Tag:Washington Wizards
Posted on: August 31, 2011 12:34 pm

Nick Young next to head to China?

Posted by Royce Young

With Wilson Chandler deciding to take the plunge and commit to a full season in China, it might have a bit of a domino effect of other players joining in. Already Thaddeus Young is reportedly in talks with a Far East club.

Now, it's another Young. Nick Young. Via ESPN.com:
Young’s agent, Aaron Mintz, told ESPN.com on Tuesday night that Nick Young is getting “major interest” from teams in China. The catch? Actually signing with one of them, like Chandler did, means Young would most likely be forfeiting the opportunity to play in the NBA in 2011-12 in the event that the lockout eventually ends, thanks to a rule instituted by the Chinese Basketball Association earlier this month that forbids its teams to include NBA out clauses in contract offers.
That's indeed the catch and it's a big one. Jumping into that pool means you give up a season in the NBA for sure, lockout or not.

Nick Young blossomed into a nice scorer last season averaging 17.4 points a game after Gilbert Arenas was traded from Washington. And while he's not going to find a huge offer overseas most likely, he's going to get a decent paycheck.

It's just a question as to if Young, a restricted free agent who has a qualifying offer of about $3.6 million, is willing to risk losing out on that money and a full season in the NBA. Of course there has to be a season in the NBA to lose out on and right now, that doesn't look so hot.
Posted on: August 30, 2011 6:55 pm
Edited on: August 30, 2011 7:29 pm

Police: Crittenton was robbed of $55K in jewelry

Posted by Ben Golliverjavaris-crittenton

What drives a man to murder?

It's impossible to truly know, but motives come in all shapes and sizes. For Javaris Crittenton, a former NBA player charged with murdering a mother of four in Atlanta, one possible motive, according to police, is revenge for a robbery at gunpoint. 

The Associated Press reports new details of an April robbery that Crittenton had previously reported to police.

Crittenton told police he and a friend were leaving a barbershop around 10:50 p.m. April 21 when two teenagers surprised them as they returned to their car, according to police report released to The Associated Press.

One teenager held Crittenton at gunpoint and ordered him to "give me what you got," he told police. He said he handed over a $25,000 black diamond necklace, a $30,000 black diamond watch, an iPhone and $25 cash, according to the report.

Jullian Jones, the woman whom police allege was shot by Crittenton, was reportedly outside her home with a male teenager when she was gunned down. The man, Trontavious Stephens, denies knowing and robbing Crittenton but identified him as the shooter, according to the Associated Press.

Earlier Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that Crittenton had sought to borrow money in 2010 from former Washington Wizards teammate Gilbert Arenas to pay for his mother's "escalating medical bills" even after a locker room confrontation between the two saw both players suspended. The paper also quoted Arenas as saying that Crittenton had been acting "more gangsta" following their confrontation, which involved guns in the Verizon Center's locker room.

Crittenton, 23, has claimed his innocence and was arrested at an airport in California on Monday as he attempted to fly back to Georgia to turn himself in to authorities. His NBA career lasted just two seasons, including stints with the Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies and Wizards. He was cut by the Charlotte Bobcats during training camp in 2010 and had been playing in the D-League. He averaged 5.3 points and 1.8 assists in 16.4 minutes per game in the NBA.
Posted on: August 30, 2011 4:02 pm

Arenas: Crittenton became 'more gangsta'

Posted by Royce Young

Following the infamous gun incident in the Wizards locker room in 2009, both Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton swore to a reformed life. Crittenton even said this:

"Use wisdom in everything and just don’t get caught up in foolishness and nonsense and crazy people around you ... It was a bad decision on both ends and we’re trying to move forward with our careers and our lives.”

It's a good stance and a good way to turn things around after that ugly mess in Washington. But via the Washington Post's Mike Wise who was recalling a past conversation between him and Arenas, the former D.C. point guard actually had heard that Crittenton wasn't living by his words.

Asked whether he had spoken to Javaris Crittenton since they were both suspended for the remainder of the 2009-2010 NBA season and Arenas had spent 30 days in a halfway house, Arenas replied, “No, but I heard he became more hard.”

More hard, he explained, meant “more gangsta.”

“You know, like some people turn over a new leaf when something bad like that changes their life. I heard Javaris went the other way — he became more ’hood, more hardened in that way. I don’t know if that’s the case, but that’s what I heard.”

By his words, Crittenton was turning over a new leaf. He tried out for the Bobcats, went to the D-League and by all appearances was trying to switch things around. But the latest incident Crittenton is tangled up in suggets otherwise.

Now of course Crittenton isn't guilty of murder until it's proven so. He just was arrested in Los Angeles and his lawyer claims his client is innocent and will have his name cleared. I certainly hope so.

