Wednesday, May 9, 2 p.m. ET
The Washington Wizards
Wednesday, May 9, 2007; 2:00 PM
Washington Post staff writers Ivan Carter and Michael Lee were online Wednesday, May 9, at 2 p.m. ET to field your questions and comments about the Wizards, the playoffs and all the latest NBA news.
From The Post:
The transcript follows.
Michael Lee: Hey, everybody. I'm back and ready to chat. I'm sure some of you are pretty tired like me, staying up to see the Western Conference playoffs playoffs since the Eastern Conference series are so boring. I mean, I should get excited about a series that features three all-stars (LeBron James, Vince Carter and Jason Kidd), but I'm not. And, I should be hyped about the Ben Wallace referendum series with Chicago and Detroit, but I'd rather watch "Entourage" replays on OnDemand. Anyway, I know you have questions. Hope we have some answers. Let's go. . .
Eastern Time Zone: These Western conference playoff games are great to watch but on much too late at night. I'm having a hard time functioning at work.
Think that we could work out some kind of trade? I'd give up the entire Eastern Conference playoffs for three Western Conference games at a reasonable weeknight time (shift the Eastern Conference games so that they are time-friendly for our Pacific time brothers and sisters and move a couple of Western Conference games so that I don't have to stay up to 1:30 a.m.). I'd even throw in a few MLB league championship games and agree to move a couple of Sunday night football games back an hour.
Michael Lee: Yeah, maybe they should just move the Western Conference games to a neutral site in the East, like Madison Square Garden or something. But seriously, I'm with you. And, I'm sleep deprived.
College Park, Md.: I'm not sure which Web sites to believe, since they all tell a different story. But to the Wizards have any cap room at all this offseason?
Is Pollin willing to break into the luxury tax or are all the deals this offseason going have to be trades and mid-level exceptions?
Ivan Carter: The Wiz won't have much cap space and you can forget about Abe Pollin going over the luxury tax. That doesn't make him cheap when you consider that only a handful of teams are over (the Knicks were way over last season while Warriors and Mavericks were slightly over. The Warriors chopped major salary in the trade that sent Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy to Indiana for Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington in January). The Wiz will have the mid-level exception available (a first year salary starting around $5.2 to $5.5 million depending on the upcoming cap which hasn't been set yet. Example: They could sign Stevenson to a five-year, $25 million deal using the mid-level) and they will have a million dollar exception (a first year salary that will be a little over a million).
Arlington, Va.: Hey Guys,
Is the final verdict in? Would we be looking at the Mavericks as about to repeat as NBA champions if they had kept Steve Nash?
Looking forward, despite what Cuban has said, surely the Mavs can't stand pat after two meltdowns in a row and the total public crash of Dirk. What move this summer should they be looking at?
Michael Lee: I don't think so. I'm of the opinion that the best thing that happened to the careers of Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash was when they separated. Nash didn't play at a level resembling an MVP until he fled to Phoenix. He was spurned by the Mavericks and out to prove a point. He would not have become the star that he is because he spent so much time helping Dirk find the confidence to be The Man. He would've kept pushing Dirk. Once he no longer had Dirk to push, he pushed himself to incredible heights.
As for Dirk, same thing. He would not have been an MVP with Nash around. In a lot of ways, they were motivators and crutches for each other. Without each other, they had to rely on the strength within.
You also have to remember that Dallas didn't reach the Finals until they adopted a defensive philosophy under Avery Johnson. Plus, last I checked Nash has yet to reach an NBA Finals. He will have a hard time getting there again with the Spurs standing in the way.
Now, to the Mavericks. I don't think they have to do a complete overhaul of the roster. They will have to bring a pit bull to the team, or a guy who doesn't get scared under pressure - maybe a Paul Pierce or Chauncey Billups. I also think they should look into bringing in Texas native Rashard Lewis from Seattle. Maybe send back Jason Terry, DeSegana Diop or somebody to the Sonics. I don't know, just a little tweaking, but you have to remember, this team still won 67 games. They just met the wrong team and the wrong coach (Don Nelson) in the first round. Any other matchup and they are probably still playing.
Rockville, Md.: What is your take on the NBA re-seeding after every round in the playoffs?
