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Quality Shots: 10/23/07

I have a paper to write, so you only get links from me today.  If anyone wants to post the next community projection, I'll promote it. -MP


RealGM posted an interview between Dave Zirin and our very own Etan Thomas today.  Apparently, Etan has always has a leaky heart valve, and had been monitoring ever since he started playing.  It was only when his numbers changed considerably that he decided to get the surgery.  He also talked about how Kwame Brown put him in touch with Ronny Turiaf, who had a similar heart procedure, and how he's been talking to Turiaf ever since.  Mostly good news there.

Of course, no Etan piece could be complete without some sort of anti-establishment rant.  This time, he took jabs at both the Washington Post and Washington Times for their coverage of his surgery.  

The people close to me were horrified when they opened the paper only to read a lot of unfounded, un-researched, speculative articles and statements. I believe the article in the Washington Times read, "Thomas could be done." Another one in The Washington Post brought all of these different cases that had nothing to do with mine, and presented them as though they were one and the same. They wrote about the worst possible cases and scenarios they could find. Len Bias, Jason Collier, Hank Gathers (may they all rest in peace).

They just started throwing names and cases around without doing any research. They didn't say that each case is different and although the heart is the common denominator in each case, comparing would not be intelligent to do until further details are obtained. At the time, the only details they were given were that I missed the beginning of camp to do further testing for heart irregularities. Now they took that small piece of information and turned it into these illustrious articles questioning if I will live, breath, walk, much less play ever again.

So when the people who actually do care about me open the paper, they are frightened by these mountains of poorly written, heartless, inconsiderate, writers whose only concern is to sell papers at any cost. It would be different if we were talking about the The National Enquirer, but we are not. I guess that's the sad state of present day journalism. They don't want little nuisances like facts to get in the way of a good story.

I'm going to chalk this up to an emotional reaction, because it really doesn't make any sense, and it demonstrates a lack of understanding of the practical realities of print media.  Steinz had a nice response to Etan's words.

Well, I can assure Etan that John Mitchell and Ivan Carter their editors' only concerns are not, in fact, to sell papers at any cost, since journos have no idea about our daily circulation fluctuations, don't benefit from one-day spikes in newsstand sales, and are, believe it or not, actual human beings with actual emotions rather than bloodsucking demons. The concern is to provide the most accurate information possible under a variety of limitations.

Here's the thing.  When Ivan Carter mentions people like Jason Collier in his article, he's only doing so as a point of comparison.  It's the readers who make the jump in concluding that the article is demonstrating that Etan will turn out like Collier.  

Also, Etan's point that the print media looked for the worst possible scenarios is, simply, ridiculous.  I did a search for every single story written by either Ivan Carter or John Mitchell, and none of them even mentioned Len Bias or Hank Gathers.  Collier was mentioned only because it was after his death that teams started to institute the mandatory heart checks, which caught Etan's ailment.  Ivan continually mentioned guys that actually recovered from heart troubles, such as Turiaf, Eddy Curry, San Francisco 49ers lineman Jesse Sapolu.  So basically, Etan's completely off-base there.

Obviously, Etan is back to his snarly self.  That can only mean good news for his recovery.


As for everything else...

  • Does anyone else find it a bit weird that the team is so overjoyed about Gilbert's progress after a 7-18 night from the field?  Shows you how bad he's been with his shot this preseason.
  • The other issue addressed in that article is why the team isn't using the 3.7 million salary-cap exemption they could get if they declare Etan to be medically unfit to play.  Basically, the Wizards don't want to go over the luxury tax, because while the 3.7 million is a salary cap exemption, it still counts for tax implications.  Of course, this set off a firestorm in the Wizards Insider comments section complaining about having no other big men in case someone gets hurt, but that's silly.  We can pick someone up then when it happens, there will be a bigger pool to choose from because of other team's training camp cuts, and it'll cost less because we can sign them to a 10-day contract.  
  • Creaky old (yet mostly insightful) Charley Rosen previews the Southeast, and sees the Wizards as a .500 team.  No surprises there.
  • Les Bullez, in-between needless sips of Brendan Haywood haterade:
    We are going to have to live with some mistakes from these guys during this season, but as long as they improve and get more and more comfortable with the system and their teammates, by the end of the season I think they have a great chance to contribute in the playoffs and give the team the depth it's wished it had since the 2005 playoffs.  (Remember Juan Dixon and Steve Blake).

    It's like what sierradave said; there are no real stiffs anymore.  At least not yet.

  • "Jamison, Antawn: Will be voted World's Greatest Neighbor, given the coveted Applebee's Black Card."
  • Our jobs are done here, because now Agent Zero is previewing the NBA himself.
  • Wizznutzz exposes the best scandals.
  • Gotcha!
  • I can't believe this is actually happening in Beantown.  When you wonder why Doc Rivers is going to handicap this team, that piece of news is one of the reasons why.
Update [2007-10-23 17:13:22 by Pradamaster]: Read some wierdo blabber incoherently in a season preview.