Keep in mind Arenas' comments aren't something he saw or witnessed. He just said he "heard" Crittenton was going the other way. I'm sure Arenas has people that know people so it's probably fairly accurate, especially considering recent events, but it's not like this is something that can be used in court against Crittenton.

Still, an interesting take on the situation and something that kind of helps to make sense of it.

Posted on: August 27, 2011 3:10 pm

Arenas tweets, then doesn't, on Crittenton

Posted by Royce Young

If you missed it, Javaris Crittenton is tied up in a pretty awful situation right now. He was arrested Friday night for allegedly shooting and killing a mother in a drive-by in Atlanta.

Crittenton of course made a name for himself in the NBA in two very bad ways: He was a first-round bust and he brought a gun into a locker room. The other player in the gun situation was Gilbert Arenas, who put out a simple tweet in regards to the Crittenton news. (Via Jose3030):

Arenas quickly deleted the tweet, probably for smart reasons. Hard to really know what Arenas meant by that tweet, so I'll just leave it alone. Draw your own conclusions there, I suppose.

As the Washington Post notes, Crittenton attempted a comeback with the Charlotte Bobcats and seemed to have his head on straight and his act together. He said then, "Use wisdom in everything and just don’t get caught up in foolishness and nonsense and crazy people around you ... It was a bad decision on both ends and we’re trying to move forward with our careers and our lives.”

For shame. There's still a lot of information to process and nothing is set in stone, but it's not looking good for Crittenton. And even worse, it looks like he may not have learned his lesson.
Posted on: August 11, 2011 1:18 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2011 1:23 pm

John Wall booed during pro-am summer league game

Posted by Ben Golliverjohn-wall

I totally understand booing John Wall's seismographic Reebok sneakers. But booing the man himself?

That's what happened on Wednesday night when the Washington Wizards point guard took the court at North Carolina's esteemed SJG Pro-Am. According to NewsObserver.com, Wall led all scorers with 36 points, albeit in a losing effort, but that wasn't enough to silence some critics in the stands.

"Heard a had a lot of boos and haters out there tonight," Wall wrote on Twitter. "But thanks, y'all give me more motivation to keep working."

It's unclear why Wall, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, was booed in his own backyard. By all accounts, Wall is a down-to-earth guy who remains active in mentoring younger players. Aside from one minor scrape with the law in high school, he's got a squeaky-clean image and a game that's built for the highlight reels.In the video posted below, he's shown jawing with his opponents, but that's par for the course during the summer season. Wall did attend the University of Kentucky for his one season of college hoops, but prior to committing he had expressed interest in the University of North Carolina, which apparently wasn't reciprocated. 

Wall was surprised by the treatment too.

"It amazes me what I try to do for my hometown and get treated," Wall tweeted. "But that's how it goes in life. Glad I know who my family, brothers and real friends are. Love y'all we on the way to the top."

Other than simple jealousy or rooting against the pro-am game's Goliath, the logic behind booing Wall remains a mystery, especially with the lockout on. You're going to respond negatively to some of the only basketball being played by an NBA star for months? If ever there was a need for a reality check this was it. 

Here's video of Wall's game, including the audible booing, via YouTube user EliteMixtapes.

Posted on: August 9, 2011 9:12 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2011 9:17 pm

John Wall has an ugly Reebok Zig shoe (again)

Posted by Ben Golliver


Reebok is either immune to the critics or has sunk too much into this "Zig" concept to admit that it made a mistake.

Back in October 2010, we introduced you to Washington Wizards point guard John Wall's new signature shoe. It was his first shoe ever, to be worn in his rookie season, so it was a pretty big deal. There was a big unveiling presentation and everything. What resulted was a strangely-colored disaster made worse by the "Zig" concept at the bottom, a design that goes up and down more often than the stock market during the recent debt ceiling crisis, and a spider webbing system. Yes, the Reebok Zig was unique. No, the Reebok Zig was not unique in a good way. 

Pictured above is the Year 2 model of Wall's signature shoe: the Zig Encore.

SoleCollector.com reports that Wall will wear the sneaker during his sophomore season, should it take place, and has some additional details. 
Boasting a look similar last season's Zig Slash, the Zig Encore is a slightly lower cut model equipped with a slimmer ZigNano-cushioned sole.

This particular pair features a black nubuck, patent and mesh-based upper with white accenting the side panels, Vector branding, Wall's signature on the right medial collar and his brand new "JW" logo centered on the tongue. Red takes care of the laces and inner liner, while a blue-tinted translucent outsole with increased herringbone traction finishes things off below.
The site also reports the shoe will be available in October and will sell for $115.

