If I would've gone out and blown out my left knee while playing ball right after Gilbert went down, then I'd buy into the curse talk. I just see some really, really bad luck.
Woodbridge, Va.: Gentleman, many fans question Eddie Jordan and would like to see him fired. What is the perception of him nationally? Also, is there any buzz that Ernie Grunfeld is unhappy with his coaching and would possible make a change in the offseason?
Michael Lee: My goodness. People are really going bananas over Eddie Jordan. Let me ask one question. What should the Wizards' record be without Gilbert and Caron? Should they be competitive? Well, they are. Should they win a few more times? Maybe, but you have to remember that bad teams lose games. The Wizards haven't been blown out yet (tonight may be different).
But to answer your question, I think the view of Eddie around the league is mixed. I've had some folks tell me that they love Eddie personally but believe he is better served as an assistant. I've also had people tell me that they love the guy and the job he has done.
To my knowledge, Ernie isn't considering making a chance this summer. I mean, the dude just got an extension. Not to mention, he lost his three best players for extended periods in the second half of the season.
Yes, he makes questionable personnel decisions. Yes, the Wizards don't play defense. But before injuries knocked them back to earth (or below the ground), Eddie was getting the best he could out of this group.
Pittsburgh: Michael, you said that Gilbert could opt out of his contract after next season if the Wizards haven't progressed. Is Gilbert gonna play better defense with his new team? I hate when superstars blame everyone and everything instead of looking inward. If Gilbert, being the best player on this team, made the attempt to be a all around player the Wizards could be contenders. Instead he wants to be a celebrity.
Michael Lee: Good point, Pittsburgh. Gilbert has to hold himself accountable, too. Unfortunately, in this league, the players run to show and if they don't get what they want, they can jump ship. It's happened over and over again. It doesn't make it right. It just makes it what it is.
Look at Allen Iverson. He got fed up after trying to hold it together in Philadelphia, but while in a 76ers uniform, he was never willing to do that he is currently doing in Denver -- taking a backseat, sharing the ball and letting his teammates shine. Part of that is maturity. It doesn't happen overnight.
D.C.: Would you trade Antonio and Brendan to Atlanta for Shelden Williams and Speedy Claxton? The numbers work, and Shelden should solve our problem at the 4, a scoring, rebounding, and defending power forward.
Ivan Carter: Not to mention a guy not good enough to play in front of Zaza Pachulia on a lottery-bound team. If my number one rule for NBA player acquisition is: Be aware of decent players who put up big numbers on bad teams, my second rule would be: be very careful with players who can't even get PT on bad teams.
D.C.: C'mon guys, the recent article noted that the Wizards' downward spiral started a few games before All Star Weekend, not after Gilbert and Caron went down. I don't want to hear the excuse that we're losing because our two stars are out.
With two and sometimes three of their All-Stars in the lineup, they managed a 1-4 record during their west coast trip against sub .500 teams missing some of their superstars (ie. Sam Cassell, Zach Randolph, Shaun Livingston, Ray Allen, Stephen Jackson, etc.), came home and lost to Toronto at home, got blown out by Charlotte, and then lost again to Charlotte at home. Only during the last Charlotte game was where both Gilbert and Caron were out with injuries. Currently, they are 2-8 in their last 10 games, with 5 games lost in a row.
Ivan Carter: That's a very good point and one that has to be considered when talking about this team. If you take out December and January when this team went 22-9, they have posted a losing record in every other month, and, as you pointed out, they weren't tearing it up when Gilbert and/or Caron were in the lineup.
Washington, D.C.: While we all know it's not going to happen, for the Wizards to make it through round one, what one thing does Eddie Jordan need to do? (And he can't magically rehabilitate CB or Gil.)
Michael Lee: One? C'mon. I can do better than that. I'm going to give you a list of five things Eddie needs to do to get the Wizards into the second round.
2. If the Wizards get Toronto, he needs to sneak into the Raptors team hotel and pull a Tonya Harding and club Chris Bosh. If they get Chicago, he needs to do the same thing with Ben Gordon and/or Luol Deng.
