Brendan Haywood, former starting center for the Washington Wizards, joined the Bleav in Wizards podcast this week. He and Larry Hughes discussed a whole range of Wizards-related topics like obvious disconnect between Eddie Jordan and Ernie Grunfeld, keeping Gilbert Arenas in check, and BB-gun fights in the locker room prior to the famous gun incident.
Given the popularity of “The Last Dance” on ESPN, they also discussed what it was like playing with Michael Jordan and playing for Doug Collins.
At one point, inspired by Dennis Rodman’s antics from the documentary, they discussed which former teammates were most likely to ask for a mid-season, 48-hour sabbatical:
Brendan Haywood: “I don’t have anybody that asked for a vacation. That’s the wildest thing I think I’ve ever heard in my life. Like in the middle of a season, not just say, ‘Now I need a rest day because my knee’s sore, but I need a vacation.’ We both played with Gil and I thought Gil was like one of the wildest guys I ever played with. But I’ve never had a guy take a vacation.
I will say this. There was one time in Dallas where we could not find Lamar Odom for practice. Like we just did not know where he was. But I don’t think, he didn’t ask for a vacation. He was just AWOL for a day. But outside of that, I’ve never heard anything like this. I don’t know what was wilder. The fact that Dennis asked, or the fact that Phil Jackson gave it to him. Like, ‘Yeah, go to Vegas, kick it. Go with Carmen Electra, have a good time!’
We couldn’t find Lamar Odom. When they found him, they figured out he was at his condo. They sent Delonte West to go get Lamar Odom. I was like, ‘Who signed off on that? Y’all gonna send D-West to go get him?’ That’s the blind leading the blind, man. That’s like Stevie Wonder telling Ray Charles to drive.”
Larry Hughes: “Other than GA, during the time we played with the Wizards, who would be a person that you would think that would just up and bounce like that? I got a name for you…He marched to his own beat, his own drum. Christian Laettner. I can see Laettner just being like, ‘You know what? I’m gonna go off and I’m gonna see y’all when I get back.’ He’s the one guy that I think that probably could have pulled that off during the time we were there with the Wizards.”
Haywood: “I can see Christian Laettner pulling that. Were you there with Samaki Walker? I can see Samaki doing that too. Samaki would just sometimes be on his own. You remember that day in practice he was just staring at the wall? I don’t know what was ingested but he was just staring at the wall all practice long…There was this day he was just sitting down to practice. He never checked in and he just stared at the wall. I was like, ‘Man, I don’t know what he’s on, but I ain’t messing with him.’ So I can see Samaki and maybe Christian Laettner pulling that.”
For more behind-the-scenes stories like the time the Wizards got into a huge brawl with the Chicago Bulls or what it was like during that playoff series with LeBron James and the Cavaliers (where Gilbert Arenas missed those free throws), make sure to download the whole episode!