As a native Clevelander living in DC, the past couple of weeks have been unbearable. The hatred of Cleveland, the Cavaliers and especially LeBron James has been palpable. We heard it all: overrated, overprotected, over hyped, crybaby. But in the end the Cavs eliminated the Wizards for the 3rd consecutive year at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. Why? Because they ignored the BS, played basketball and played as a team.
Now I could focus on how LeBron was the bigger and better man. Or I could focus on how under appreciated Zydrunas Ilgauskas is in the grand scheme of things. The fact that Daniel "Boobie" Gibson is becoming Mister May in Cleveland sports lore and that Wally Szczerbiak found his magic stroke for the first time in who knows how long were also huge factors. But to me the biggest fact in the series had nothing to do what the Cavs did and everything to do with what the Wizards TRIED to do.
The NBA has had it's share of bullies. The Bad Boys of the Detroit Pistons and the Pat Riley led New York Knicks come to mind. After that there are about 1oo other teams that you would put ahead of the Washington Wizards. Why you would try and play Hardguy when you are about as soft as soft can be in unfathomable. The sad thing is, the Wizards could have, and really should have, won the series if they had just played they're style of basketball. The Cavs don't have the legs or the gunners that Washington posses. But rather than just play their game, the Wizards players took it upon them selves to try and be tough and play selfish.
The only player who is exempt from this whole embarrassment is Antwan Jamison. From day 1 he said the Wiz just need to shut up and play basketball and that's what he did. He ofter getting over looked because of his flamboyant teammates steal the spotlight but this 2-time All-Star is a great player and a great person. He is an unrestricted free agent and I hope he find a new team and city that appreciates and more and utilizes him better than DC.
But the BS that is the Wizards all starts with their Captain, Agent 0.
Now, Gilbert Arenas is a great player, but he is a selfish one first and foremost. When he "shut it down" before Game 5 I was very nervous. Anyone who watched the Wizards all year could see that with Agent 0 out that the offense runs more smoothly through Caron Butler and Antwan Jamison. Supplementary players like Brenda Haywood, Antonio Daniels and Roger Mason gets touches and were productive all year.
But Agent 0 couldn't miss the playoffs. Not when he's opting out of his contract and is going to be on National TV. And he started the entire month of trash talking by saying that the Wizards (and the entire Eastern Conference) wanted the Cavs and LeBron James because they knew they were beatable. How'd that wish turn out for you, chief? Looks like the Hibachi has been turned off for the summer.
Mr. Tough Juice, Caron Butler, who came up big in Game 5 came up small in Game 6 when the Cavaliers focused their attention to him he wilted. Horribly. He had the quietest 18 point you could ever have. He didn't get his teammates involved with only 1 assist. He was visually frustrated throughout the game. I wouldn't call that Juice. I'd call it Tinkle. Enjoy the off season, Tough Tinkle.
Brenda Haywood called LeBron soft, called him a crybaby and made fun of him at every opportunity. This form a guy who couldn't get out of coach Eddie Jordan's doghouse until this year, has had conditioning and effort issues since he entered the league and has a history of sucker punching Etan Thomas because Brenda couldn't beat him out for more playing time. Brenda the Washington Mystics season just started, maybe you can be more effective there. Considering you have no balls, you should be allowed to play.
And then of course there is #2, DeShawn Stevenson. Ah yes. #2 really started everything in the regular season when he called LeBron over rated after James missed a game winning 3. Um, #2, who are you? The fact that you are one of the few starting players who makes under $1M should tell you something about your standing in the NBA. #2 those 3 points you put up in Game 1 were great. And then you backed it up with 12 points in a 30 point loss in game 2. But hey, #2, the "you can't see my face gesture" you did while down by 20 points was priceless.
The only reason I could think of why you did this is that you were checking to see if you hand smelled like ass, but it was your head you were smelling since you head has been up you ass for weeks now. And the 2-9, 10 point clunker you trotted out in the clincher was the perfect way to end your season, #2. Because you showed everyone that not only do you wear #2... you ARE #2! A big, stupid, ignorant, walking talking piece of #2 and you made your whole team come off as #2 when it was all said and done as well.