3. See a voodoo priest and have him put roots on the Wizards' opponent. Better yet, have a sit down with G-Wiz and see what he can do.
4. Try to clone Tim Duncan and give him Mike Hall's uniform.
5. Pray some more.
Baltimore: Did Gilbert ever explain exactly why he missed that shoot around? Because if he makes the practice, he starts the game. That means the flow of the game is different, and the play where he hurt his knee probably never happens. Did Gilbert ever apologize to his teammates and Wizards' fans?
Ivan Carter: No. He blamed it on getting stuck in traffic.
Bridgewater, Va.: Let DeShawn go? Ernie better not do that. He is one of two starters that plays defense like he enjoys it.
Ivan Carter: That will be determined by what DeShawn commands in the open market. Unless Ernie can dump some salary by moving Etan or Brendan, it could be difficult to sign both DeShawn and Andray Blatche.
Lexington, Va.: Do you think the Warriors would have a chance in the first around against the Mavs?
Michael Lee: To win a game or two? Yes. To win the series? Um, no. Regular season records do not always translate to playoff success. So no matter how successful the Warriors have been against Dallas -- they've won four in a row- - and no matter how well they match up against the Mavericks, Golden State has not been before. They have players who have been to the postseason before, but not together. They don't know who to count on when the pressure is on during the playoffs. Dallas does. The Mavericks have been there. They know what to expect from each other in the playoffs.
SWATS, Ga.: Considering I've not seen footage of Navarro, what type of player would you characterize him as (position and skill set)and what do you foresee his role would be if he does end up with the Wiz? Can he be the break-you-down dribbler and scorer the team needs as a spark off the bench? Also, the team needs a sharp-shooter from distance since Hayes has not shown consistency. Word is the Sonics might part with Ray Allen. Would he fit in with Gil since he doesn't demand the ball and is a catch-and-shoot guy?
Ivan Carter: I've heard him described as a combo-guard type who can shoot it either on pull ups or off the dribble and can get to the rim off the bounce. I've heard him called a Spanish version of Juan Dixon ironically. My guess is that he'd be a scorer type off that bench.
Bad luck?: So, what exactly is the difference between bad luck and a curse?
Michael Lee: Bad luck is Antawn Jamison going down with an injury that keeps him out 12 games. A curse is when Caron Butler and Gilbert Arenas have season-ending injuries in the same week.
Non-Wizards Question: Hi Guys,
Just out of curiosity, which team has the brighter outlook -- the Timberwolves or the Knicks? Timberwolves probably won't get a high pick this year, their only star can opt out next year, a chucker is their No. 2 option and they have a bunch of young kids (Foye and Smith may have a future, McCants is still coming back from microfracture). The Knicks will be swapping picks with the Bulls, a center who can't block shots and roughly $50 million (next year) tied up in four guys playing off-guard. I think Wiz fans should be on their knees thanking God we don't have Isiah or McHale running our team.
Michael Lee: If I had to pick one team, I'd have to go with the Knicks. The only reason is because they play in the Eastern Conference. Other than that, you were right on point, dude.
Washington, D.C.: Haywood IS a 10 point, 9 rebound, 2 block guy. He averages 23.1 minutes a game. Per 36 minutes a game, his averages would be 10.4 points, 9.8 boards, and 1.8 blocks. Thomas's numbers are right in that range, too (slightly higher).
Ivan Carter: The problem is that he has too many stretches (both during individual games and over the course of a stretch of games) when he gives you nothing. Etan had has this habit as well. During those four games before he got benched, Brendan totaled 3 points and nine boards. As I said, there is enough there to make you ask for more but when is it going to happen on a regular basis? That's the question Ernie and Eddie will have to address this summer.
Lexington, Va.: Is this team really playing better defense without Gilbert out or is it just an illusion. I think the lower scores are attributable to the Wizards using more of the shot clock each possession and not anything on the defensive end. Gilbert's aggressive style really works when he's on, but on or off, it results in the other team usually scoring over 100.
