Thank you for your responses to this week’s Washington Wizards SB Nation NBA Reacts survey. Part 1 of our results is here.
The Wizards’ 49-win season in 2016-17 was your favorite DC basketball moment this century
Since this is a survey for Wizards fan survey, I’m not surprised that a 49-33 season and a second round playoff appearance was your favorite basketball moment in the 21st century. I was more interested to see which other moments resonated with the fans.
Of the non-Wizards choices, the top selection 39 percent was Maryland’s 2001-02 NCAA men’s basketball championship season led by head coach Gary Williams and star players like Juan Dixon, Steve Blake and Chris Wilcox. Coincidentally, all but Wilcox would later play for the Wizards at some point in their professional careers. If you are an older Millenial or a Gen X’er, this moment certainly sticks with you.
I graduated from high school in 2002 and I still remember that season well. But I never have been a super Maryland fan while listening to Jennifer Lopez on my CD player to class.
The Washington Mystics’ 2019 WNBA championship is the most recent big-time basketball moment here in the area and they had 23 percent of the votes. This was the selection I picked, but many of you who were yearning for any professional basketball championship may have selected it for that reason. And to me, objectively speaking at the pro level, it’s our best moment here in DC.
The George Mason men’s basketball team’s run to the 2005-06 NCAA Final Four was third place, just behind the Mystics. The then-CAA power wasn’t expected to do much, but defeated Michigan State, North Carolina, Wichita State and pre-tournament favorite Connecticut to make the national semifinals. The Wichita State and UConn matches were also played at the then-Verizon Center as well. How does a midmajor with a No. 11 seed not only make the national semifinals, but ALSO PLAY REGIONAL GAMES RIGHT BY CAMPUS!?
I remember this was also Mason’s unofficial song during their run. I don’t blame them.
The Maryland 2005-06 women’s basketball championship season was a distant fourth place of the non-Wizards choices. The Terrapins went 34-4 that season and defeated a heavily favored Duke team in overtime to win their first national championship. This season was also the year that put UMD on the map as one of the elite women’s college basketball programs and top producers of WNBA talent in the modern era.
Three players from the 2005-06 team went on to play for the Mystics at some point in their professional careers like Crystal Langhorne, Marissa Coleman and Kristi Toliver.
The Wizards’ gun incident in December 2009 was the worst DC basketball moment this century
Sorry for the typo on the Mystics at the end of this graphic!
As Wizards fans, we certainly have many bad moments, so I’m not surprised that the Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton guns in the locker room incident of Dec. 2009 was the most selected choice.
I’m a little surprised that it barely beat out their 2016 free agency period when free agents like Kevin Durant and Al Horford turned into Ian Mahinmi and Andrew Nicholson. Nicholson didn’t last a full season in D.C., while Mahinmi was paid over $60 million in four years to be a backup. At least he was a good locker room presence.
Why could the margin between these two choices be so close? My anecdote is that the gun incident forced the Wizards to rebuild and move on from the Gilbert Arenas Era, which became the John Wall Era the following season. The Wizards’ 2016 free agency period set them back. Even if the Wizards couldn’t get Durant, just imagine if Al Horford ended up picking Washington over Boston.
Okay, maybe I wouldn’t run THAT simulation again.
We had several choices for non-Wizards events. Of them, the top choice was Maryland moving to the Big Ten Conference (15 percent) from the ACC in 2014. Though the Terrapins have performed well in Olympic sports and in basketball, especially the women’s team, UMD’s rivals aren’t the likes of Michigan, Penn State, Rutgers and Illinois. They’re more like Virginia, Duke, North Carolina and NC State in the ACC. And for football, Maryland is in the Big Ten to be Michigan’s and Ohio State’s whipping child.
In second place was the lack of head-to-head games between Maryland and Georgetown’s men’s basketball teams (8 percent). The two teams have only faced each other four times in the 21st Century, two of those games coming in neutral competitions. Alumni from both UMD and Georgetown faced off in the Alumni Basketball League with Georgetown’s “Dawg Talk” winning 121-91 on the UMD campus on Aug. 6.