Michael Lee: I wrote about this the other day. I'm all for reseeding. The NBA is really punishing us right now, but subjecting us to the Spurs and Suns in the second round. This is by far the most intriguing series out there and one of the three best teams in the NBA will be eliminated before the conference finals, that's ridiculous. Every other major sport does it, and in a league that is struggling to promote its eliminated stars, it's even worse when the best teams are gone before the conference finals.
As I write this, I'm thinking how awesome it would be to have a second round series between the Warriors and Suns. Can't you see Don Nelson coming back to slay his former pupil Steve Nash after destroying Dirk Nowitzki? Oooh. I'm getting excited. Too bad, we might have to watch Spurs-Jazz in the conference finals. Snooze.
Woodbridge, Va.: Now that B. Haywood has officially asked for his walking papers, what do we get for him? EG has very little leverage in this situation, can we reasonably expect to get a starting center or power forward in return?
Ivan Carter: Actually, from the sources I've spoken with including someone in the front office and a player who is close to Haywood and spoke to him the other day, Brendan did not demand or ask for a trade. I was told that Brendan saw that story and the headline (in the Wash Times and said it wasn't true). However, he and Ernie did talk about the ongoing tension between him and Eddie Jordan and Brendan is clearly wondering whether anything will change given what went down this season after they supposedly buried the hatchet last summer. The issue is that Ernie is not going to just trade Brendan to trade him. He's set to make $16.5 million over the next three years and as we all know, that's a minor hit in a day and age when centers like Jerome James are making much much more. The key, as I see it, will be whether Ernie can move Etan Thomas, who has 20.5 million remaining over the next three years). If he can, I see him keeping Brendan and telling him and Eddie to work things out.
Washington, D.C.: What can you tell us about the relationship between:
Eddie Jordan and Ernie Grunfeld? Have you seen the two together in the recent past?
Eddie and Arenas?
Ivan Carter: Ernie and Eddie have talked and we saw them together on the court laughing and joking as recently as the day before Game 4. I've heard that Eddie and Gilbert have had only minor conversations since Gilbert got hurt against Charlotte on April 4.
Wiz: On Juan Carlos Navarro, we all keep asking about him. The answer is always that he has a big $3 million buyout, and the Wiz are only allowed to buy out $500,000 of that.
Wait a minute. $2.5 million is small change for the NBA. Why not just increase his contract above his market value by that amount? If that is too much for this little organization, will the Wiz at least trade his rights to a franchise that is willing to spend wisely for a winner?
Ivan Carter: Actually, I hear from a source in Italy that buyout is for more than $3 million and could be as high as $10 million. It's somewhat of a mystery because neither the Wizards nor Navarro and his team are saying exactly what it is.
Arlington, Va.: Do you see the Bulls coming back and winning their series with the Pistons in seven games? Detroit rarely seems to bring its game in the playoffs and Chicago is hungry for another series win.
Michael Lee: Detroit rarely seems to bring its game in the playoffs? Are you serious? I know they faltered in the playoffs last season, but how does a team that won an NBA championship in 2004, advanced to the finals in 2005 and has been to the Eastern Conference finals in each of the past four seasons not bring it in the playoffs?!
But to answer you question, no, I do not see the Bulls coming back to win this series. The Pistons look like they really want to do something special.
Michael Lee: This was my blog on reseeding, in case you missed it.
Baltimore: Assuming Detroit can finish rolling to the finals (and I don't see much to stop them), who coming out of the West would make for the most entertaining finals?
Michael Lee: That is easy. Phoenix! Even Golden State. But sadly, I think we will subjected to another San Antonio-Detroit finals. They went seven games in 2005, but only three were worth watching, if I recall.
Washington, D.C.: Michael and Ivan:
Could you recount for us the available monies the Wizards have this summer? They can sign Pecherov regardless of the cap because he will be on a rookie contract, correct? They could, in theory, do the same for Navarro and Veremeenko, but if they choose/need to sign Navarro for more money than his allotted salary for the 40th pick in the draft, that money comes from the mid level exception correct? Any other funds other than the veteran's minimum?
Ivan Carter: Pecherov will be slotted as the 18th pick in last year's draft. As I reported in today's paper, don't count on seeing Veremeenko this season even for summer league. He has a pretty hefty contract with his team in Russia and his agent said that they may not clear him to come over and play for the Wizards this summer, risk getting hurt and then have to come back and play for them next season. As has been said before, the Navarro situation is totally hinged around his contract situation with Barcelona.
