As most of you are aware of, a fan favorite of ours just signed a new contract here for 60 million big ones spread out over 5 years. Now most people here are willing to accept the 12 million a year figure, but these same people are somewhat uneasy at the 5 year price tag and rightfully so. That is a long time for a 30 year old center, who while very good, is not a franchise changer. So it is quite likely that the back ends of this contract could be detrimental to our cap space.
But you know what, knowing all of this, I still can’t help but be happy that he’s sticking around. Not because I think the contract is of great value, but because I’m ecstatic the Zards are going to stay competitive for the next few years, doing it their own questionable ways.
Some fans were willing to sacrifice our potential success in these next few years to try to save cap space and try to lure a star here, and that’s fine. But me? Well I’ve been torn this year on what I wanted to do with this team going forward. For a while I was on board with saving space and chasing the unknown.
But this Wizards team has been an absolute joy that I’m not quite ready to give up.
I go to school at the College of William and Mary, not too far from D.C., but still Wizards fans are hard to come by. Throughout the year it was always difficult to find people who actually wanted to watch the wizards games. As soon as the playoffs came around I was able to find more and more guys to watch the games with. Then, they started winning and suddenly the viewing parties filled. Running and screaming, endless orders of Dominos, and the constant annoyance of one of my friends constantly calling Gortat "Gortex".
Bonding with these guys and the pure of excitement of watching the game is what this game is about, at least for us, the fans. It’s meant to be fun for us! And that is just what this Wizards team did for me, I simply just loved watching with the people around me.
I would hate to go back to being in the lottery, even if it opened up our possibilities for the future. This team, this year, was a gift. I feel extremely lucky to come back to this team next year, simply to have fun on the winning ride with a team we’ve seen grow before our eyes.
All of the excitement I built this year with the people around me would be lost if we lost Gortat. We would not be as competitive without him (assuming we couldn’t adequately replace him) and would be taking a huge step back. All of these people who were getting into the Wizard’s playoff run this year wouldn’t care about the Wizards anymore. But now I have guys who want to watch the games with me, who will want to go to Verizon Center for a game, who want to get some wizards gear.
By not resigning my man "Gortex" and taking a step back competitively I know these friends I helped become fans would quickly lose interest in this team. That was the cost of letting him go. Not only would we decline competitively but all of these new fans dutifully earned would be lost, and there we would be, struggling to find people to watch a Wednesday night Wizards game with us.
Maybe you wanted to chase Carmelo, or Monroe, or LeBron, and let Gortat go. Or maybe save cap space for these guys next summer and the next. And this would certainly bring along new fans. But life is short and I don’t think after all of our years of losing were in a position to be okay with losing again, the taste of winning was just too sweet. Maybe you hold out and get him for less years. But maybe you hold out and then he leaves. If giving Gortat too many years on a contract was the way to assure we get to continue to enjoy this team, then so be it.