Editor's Note: Bumped. Good thoughts from Rook. All this frustration is part of the journey. -Mike
I'm becoming more and more amused by the comments I read about our Wizards. Comments that show an unusually high level of frustration that the team is not performing better. I get it that we fans are passionate about our team. I also understand that (mostly anonymous) commenting on a blog tends to bring out a certain tendency to be more acerbic than if one were discussing the team together in a public setting. But this is a rebuilding team. What exactly did you expect?
Were you expecting the team to make the playoffs this year? Were you expecting to win a ton of games and contend?
Here are some interesting comments I found on a popular blog about a certain basketball team:
broke the cardinal rule. Poor effort. Forget the excuses. The effort was lacking.
This is a very, very poor effort. Horrible rebounding. Horrible, horrible defense. Pretty sloppy offense too.
I'm tired of watching crappy baskebtall from my favorite team. I'm tired of watching poor effort and zero passion - those things ARE NOT TAUGHT, you either have them or you don't. This is a team, don't forget, that many of us thought could fight for the last playoff spot.
I know it's early, but you're now 0-4 on the road and each game has been an insult to the game of basketball. Lots of teams can win at home. The truly good teams overcome overly bouncy balls, thinner air, minimal sleep, back-to-backs, whatever lame excuse you can think up, and they win some road games.
And I think to myself, what are these fans expecting from a young, rebuilding team?
Before I continue, I'd like to share some history. Specifically some history regarding the Portland Trailblazers. Yes, I know the Blazers are a perennial 50-win team NOW. But they used to be awful... Just as awful as your favorite team.
2004-05 they won 27 games, but the rebuild really started the next year.
2005-06 they won 21 games, picked 4th & 7th (obtained LaMarcus Aldridge & Brandon Roy)
2006-07 they won 32 games, picked 1st (selected Greg Oden)
2007-08 they won 41 games, picked 13th (selected Brandon Rush)
Since then, Portland has been a 50 win team.....
I think it's fair to say that every rebuilding team goes through ups and downs. Games where they show incredible potential, followed by games that, well for lack of a better phrase, are embarrassingly bad.
Ted Leonsis told us this is a rebuilding team. He told us to be patient. He told us he will do everything in his power to get this team back to respectability, and eventually contending for a title. He has asked us to "Keep the faith." He told us it may take some time. He knows. He's already done it with the Capitals. This quote is from his blog in 2008:
We haven’t won a Cup yet but that is what we all play for. That is what we rebuilt our team for. It has been a very painful process: one season of dismantling the team; one season of a lockout where our young prospects won a championship in Hershey; two seasons with Alex playing for us where we finished last in the division; and now from last to first and onto the playoffs with a division championship in hand. Thank you for coming along on the ride with us.
Discounting the lockout year, that means that he (along with the rest of the Capitals organization) rebuilt that team in 3 years. Don't you think the Wizards deserve the same three years?
What were you expecting? The Wizards would be challenging Orlando for the top spot in the Southeastern Conference, after rebuilding for only 20 games?
I've seen comments demanding the Wizards fire the Coach; or fire the GM; or fire the scouting staff. I've seen comments demanding they trade this player, or that player.... and I mean, trade comments about EVERY player (except John Wall). I see comments about "poor effort". I see comments about "poor execution". I see comments about "poor coaching", "poor rotations", "poor player development". Comments that say "if only they would play XXX player more" - Or if only "they wouldn't play XXX player so much."
The comments listed above.... the interesting comments from a popular blog about a certain basketball team? Those comments were posted in 2007 on Blazersedge the popular SB Nation Trailblazers blog; AFTER the team had already been rebuilding for two years. Blazers fans were frustrated going through the ups and downs of their rebuilding team. Go back and re-read those quotes again.... They sound familiar, don't they ?
So take solace Wizards fans. You are not alone. Others have suffered through the same feelings.
It's a long road folks. There are no quick fixes. No magic beans.