After the Wizards’ win against the Hornets on Monday night, Kelly Oubre said something interesting to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post:
The #Wizards will come to the arena tomorrow in all black b4 for Round 3 vs #Celtics. Kelly Oubre: "You know where we're going with that."— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) January 24, 2017
That’s right. The Wizards will wear all black to Verizon Center before today’s game against the Celtics because they want the game to be a “funeral” for the visitors.
That idea originated in 2013 when then-Knicks forward Kenyon Martin suggested that before Game 5 of a first round playoff series against the Celtics, who had a different core at the time. The Knicks went on to lose Game 5 of that series though they did win the series. But either way, the stunt wasn’t well-received by the Knicks coaches let alone the Celtics.
To be fair to Oubre, he apparently was the first to talk about the idea publicly. But Bradley Beal spearheaded the idea, and John Wall’s on board with it.
Beal came up w/ the idea for the #Wizards to wear all black tomorrow. Teammates agreed. Even 2nite, guys were amped for the game.— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) January 24, 2017
Beal on BOS game: "We want to keep it clean as much as possible but we know it’ll probably get chippy, a little trash talking.”— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) January 24, 2017
John Wall on BOS: "It’s going to be a competitive game. Hopefully everybody just keep it clean & ... makes it one of those great battles."— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) January 24, 2017
Me to John Wall: "All black everything?"— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) January 24, 2017
Wall: "A black everything. A fun-er-ral!"
Beal in background: "Yaa."
There are two sides to look at this.
On the one hand, it’s great to see the solidarity of the team. The Wizards are playing their best basketball over the last two months and won 13 straight home games. Wizards fans are now starting to feel pretty good considering that their first 10 games were a disaster.
But on the other, the Wizards are fanning the flames against a team who doesn’t like them. The Celtics have won five of their last six games against the Wizards in the last two seasons with most of the same players.
And finally, Wall and Beal say that they want a clean game. But both teams have been involved in chippiness over the last two seasons and numerous confrontations. I expect this game to be the same whether they said they planned to say these things or not.
Some of you may like seeing the solidarity. I do too in a vacuum. However, I don’t see any need to go public about what they plan to wear tonight or whether the team wants this game to be the Celtics’ “funeral.”