In a surprise to no one that knows anything about the Washington Wizards, Andray Blatche prior to his “shoulder injury” has been an issue. Not only is he a huge problem for a 1-10 team, but he’s the face of the Wizards’ struggles.
I have been Blatche’s biggest critic and I can blame him for taking remarkably stupid jump shots, calling out his teammates on twitter, playing no defense, showing no heart, and all the other stupid things Andray Blatche does. But I can’t blame him for giving himself minutes.
There are things fundamentally wrong with the Washington Wizards organization. As I wrote in a previous article, this team cannot begin rebuilding until Ernie Grunfeld, Flip Saunders, and all the characters on the roster are gone. The primary character being Andray Blatche.
Ernie Grunfeld, as far as we know, is still committed to his former draft pick in Andray Blatche and sees him as part of the rebuild. That’s a problem. A huge problem, and if Blatche is going to be on the roster, Flip Saunders needs to just sit him down and glue 7-Day Dray’s backside to the bench when he gets back healthy from an apparent shoulder injury.
As the head coach, Flip made a huge mistake naming Blatche a captain for the season opener and allowing him to address the fans saying “this is your captain, Andray Blatche” just moments before the season opener against the New Jersey Nets. We can go back and forth on the importance or insignificance of the title of captain for a team, but Andray Blatche and the word “captain” should never be associated. Ever. Instead, Flip decided to give Blatche — the immature, overweight, unconditioned, buffoon — the responsibility of captain, at least for that game. I understand that Saunders thought that maybe, just maybe, Andray could grow into the role of captain. Good thinking Flip. Blatche quickly proved that the only thing he is capable of being a captain of is a ship that has already sunk to the bottom of the ocean — which is exactly what the Washington Wizards organization is right now.
That decision quickly backfired as Blatche took to twitter to call out his teammates for not getting him the ball in the paint more. Great. One game in and we have this drama.
But that is all in the past now. What should the Wizards do with Blatche right now?
The quick and obvious answer is amnesty him if you cannot find another moronic organization willing to trade for him. Blatche is a cancer that cannot be on the roster of a contender. Seriously, can you imagine Blatche on the Miami Heat roster? How about the Bulls or Thunder? No chance. Blatche wouldn’t see a single minute of playing time and wouldn’t even be on the bench because he’d likely find something to complain about. Those winning organizations would have no part of Blatche. As one anonymous Eastern Conference assistant GM said, “You can’t win with Andray Blatche. I don’t care what anybody says.”
Winning organizations don’t tolerate losing personalities.
No one is going to accuse the Wizards of being a winning organization, they’re nowhere close. However, in order for the Wizards to become one of those first-rate franchises, the culture and organization needs to change. Andray Blatche isn’t the only piece — far from it — but he’d be a great start.
Signing him to the five year extension, continuing to start him and enabling his ridiculous on and off court behavior, and naming him a captain are beyond idiotic and symbolic of why this team will continue to wallow in irrelevance and embarrassment.
Twitter: @Kevin_Hine and @WizOfAwesKevin