No hot links today. Instead, I'll just give this one: Andray Blatche calling into 106.7 The Fan again to defend himself for his poor play against the Knicks. Flip Saunders called his performance "terrible," which of course begs the question of why he was in for so long. But that's neither here nor there.
A more complete transcript is here, but here's a quick summary:
- Blatche said he's giving maximum effort, and is actually playing through a good deal of pain.
- That pain? A shoulder injury suffered a week and a half ago that's bad enough to cause a lot of pain after 30 minutes of working out, according to Blatche. He also still has knee stiffness that flares up from time to time.
- He's upset that so many Wizards fans have turned on him. "If you're a Wizards fan, that means you cheer for everybody. That doesn't mean you'll come to a game and you shout 'Trade him!' If you're part of a Wizards organization fan group, that means you cheer for the team."
- He actually talked to Gilbert Arenas before the big trade, during which Arenas said that he should be prepared for this. "We had a discussion, and this is what he said to me. 'Just as fast as they turned on me, it's going to happen to you.'" To be fair, Mike Wise prompted this one by mentioning Arenas' name first.
- The part that made me laugh the most was when Blatche explained what's wrong with the team. He said too many players try to do it themselves rather than trusting anyone, but nobody seems to say anything when that happens because they're too friendly with each other and worried about "hurting feelings." He said that's the big problem with the team now, but when asked whether he feels it's on him to be more vocal, he said that, in the heat of the moment, he "lets it go" so they can all move on to the next play and not dwell on failure. Okay, fine, I suppose that's reasonable.
- So does that mean those issues get addressed by players after the game? Blatche: "Then, next practice, we may joke about it so they can try to get a hint about it." Leadership!