Ivan Carter: The offense is running at a slower pace and they aren't having so many possessions where a player takes a really quick shot and it leads to a break the other way. That's impacted the defensive scoring stats but it is true that Antonio is a better on-the-ball defender and better against the pick and roll.
Bethesda lab rat: I think the only thing more infuriating than watching Stevenson's two pathetic iso moves was learning from your
Why not drive and dish to one of the guys that was actually shooting over 50 percent last night?
Maybe I'm watching too much "Sopranos," but did EJ run up some bad debts while he was in NJ that he was trying to pay off last night?
It's baffling. We're dyin' out here watching this stuff.
Ivan Carter: I feel your pain. Hang in there. Maybe they get a win here in Miami tonight and everyone will relax a little bit.
Va.: Haywood for KG!! straight up!
Michael Lee: You talking about Kendall Gill, Kenny Gamble or Kenny Gattison? Those guys are retired.
Woodbridge, Va.: In all honesty, how do the other players view Brendan Haywood? Is there any hidden animosity? Would they like to see him go?
Ivan Carter: I don't sense any of that. At this point, guys are worried about saving some face and salvaging something from this season. Plus, you have a bunch of guys who are battling for their NBA futures right now.
Long Island, N.Y.: After watching last night's game, if you are the coach/GM of the Raptors, are you fearing a Net run to the No. 6 seed, or is it the difference between winning in 5 or 6 games?
Ivan Carter: If I'm the Raptors (or anyone) I'd rather face the Wizards than anyone. That's not a cheap shot but based on what we've seen this team is good enough to stay close but doesn't have what it takes to pull out a close game. With J Kidd, Jefferson and Vince, the Nets have those players.
Woodbridge, Va.: I thought the Larry Bird rule allowed teams to sign their own players to the max, thus DeShawn stays?
Ivan Carter: DeShawn can opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent. Blatche will be restricted, meaning the Wiz can match any offer.
Arlington, Va.: So, is the feeling of the team as dire as its fan base. I consider myself a pretty hardcore fan, and I couldn't bear to watch the game on TV.
How was the vibe at Verizon last night? I could hardly hear the crowd! The place sounded like a library after the game. Are the players walking on eggshells, like the fans?
Michael Lee: Like I said earlier, that was the deadest I've seen the Verizon Center in the three seasons I've been around the Wizards. It was quite depressing last night, because I think fans want to rally around these guys and push the underdogs on, but they don't really want to waste the energy. It was pretty bad, like they were just waiting for Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson to crush them. And they did.
Alexandria, Va.: Tell me something pleasant about the other European kids the Wizards drafted who will be coming over next year. Just a little morsel of hope.
Ivan Carter: You are talking about Oleksiy Pecherov, a 20-year old 7-footer from Ukraine. The word is that he can shoot it like a guard, handles the ball well and is a naturally rebounder. Eddie really liked his overall skill set when he saw him in summer league and Pecherov and Blatche really blended well together. He'll be signed early this summer and join the team for training camp.
Lexington, Va.: How important will the last few games and the rest of the games this season be in evaluating players for next year? Has anyone hurt or helped their value so far? I have to think DeShawn's stock has dropped a little after last night.
Michael Lee: I don't know what you can make of these final games. They aren't really indicative of what these players are capable of because they won't be given such major roles or minutes with the team in the future. You know how it's hard to gauge how good some players are because they are on bad teams. Well, it's hard to say that somebody is great just because he has an opportunity. Antonio Daniels has averaged 11.1 assists in the past four games. Are we ready to proclaim him Steve Nash? Right now, you just want these guys to compete. Most of them already revealed their worth before Gilbert and Caron went down.
Raleigh, N.C.: You wrote: "If my number rule for NBA player acquisition is: Be aware of decent players who put up big numbers on bad teams, my second rule would be: be very careful with players who can't even get PT on bad teams."
