Welcome to another wonderful installment in the web's best NBA team previews. So wonderful that you will be filled with wonder and astonishment and wonderful wonder. To check out all the entries in the series, you can click here.
Today, we will be discussing the Washington Wizards, a really good team that had a really bad season and continue to have some of the most repulsive uniforms in contemporary American sports. They also happen to be pretty ridiculously awesome.
Team That I Adore
What I Like
Brendan Haywood and Antawn Jamison are University of North Carolina alumni. Caron Butler used to drink massive quantities of Mountain Dew during every game. Javale McGee, Nick Young, and Andray Blatche are easily the funniest, loosest group of young back-ups in the league. DeShawn Stevenson's stupid tattoo's confuse bloggers and sometimes he does the "I can't feel my face" thing, which is pretty awesome. Gilbert Arenas is Gilbert Arenas, and that used to be more than enough for everyone.
What I Don't Like
Brendan Haywood's homophobia is extremely distasteful at best. Caron Butler stopped drinking Mountain Dew. DeShawn Stevenson's tattoos are pretty stupid. Gilbert Arenas has vowed to stop being interesting.
They still all seem to be serious about their rivalry with the Cavs.
All these things point to increased focus and dedication to winning. Unfortunately, I never cared if the Wizards won any games.
Gilbert Arenas is powered by swagger the same way that nuclear power plants are powered by atomic processes. Specifically, for years he operated like a breeder reactor, using his swag to generate heat, energy, toxic mutant mutations, and even more swag than he started out with. This made him one of the best and most interesting players in the NBA and one of the most delightful. He is a starter on the Love in the Time of Lebron All-League Team. Visions of a Satanic backcourt of Gilbert and J. R. Smith, shooting with no remorse and driving with supreme athleticism make the self-proclaimed defenders of the doctrinal purity of "Right Way" basketball wake up in a cold sweat. Gilbert wasn't a true subversive, but his swag was, indeed, phenomenal.
That's why the news of a quiet and focused Gil are so troubling to me. Gil is a good player, and he doesn't need a lot of swagger to be a good basketball player. However, if he wants to reach the transcendent heights he once dared , he needs to turn his swag on (I believe that's how Diogenes phrased it). Gil's internal reactor used to burn hot and messy, leaving a trail of mutant eccentricity and glowing power. This is the problem of fission. So far, Gil has been playing his usual style but with less of what the insufferable fans of basketball call "antics." Does this mean that Gil has learned to play without swag? No, my friends: This merely means that Gilbert Arenas has uncovered the cold fusion version of swagger-- theoretically, always possible, just highly improbable. But then, that's Gilbert Arenas.
Assuming Gil really has found the cold-fusion method of swag processing and generation, the Wizards are poised for a poised season, filled with wins and minus all of the "antics" that gave casual fans pause. On the other hand, Gilbert Arenas is not the most reliable or consistent person on the planet. Odds are that the Wizards will be a few games either above or below .500 and that Gilbert, suddenly, and without explanation resume his former position. On the other hand, this reversion, this lapse, will make me love Gil even more.
Also, Caron Butler resumes his Mountain Dew habit.
Watch as much as you can despite the terrible uniforms. Hope that Gilbert acts like old Gilbert. If the team decides to get too focused, drop them.