Washington Wizards links for April 19: Robert Pollin on Gilbert Arenas, Andray Blatche's "challenging" season

I've never been good at doing link dumps.  I'm going to try to change that this offseason.  It starts today.

After 46 years, the Pollin family will likely sell the Wizards during the offseason - Michael Lee, Washington Post

I linked this article already below, but later on, Robert Pollin talks about why the Wizards didn't pursue voiding Gilbert Arenas' contract.

"Of course you consider, because it's in the player contract. Moral turpitude is grounds toward voiding a contract, but we were very reluctant to do that," he said. "We haven't done it. It's passed. Were we to pursue that path - which we did not do - we would've done it with a really heavy heart. So, I was very happy that that was not something that we didn't have to think about doing."    

Pollin also said that while he doesn't know Arenas well, he likes him as a person and thinks he deserves a second chance.

"This is not a violent person. This is a person who maybe is immature and makes bad decisions at times, but Gilbert also does a lot of great things. And he certainly has been as asset to the Wizards, other than this problem and the injuries. Had he not been a fantastic asset, we never would've signed him to the contract.

It's the very thing that everybody likes about him that got him into trouble, I guess. He is this really playful person and he apparently doesn't know how to control it," he said. "And at this point, it's not coddling a celebrity - everybody deserves another chance. I think it's great that Gilbert will be coming back. He's paying his debt. He is being punished. He did bad things. But now it's time to move on."    

Who Is The Real Andray Blatche? - Chris Miller, Comcast SportsNet

Chris Miller takes a look at Andray Blatche's season.  Cool instrumental tracks are included in the background.

NBA and NHL Salary Caps - Teds Take

Ted Leonsis had this to say on his blog about the NBA and NHL salary caps:
I find it a twist of irony that the NBA and NHL salary caps are both rising in this economy and are both set at about $57 million for next season.    

[...]

The NHL teams have about 23 to 24 pro players to pay; the NBA 12 to 15.

Some NBA teams have 3 to 4 players that make what the NHL's Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin make. Just as an example, Mike Miller of the Wizards gets paid what Alex Ovechkin earns. Gilbert Arenas makes twice what Alex Ovechkin earns.

Less players in the NBA to pay - same total dollars - round about.

Noted Wizards scholar Thom Loverro writes that Leonsis "made it clear he believes the NBA salary structure is warped."  Uhh ... no, no he doesn't, Thom.  He clearly says this is what happens when there are fewer players on the team.  Nice try at creating controversy, dude.

(Though it is funny that Leonsis says the salary cap is rising in both sports, because it's actually falling in the NBA.  It just isn't falling as much as expected).

Truth About It: The Washington Wizards Talk Nicknames

Kyle records a funny video of the Wizards players talking about their nicknames growing up.  Dear JaVale McGee: Be more interesting.

Antawn Jamison's Closet Is Probably Bigger Than Your Apartment - SB Nation

So Antawn Jamison's Bethesda mansion is finally on the market.  (Why did it take so long?).  In case you need any reminder that NBA players live ... well ... luxuriously, check out some of the pictures of his place.  (You can find more here).

Sports Radio Interviews: Chris Webber Recalls Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson’s Mind Games

Once upon a time, the Bullets played Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson and the Bulls in the first round of the playoffs.  Chris Webber was the star player on the team, and on the Dan Patrick Show, he talked about the Bulls' mind games back then.

"One time we played in Washington. We played a five game series against the Bulls. It was the year they won 72 games. We lose all three games by a total of seven points. I saw Michael Jordan come into our locker room with a cigar, while it was lit, and said, ‘Who's going to check me tonight?' And we looked at Calbert Cheaney and we were laughing like little school kids knowing that Calbert Cheaney was going to get him, we knew it wasn't a game for Mike. He was going to be there and he was going to be playing like he said. Game Three we get off the bus and Juwan (Howard) is from Chicago and used to workout there. I'll never forget, Jordan was sitting on his Ferrari and Pippen was right there and they have a cigar lit. We get off the bus and we have to pass them with a lit cigar. You want to talk about posturing? Forget Phil Jackson. You got Michael Jordan there behind the scenes smoking a cigar before the game, letting us know that he's the Red Auerbach before the game even started. It was almost like, ‘I lit the cigar. I'm celebrating already. This is just a formality, you guys getting on the court tonight."

Webber got the year wrong - the Bulls won 72 games in 1995/96 and only 69 in 1996/97, when they played the Bullets - but the anecdote is still hilarious. 

More from Truth About It here.  Hat tip to SLAM Online.

D.C. Sports Bog - Ovechkin and Backstrom play basketball

Apparently Nicolas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin celebrated a big 6-5 overtime on Saturday win by shooting some hoops on the Wizards' practice court.  Maybe we should sign those guys.

Twitter / Dan Steinberg

As I told Dan Steinberg on Twitter, there are more members of the 2007/08 Wizards playing in the Mavericks-Spurs series (four - Roger Mason, Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson) than there are on the Wizards right now (three - Andray Blatche, Nick Young, Gilbert Arenas).  That's a pretty crazy stat.

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