While the design still doesn't come close to doing Wall's game justice, the color combination makes a bit more sense. The blue sole and white dotted upper at least tangentially recall various Air Jordans, so that's a start.

The real question this shoe design prompts: How long until the Zig gets the axe?

Related: Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose has a new adidas shoe coming out in October as well. His shoe looks normal.

Hat tip: DimeMag.com.

Image via SoleCollector.com
Posted on: August 6, 2011 2:25 pm
Edited on: August 6, 2011 2:32 pm

'Chocolate Thunder' name came from Stevie Wonder

By Matt Moore

So how exactly did this:


become linked with this:


From Dime
Dime: How did the nickname Chocolate Thunder originate?

DD: Stevie Wonder used to come the ball games and they would have a guy sitting with him. And the guy would be holding on to his arm, telling him what’s going on, and he would say, “Hey, the big chocolate guy just put down a thunder dunk. The chocolate guy with another monster dunk.” And Stevie Wonder actually gave me the nickname Chocolate Thunder. So a guy who never saw me can give me that name. I think I can wear that well. I don’t even know if he remembers, it’s been so long, but I’ll keep that.
via Dime Q&A: Darryl Dawkins Reveals The Origin of His Nickname And Recalls His First Dunk | Dime Magazine (dimemag.com) : Daily NBA News, NBA Trades, NBA Rumors, Basketball Videos, Sneakers.

 That's a pretty spectacular story. 

If you're unfamiliar with the work of Dawkins, he's considered one of the game's all-time great dunkers. He's widely considered to be one of the first truly remembered players of "potential" who never quite capitalized on it. Dawkins' highest PER came when he was 21, averaging just 11.7 points per game in 25 minutes of play time. His best overall season saw him average 14.7 points and 8.9 rebounds in 1980. He was traded as parf of the Sixers' moves which led to acquiring Moses Malone, which led to their championship. In short, moving Dawkins was part of what they had to do in order to win a title.

Yet, with his dunk-naming, prolific style, and unbelievable swag (that over-used phrase is apt here; come on, the man said that he was from the planet Lovetron), his left his mark on the game. He's a cult figure in the history of the game, and mentioned because what he could do not because of what he did do. In a way, Dawkins stands out as the rare player whose promise actually overshadowed his lack of accomplishments, instead of the other way around. 

Here's an interesting mental exercise. Given their respective careers, say that Gilbert Arenas' career ended right now. Who would have had the better career?

Both had brilliant nicknames (Agent Zero vs. Chocolate Thunder). Both were known more for their personalities than their play. Both never lived up to their fullest potential. Arenas had the better individual seasons, but Dawkins went deeper in the playoffs. Arenas was at one point top 15 in the league, which Dawkins never was. Dawkins had trouble with drugs, Arenas had trouble with guns, and teammates, and defecated in a teammate's shoe. Arenas could take over a game, but rarely did, and suffered from injuries which kept him out for most of the past four years. Dawkins never lived up to his potential and at one point was playing for the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the Continental Basketball Association after his retirement. 

Dawkins was traded for a first-round pick. Arenas was traded for Rashard Lewis.

This goes round and round. It's an interesting debate for the next time you're in the sports bar. Before you have it, though, put Stevie Wonder on the jukebox, won't you?

HT: TBJ via PBT 
Posted on: July 28, 2011 9:29 pm

John Wall Melo Center highlight video

Posted by Ben Golliver

Washington Wizards point guard John Wall is everywhere this summer. He put on a show at the North Carolina Pro-Am, scrimmaged in Seattle, and is reportedly heading back to Kentucky to take classes this fall if the NBA lockout continues. 

On Wednesday night, though, Wall was at the Melo Center in Baltimore, serving as a one-man, three-ring circus.  This highlight video, courtesy of YouTube user HoopmixtapeBlog, is barely more than a minute-long, yet Wall delivers highlight after highlight.

Where do I begin? Just seconds into the video, a fan appears to mock the famous "John Wall Dance" so Wall comes directly at him in the next possession, causing the rest of the assembled crowd to burst out laughing. Later, he blows a kiss while shooting a free throw and then executes something I'm not sure I've ever seen before: pinning a blocked shot on the glass with one hand and then swatting it with the other hand on his way down. Simply incredible.

All of that was a prelude to his best highlight, a behind-the-back, hesitation, crossover combination that left his defender sprawled near midcourt before he dished to a teammate for a trailing lay-up. There are windmill dunks, stopping on a dime dribble moves, coast-to-coast lay-ups and scoop shots in there too for good measure. Just a clinic on how to look cool while playing basketball.

Without further ado, here's the video.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com