D.C.: What reason would the Wiz have to keep DeShawn? He really showed me nothing, especially not for a person who could fit into a 5-year, 25-million slot. Keep in mind, he was brought in to be a defensive stopper. He could neither guard anyone, nor do anything offensively when the D played him straight up when 2 of the big 3 were out.
Ivan Carter: That's a great question and to be clear, I threw the five-year, $25 million figure out there as an example. That's essentially what Jared Jeffries got from the Knicks last season and given that DeShawn turned down a three-year, $10 million deal from the Magic last summer, I could see him looking for as much of the ML as possible. Thing is, I don't see any teams running to his agent to offer that kind of jack after that playoff performance. Then again, when Gilbert, Caron and Antawn were healthy, DeShawn played his role to perfection and this team was on pace to win 45 or so games.
Washington, D.C.: Where did this Cleveland team come from? Because the one I saw playing the Wizards should be getting absolutely blown out by the Nets.
Michael Lee: This is the same Cleveland team you saw sweep Washington. The Cavaliers play to the level of the competition. The Wizards were on their knees in the first round, so the Cavs didn't bother trying to break a sweat. With New Jersey, the Nets are giving their all, but Cleveland is clearly better.
In these first two rounds, the Cavs are the better team, so that's why they are winning. But you shouldn't be shocked. It's not like the Nets are a great team or anything.
Falls Church, Va.: You see any of the fringe guys coming back like Roger Mason or Donnell or Cal Booth?
Ivan Carter: I think that will be totally dependent on what other moves the Wiz make. When late summer arrives and Ernie has Pecherov in the fold, knows whether either of his draft picks will be in uniform and has made any signings or trades, those are the kinds of guys he can add on because they'll more than likely be sitting out there waiting for teams to set their rosters.
Washington, D.C.: Putting aside personality conflicts and salaries, who do you think is the better fit for the Wizards: Etan or Brendan?
Ivan Carter: In terms of pure basketball, Brendan has clearly been more of a contributing player. His plus/minus numbers are better, the team's win/loss record has been better when he's started and his stats are better when the two are stacked up against one another. The problem lies with the fact that Eddie doesn't trust him and obviously doesn't want to play him given a multitude of factors ranging for attitude to up-and-down performance.
Falls Church, Va.: Who pulls the biggest free agent deal this summer? Vince Carter?
Michael Lee: Rashard Lewis. I think Orlando backs up a dump truck of money at him and makes him very rich. Vince will get paid, but if he keeps missing 16 shots a game in the playoffs and fails to get out of the second round - again - his price tag might drop.
Mt. Pleasant: Do you think the Wizards will explore dealing Jamison this summer? His deal is expiring and he's still a good contributor, so he should have some decent value.
Ivan Carter: The main issue with that would be getting some team to take on $16 million in salary. Any team looking to do so, and they aren't many if any, would more than likely be looking to shed some awful contracts and I don't see how that could possibly make the Wizards better.
Falls Church, Va.: Who ya got tonight? I see Utah running the Warriors out of the building. Game 1 was Golden State's chance to steal home court.
Ivan Carter: The problem is that predicting what Golden State is going to do is so difficult. The way they play fast and loose, they could come out, bury a bunch of threes and take this game tonight. The key is that Williams outplayed B Davis in Game 1 and I don't see that drastically changing. That guy is Jason Kidd with a jump shot. What a player.
Falls Church, Va.: When Atlanta passed on Chris Paul I thought they were idiots, now Deron Williams is making them look even more stupid.
Michael Lee: Yeah, if there is a shakeup in Atlanta any time in the near future, and Billy Knight loses his job, this will be the reason. This story has been beat to death in Atlanta, because Marvin Williams hasn't made anybody forgot about Chris Paul or Deron Williams. The worst part of that whole deal was the Knight tried to get his point guard by signing Paul's backup - injury-prone Speedy Claxton. Just terrible. If the Hawks draft one of those guys, they might be in the playoffs right now.
D.C.: If this team has regressed during the playoffs over the past three seasons and only went to the 2nd round when Larry was here, never mind injuries as the reason, why is any player on this team considered untouchable? This is especially the case when the coach and the point guard have a fundamental difference on what type of offense should be run!
Ivan Carter: I can just tell you that Gilbert is untouchable. As long as Ernie Grunfeld is running this team, Gilbert will be here. I think Caron Butler is close to untouchable. Ernie loves Songaila and thinks Blatche is can be a real player. That makes them close to untouchable as well. Jamison's value was obvious both when he was hurt in January (the team went 4-8) and in the playoffs when he balled out like a champ plus, he has a monster contract next season ($16 million) that will be tough to move even if Ernie wanted to. After that, anyone on this team could be moved this summer or by the trade deadline next season.