The Mystics’ 5-29 season in 2012 was last place, and I think more of you should have voted for it, given that the Mystics’ lows were lower than the Wizards’ 2016 free agency period. Fans were talking about whether the team would even have a 2013 season. Any Mystics fan who followed the team in the pre-Mike Thibault Era knows just how depressing that year and 2011 was. I’ll link to our summary of the 2010s so you can get the gist of it.
So why did I ask about moments in the 21st Century? Well, I’ll thank Matt Modderno for inspiring me again after he wrote about the Top 5 moments in Wizards history since 2000. I just took it a bit further by expanding it to your favorite moments that happened to other DC teams, like the Mystics or college teams as well.
Gortat, Avdija and Hachimura are your Top-3 international players who represented the DMV
I’m happy to see that Marcin Gortat, who recently became an American citizen, won the award. He embraced the D.C. area as well as his Polish heritage. Current Wizards Deni Avdija and Rui Hachimura round out the Top 3 with Nene not too far behind. Former NBA player and Maryland great Greivis Vasquez, a Venezuelan native, rounded out the Top-5.
Former Mystics forward Emma Meesseman from Belgium and former Wizards and Maryland center Alex Len from Ukraine were also choices but did not rank here.
I’m a little surprised that Meesseman didn’t rank at No. 5. While she led the Mystics to the 2019 WNBA championship and was the Finals MVP, she never embraced the DMV like Gortat did during his time here. Part of it is understandable. Since 2017, her national team in Belgium was rising on the world stage and their competitions were often during the Mystics’ season. But the timing of competitions for both teams, and Meesseman’s flakiness in recent years tested Mystics fans’ patience, so that could have hurt her. Also, she plays for the rival Chicago Sky, so there’s that.
In Len’s case, he only played two seasons at Maryland and part of one season with the Wizards, so I wasn’t surprised that he didn’t rank in the Top 5.
Everybody Eats > WallWay
I just had to revive this old debate since it was a hot thing in the comments back in 2018. Remember when John Wall first had his injury woes in the 2017-18 season and a Tomas Satoransky-Bradley Beal backcourt made Washington’s offense hum without a major hiccup for a good stretch?
Beal then said the team’s strategy was so that “Everybody Eats” until Wall could come back at full strength. He never meant to say that Wall wasn’t important, but ... it sparked off some debate in the comments for quite some time after that.
Four years after Beal’s comment, he is the only Wizards player left, so maybe “Everybody Eats” won in that respect. But I really just put those catchphrases there ... just becuase.
The graphic was a little ambiguous about who “both players gone” are, but they referred to Wall and Tomas Satoransky.
76 percent of you do NOT think cake is bread
Back when Jake Whitacre was BF’s site manager, he had this phase where he openly mused that cake is bread. According to a poll we had back in 2016, most disagreed with him.
CAKETAIN BREADMERICA: CIVIL WAR— Jake Whitacre (@jakewhitacre) May 11, 2016
I just leaned toward cake not being bread but generally stayed mum on the issue. I just waited six years to find out a time to point out that while these foods are in the same part of a supermarket, just weren’t the same.
So I did a Google Search to figure a way to write it out — and not do it during the middle of the basketball season. And it seems that the consensus between highly ranked sites on “cake vs bread” or “is cake bread” such as Culinary Debates, Ask Any Difference and The Great Bake, is that cake ... isn’t bread. Here’s the gist of why, after reading the three links for a more descriptive analysis.
First bread and cake are both made of flour and water. They are both baked goods.
But they need an agent to leaven it during the baking process. Bread is generally a mixture of flour and water, leavened with yeast, a biological agent. Cakes are not leavened with yeast. Some breads may be sweet because some sugar is added, but not to the extent of a cake.
As you are aware, the traditional white or chocolate cake has a sweeter and more filling taste than the average slice of Wonder Bread. That’s because in addition to flour, other ingredients like egg whites, butter and sugar are mixed in. Baking soda or baking powder is added to be a leavening agent for this mixture known as batter. The egg whites and butter are why cake is more filling!
Whether you are someone who likes to bake or are someone who just wondered what the difference is between a white cake and a white bread loaf, now you do.
We will have another SB Nation Reacts survey next week to kick off the Washington Mystics’ playoff run against the Seattle Storm. Stay tuned for it and thanks again for all of your responses!