It's been over seven months since Bill Simmons' landmark "no balls" column (yes, I'm sorry the NBA doesn't work like your NBA Live franchise, Bill), and the sounds still reverberate through the internet. In case you can't remember, Simmons not only called the Spurs front office "crazy" to think they could win the NBA title without making a trade (that worked out well, didn't it), but he had this to say about the Wizards.
Okay, sure. Let's give up our best defensive center, a key bench player on a terribly short bench (even if we didn't like Jarvis), AND a first-round pick for two months of cringing while the slowest center in basketball tries to play on one of the fastest teams in the league. Other than that, it's a spectacular idea.
Anyway, there's a mini-Simmons running around the NBA blogosphere, and he happens to also be a Celtics fan. Not only that, but he got the Sports Guy stamp of approval this week. His name is Tim, and he writes for Shamrock Headband.
Apparently, Tim thinks the Wizards are boring, and that Ernie Grunfeld is a terrible general manager. Here's his justification.
Let's run through the checklist of platitudes:
Dueling centers reference: Check.
Andray Blatche/DeShawn Stevenson joke: Check.
Ohbytheway, Gilbert's going to leave next year (even though that'll probably cost him money): Check.
Defense wins championships: Surprisingly absent. That's when you know it's a crazy rant.
Wait, what's this? It's Ernie Grunfeld's fault? Well, that's a first.
Let's run through some of the statements here.
[That ill-informed rant gave me this strange image of a secretary telling Ernie that Kevin O'Connell called to say he'd give up AK-47 for Etan and Antonio Daniels, and Ernie smiled sadistically and said 'Nope, I want to keep Etan and Brendan, I've got money on Brendan blowing up first this year.]
Right, because he hasn't tried. I mean, do you read DC papers? It's not 1950...you can get out of market news on the internet these days. If you read DC papers, you would know that Ernie was trying desperately to trade Etan Thomas, but nobody wanted him, not with that nasty contract. And trading Haywood would make little sense, seeing as how he's relatively cheap and has absolutely no trade value after his post-playoff tirade. It takes two to tangle in this game.
I thought I had heard it all, then I hear this. If anything, the Wizards are TOO fun to watch.
Right on, dude! I mean, all he's done is sign Gilbert Arenas, trade for Antawn Jamison, pry Caron Butler from the Lakers for Kwame Brown, sign DeShawn Stevenson for the vets minimum when nobody else wanted him, draft potential difference-makers in the second round in Andray Blatche and Dominic McGuire, and take a perpetually crappy team in a crappy basketball town and make it interesting again. Other than that, he's done nothing to improve the team.
I really shouldn't be doing this, because it's just one guy's opinion, after all. But expect to hear a lot of this as we get closer to the season. The Wizards' offseason was quiet for the first time in years, but that doesn't necessarily mean everyone's passed them by.