Burke, Va.: Did I hear David Stern correctly? That the reason the NBA doesn't reseed the later rounds of the playoffs is because the television networks dictate the playoff format and the NBA is powerless to change it?
Is Dave singing soprano these days?
Michael Lee: I would never go that far with Mr. Stern. I think there is more to this than he is letting on. If this guy can force a new ball on teams, and a dress code on players, I think he can change the rules if he wants to. I can't imagine the TV networks doing backflips over a San Antonio-Utah series in the conference finals when it could've sold Phoenix-San Antonio. The league and the networks know this would be more appealing to fans and advertisers.
Washington, D.C.:"Detroit rarely seems to bring its game in the playoffs"
What is it, opposite day? The thing I hate the most about dull Detroit is their uncanny ability to almost always win in the playoffs, regardless of their regular season record.
Michael Lee: Yep. Exactly.
DC:"Detroit rarely seems to bring its game in the playoffs...." Meanwhile, back on planet Earth. Other than the Spurs, no one brings it like Detroit in the playoffs. The Bulls are a nice young team with a lot of energy. But who on their team starts on Detroit? No one, not even Luol. Can Gordon/Heinrich D up Billups/Hamilton? And look at the big bodies Detroit now has on their bench. Baring injury, Detroit wins the whole thing.
Michael Lee: I don't know if I can argue with you. Detroit is in the best position it has been in years - the underdog. Don't think that doesn't fire them up. I still think the NBA champ comes out of the west, but I'm not ready to rule out the Pistons completely. They definitely can sneak a ring.
Washington, D.C.: Can Cleveland beat Detroit?
Michael Lee: Can it? Absolutely. Because LeBron James can obliterate them on his own. They have no answer for him and he proved it in the conference semis last year, before he ran out of games.
Will it? I don't think so, though.
New York, N.Y.: Hey Ivan,
Looking at the draft, who do you think the Wizards should target? I think they should look hard at McRoberts - a passing big, who can play some D and wont be asked to score much. But the perfect fit would be Joakim Noah - all defense and hustle. I don't care if they have to trade their next three first rounders, they should pull the trigger on it.
Ivan Carter: This team could certainly use an athletic, rebounding, run the floor and bring some energy forward type. A nice wing who can knock down an open shot and slash to the basket wouldn't be bad either. Though I don't ever see him reaching an All Star level, Noah would be great but he's going to be long gone by the time the Wiz pick. Aside from Corey Brewer, who is going to be a stud, the player I like a ton is Acie Law from Texas A&M. I see him being a scorer off the bench type who could come in and change the pace of a game with his quickness. And in terms of athletic wings, what about Georgetown's Jeff Green? He could be sitting there when the Wiz pick. He can pass, shoot and handle and knows the Princeton offense inside and out.
Falls Church, Va.: You following the draft yet? Oden or Durant?
Michael Lee: Oden. He's a big man and he took his team to the championship game. I love Durant, but he could wind up like McGrady or Garnett: a great singular talent who never wins anything. Oden will likely deliver with a ring or two or three before he's done.
Washington, D.C.: I couldn't help but notice the following line from last night's Net's game:
Collins, 30 minutes, 1-3, 1 rebound, 2 points.
What is it about the Princeton offense that leads to lines like these from centers? I know part of it is that the center's role (as NJ and Washington run it) is to set picks on offense, so the shots and points aren't a surprise. Is it something about the way the Princeton offense and various defensive philosophies were adopted in NJ, and in turn by EJ?
Michael Lee: You cannot blame the Princeton offense on Jason Collins. That dude has no skill. He has never been a scorer or rebounder. He is a guy who takes charges, that's it.
I don't think the Princeton offense held back Vlade Divac or Nenad Krstic. Divac happened to be pretty incredible in Sacramento, earning an all-star appearance and leading the Kings to the conference finals in 2002. If the Nets had a healthy Krstic, they might be a fifth seed at worst or Atlantic Division champs.
It's not the offense. It's the players in the offense.
And, the Princeton offense is actually designed with the center as the focal point. A skilled big man should excel in this offense, but an unskilled player will get you one rebound, two points and maybe take a couple of charges.