By that logic, Sacramento should have avoided Chris Webber when he was with Washington; Portland should have avoided Rasheed Wallace when he was with Washington; and Detroit should have avoided Rich Hamilton and Ben Wallace when they were with Washington; Furthermore, Washington should have avoided Gilbert Arenas when he was with Golden State, and Washington should have avoided Caron Butler when he was playing with the hapless Lakers.
Care to reconsider?
Ivan Carter: Big difference. Webber was already an established star in the making when he went to Sacramento. Rasheed was a high draft pick who had shown real all-star talent before going to Portland. I'll agree somewhat on Ben Wallace but not on Rip. He carried big minutes and played well on Wiz teams that were at least competitive. Caron led all rookies in scoring when he was in Miami and played on a playoff team there. Gilbert? Well, there's a point there but you have to factor in his age. The dude played one year of college ball so gambling on the little bit you saw in Golden State was worth it.
Washington, D.C.: I don't buy the proposition that the Wizards are seriously lacking at the 5 spot. Haywood and Thomas combined have the following stat line:
41.9 minutes per game, 13.7 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, 57 percent FG.
Of course, it would nice to upgrade at that position, but easier said than done. I think more of the problem is how Jordan uses those guys. You've got a former lottery pick and No. 20 pick, two guys who each are very likely going to have 10-plus year careers in the league, and you can't make it work? I don't buy it.
Ivan Carter: Well, it's worked well enough to get this team to the playoffs three years in a row, win one series and almost win another, but have either of those guys shown the ability to get this team over the top? The key to this team as it is presently constructed will be the big three. Barring a major roster change, that won't change.
Chitown: Let's talk about the best 1st round series coming in the NBA, Jazz-Rockets...Mike, Ivan, who you guys got
Michael Lee: I don't know. I'm a bit intrigued by a possible Cleveland-Miami series in the first round.
Utah has been playing atrociously the past few weeks. If the Jazz looked better going into the postseason, I might be more excited about this series. I think Houston has been awesome, especially with McGrady and Yao looking good as advertised. Right now, I'd have to side with the Rockets. They are playing their best ball now. Utah is not.
Woodbridge, Va.: That response didn't answer my question. You said the Wiz would have to get rid of Etan or Brendan to sign DeShawn. My question was with the Larry Bird rule, if DeShawn becomes a free agent, don't the Wizards have the option to sign him to a vet max without it hurting the cap?
Ivan Carter: The Wiz will be over the cap and will have only the mid-level exception available. Last summer, that was a little over $5 million. The question is, can Ernie get Andray and DeShawn to split that mid-level? I don't see DeShawn getting some team's entire mid-level but you never know. The Knicks offered it to Jared Jeffries last summer.
Ivan Carter: Gotta go get a rental car and head the hotel here in Miami folks. Thanks for dropping in.
Washington, D.C.: Granted, Gil should have left earlier and left time for traffic. But with Caron out and given Gil's typical reliability, dedication and probably way more time in the gym than a lot of the guys, maybe EJ didn't need to punish him that night . . .
Michael Lee: What are you doing? Blaming Eddie for Gilbert's injury? C'mon. You have to put your foot down to make a point. Eddie wasn't going to tolerate an absence from anyone, including his star. If you're good, you generally have to be treated differently -- unless you're Tim Duncan -- but that doesn't mean that you go unchecked. Gilbert shouldn't have been late. If Eddie played him, what message does he send to the rest of the team? How can his players respect him if the rules are blurred. "Okay guys, I realize you broke a team rule, but we really need a win, so forget about it." Gimme a break.
Pacers in Fan in D.C. : I bet you Isiah goes after Jermaine O'Neal in the offseason; the only problem is the Knicks have nothing the Pacers want.
Michael Lee: I beg to differ. If I'm Indiana, I'd love to have David Lee, Channing Frye and Jamal Crawford. But if I'm the Knicks, I'm not giving up those guys for Jermaine O'Neal.
Michael Lee: Okay. Good chatting this week. I've got to go. We'll do this again. Alright. Peace.
Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.