So by now you've probably read about how Antawn Jamison is talking a lot about the C word. In case you haven't, he are some of the relevant quotes.
"I've been around here for six years and championship talk wasn't a norm around our locker room. That's all we're talking about now," Jamsion said, with less than two weeks remaining before training camp. "If we stay healthy, I think we can compete with the upper echelon of the NBA."
"I'm not afraid to say it all. If we come up short, I mean, it's going to be sad," Jamison said. "I don't plan on accepting winning 40-something games, making it to the playoffs. weve already accomplished that. There's only one thing we have left to accomplish and that's contending for a championship. If that's not the mindset of this organization and my coaching staff and my players, then I don't need to be here.
"If it's not possible, then there's no need for me to be here at all," he said. "That's one the reasons that I signed here ... Last year, put the stamp on a lot of things. Because that was tough. But I can't accept not being able to accomplish the most important thing --what we're trying to do is win a championship. I believe we have what it takes. If it don't get done. it doesn't get done. I'm not going to waste my time, putting on a smile and just playing hard. I think we all deserve the opportunity and I'm happy."
Jamison's passion is great. It sounds so elementary, but you want your top players to be the guys shooting high and saying how they're going to put in everything they have to reach a team goal. And yes, talking championship is a good thing. Why else do you play?
But missing in Jamison's proclamations are two words we need to hear more from him as a captain: defense and sacrifice. Without improved defensive performance, this team is going nowhere, and without talk of the top guns sacrificing their shots and their offense, this team won't get the most out of its improved depth. As a team leader, Jamison should be setting that tone publicly. Instead, he's gone back to his fluffy "big proclamations" talk. He can say all he wants about how the C word is a new thing around this team, but big talk from the team's captains is hardly new.
It also helps that those two terms are two of his biggest shortcomings as a player and two areas where he himself might need to see some progression in order to get the Wizards to the next level. For himself and for the team, it pays to be talking about them.
Again, it's hard to begrudge a guy for talking team goals like Jamison does, but there are times where he should be channeling his passion into something with a little more substance.