Washington, D.C.: What's the dumber move -- passing on Paul and Deron Williams to draft Marvin Williams (Atlanta) or trading the 3rd pick (Deron Williams) so you can pick Martell Webster and Linas Kleiza (Portland)?
Kind of no contest in my view.
Michael Lee: You might be right, buddy.
Bowie, Md.: Why aren't both TMac and Yao sharing in the blame? Every time I watch Yao play, it's painful to watch his big, lumbering, nonathletic self try to do something, miss, and then curse in frustration. If it weren't for his height, there would be much, much less hype. Agree?
Ivan Carter: I agree that blame should be shared by those two and by a front office/coaching staff that tried to make starters out of guys who should, at best, be coming off the bench for legit playoff teams, guys like Rafer Alston, Chuck Hayes and Luther Head. That's not going to get it done no matter how good T-Mac and Yao are.
Trade Jamison???: Anyone who even suggests that after seeing the heart that guy displayed in the playoffs ought to be slapped! That guys is all heart and we will never get his value back if we trade him. You can't put a price on leadership and heart!
Ivan Carter: A vote for Antawn. I agree. The guy brought it like a man in that series.
DC: Do you think Sam Mitchell will be in Toronto next season?
Michael Lee: I don't think so. It's not because he hasn't earned an extension. I just think that if Toronto really wanted to take care of him, they would've done it already. I think GM Bryan Colangelo gives Mitchell an offer he can refuse, then brings in somebody like Marc Iavaroni or even an out of the box choice like Ettore Messina from CSKA Moscow. If you don't know Messina, he is one of the best coaches in Europe and he has a relationship with Raptors assistant GM Maurizio Gherardini, who worked with Messina with Benetton Treviso in Italy.
Mitchell will be alright, though, since Indiana and Charlotte are reportedly interested in the reigning coach of the year.
Va.: You really think Jeff Green would last until No. 16?
Ivan Carter: Just going on some of the projections I've seen (and we all know how iffy those can be so early in the process). I see him falling into the Josh Howard category where a bunch of teams pass on a really balanced player who was great in college in order to take a young, long kid with "upside" or an international prospect.
D.C.: Does it pain anyone to know that both Boozer and Tayshaun could have been had during the years we picked ahead of when they were picked?
Michael Lee: About half the league could be saying the same thing. A lot of people missed the boat on these dudes.
Northern Virginia: Out of all the coaches that got canned this year, which one do you guys think got the shaft the worse? I think it's got to be Carlisle or Musselman...that midseason deal wrecked the Pacers while Mussleman had to deal with Artest along with dissension in the ranks
Michael Lee: I think there was justification in both firings. Teams have a right to do what they want to do.
I've known Musselman for years and I like the guy, but Sacramento didn't seem to have any sort of flow or rhythm this season and the players clearly were not responsive to him, which led to that awful record. He also didn't help himself getting a DUI in the preseason. It's hard to get your players' ears if you start slipping in such a public manner.
With Carlisle, he had a run of bad luck in Indiana - the brawl in 2004, Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson, injuries, etc. - but he did a great job. He deserves another opportunity, but things didn't work out in Indiana and they never were going to. Since you can't fire the players - and the Pacers tried - somebody has to take the fall. Carlisle never adjusted to his personnel. The Pacers wanted to run, and revamped the roster with that intent, but he was too controlling. The players stopped playing for him, too. How else do you explain an 11-game losing streak this late in the season. The Pacers need a new voice. It happens.
New York, N.Y.: What is it about these playoffs that are so uninteresting? Is it because all the good games are on so late we only see the dull East games?
And please tell me it's not going to be Detroit-San Anton in the finals again. Maybe I'm a lamo, but I don't find fundamental basketball a blast to watch.
Ivan Carter: The ball out west has been great, as good as any playoff games I've seen in a while. The Golden State/Dallas series was must watch and so far, the San Antonio/Phoenix series is looking great. Derron Williams is having himself a little coming out party for the Jazz and I see the Warriors making that series very interesting. So yes, the best, most watchable ball has been out west. Gotta stay up baby!
DC: re: Jamison's Heart
Sorry, but heart alone ain't gonna win any championships. Where was Jamison's heart when the 2nd half of the season came crashing down resulting in a poor seeding?
Ivan Carter: Not to slip on some Wizards underoos and sound like a homer, but c'mon, that team was in big trouble when Caron went down and then it was done when Gilbert went down. Can't pin that on Antawn. With the exception of a couple of games, he produced at a high level down the stretch and he manned up in the playoffs. Not calling him one of the game's best or even saying he's the difference in winning a championship but I have to give the man his due. He brought it while keeping that locker room tight.
DC: Who is this 7-0 guy from China that they are comparing to KG and could be picked top 5?
Michael Lee: Yi Jianlian. I have not seen him play and I cannot really say much about him. From what I hear, he can be special, but I really don't know enough about him. Sorry.
Falls Church, Va.: You guys gonna get a chance to go to any away playoff games coming up? I bet you're both upset you can't get any South Beach visits.
Michael Lee: I'm upset that I won't get South Beach or LA or New York, but I will be headed to San Francisco this weekend to check out that Golden State-Utah series, then I hope to swing over to Phoenix for that Suns-Spurs finish. Not too bad. I think sportswriters around the country are loathing the prospect of heading to Detroit, Cleveland, Salt Lake and San Antonio come the conference finals. Whew. At least the Super Bowl is usually in a nice place.
I have a nomination: for the dumbest non-move........not taking Elton Brand for the No. 1 pick in 2001...Kwame Brown!
Ivan Carter: Elton Brand was taken No. 1 in 1999. How about this: Would the Hornets still be in Charlotte had they not swapped Kobe Bryant to the Lakers for Vlade Divac and Eddie Jones on draft night in 1996?
Michael Lee: Hey, this was a great chat and I hate that I have to leave, but I have to run right now. I'm really looking forward to next week. You guys were great. I didn't have to answer a single question about Brendan Haywood. Thanks, Ivan. I'm out like T-Mac. I gave it my all, but I've got to go. Peace.
New York, N.Y.: What's going on with Kirilenko in Utah? I can't imagine he's lost his game and it seems like the Jazz don't appreciate his skills like they used to (or should). Any chance The Wiz might be able to make a play for him if he's out of favor in Utah?
Ivan Carter: When we were in Utah some of the guys in the locker room were talking about AK-47 and several said that Jerry Sloan is running the plays he used to run for AK-47 with Carlos Boozer and Okur now so, his opportunities have gone way down and he hasn't responded well. Basically he gets his in transition, on the offensive glass or on the occasional drive and kick from D Williams. They don't run a ton of plays for him anymore. Or at least that was the theory thrown out there by some of the veteran Wiz.
San Diego, California: Mike/Ivan:
It looks like the Pistons are the team to beat this year. They're manhandling a pretty good Bulls team. How would you handicap a Piston-Spurs series?
Ivan Carter: Let's see how the Bulls respond at home, where they were great all season, before we pull out the shovels just yet. That said, I am kicking myself for picking the Bulls in 7 in our preview in the paper. I guess I was sucked in by the way they took out Miami and I have to say that I tend to take the Pistons for granted. It is looking like a Detroit/San Antonio or Detroit/Phoenix series though. I'll take San Antonio or Phoenix in either case but then again, I could be taking the Pistons for granted.
Elton Brand: I was referring to the offer that was made to MJ while he was GM of the Wiz.....Elton Brand for the 2001 #1 pick....which ended up being Kwame Brown.
Ivan Carter: Gotcha. That does look bad in retrospect.
Falls Church, Va.: Who will be this year's winner of the Jerome James award for playing big in the playoffs and becoming a bust? I'm going with Matt Barnes. And who lost themselves some money? Give me DeShawn for that one.
Ivan Carter: Good call on Barnes, though he has been very good for that team. Not sure you want to break the bank for the cat though. DeShawn may have cost himself a big offer from another team but I think the Wiz pretty much know what he's about and liked what he was giving them when the lineup was intact and he was playing his role beautifully. The fact that he didn't prove to be a takeover kind of player capable of carrying a team was not a shocker to the Wiz.
Reston, Va.: Everyone is overlooking the obvious to why the Wizards faded at the end. They were doing great until Stern came and switched the basketballs back to the old balls. After the switch Jarvis was never the same. Curses to you DAVID STERN. What could have been the Wizards year to shine!
Ivan Carter: Wow! Now THAT'S an conspiracy theory involving D Stern and the NBA! Someone call Wilbon.
Ivan Carter: Thanks for dropping in folks. We'll be keeping you posted on everything NBA/Wizards in the coming days and weeks.
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