The Washington Wizards have three all-star caliber players, several nice role players, some young talent and a coach that is a proven winner in the league. It all sounds like a good mix.â†µ
But as we all know, games aren’t won on paper, and the parts all have to jell. In case the Wizards’ 3-9 record wasn’t enough evidence of that not happening, now their star guard and lunch-pail center are feuding.
Brendan Haywood talked about how “ego” is standing in the way of the Wizards’ success this season. He didn’t single out anyone, but he spoke of the need for the players to humble themselves, stop worrying about statistics and glory and play basketball. “Check your ego at the door. Let’s try and win,” Haywood said. “I watch the Celtics, and that’s what they do. Paul Pierce can have 12 in the fourth quarter if they’re up, he don’t care. That’s what we gotta do. Check your ego at the door, move the ball, play some defense.”â†µ
But immediately after Haywood was done talking to reporters, [Gilbert] Arenas emerged from the shower and basically said that he was going to start going for his if the situation doesn’t get better. It was a rather bizarre because Haywood intentionally yelled his answers so that everyone in the room could hear them. Arenas actually walked in from the shower while Haywood was talking, then returned until Haywood was finished.â†µ
Arenas then went on to blame the Wizards’ poor start on the “hidden agendas” that result from having eight free agents on the roster. This would make sense if the four guys attempting the most shots per game weren’t all under contract past this season. So basically, it doesn’t make sense. Then again, he just might have been annoyed at Haywood, a free agent himself after the year, for intentionally yelling his answer to the room (seriously, dude?).â†µ
Bottom line: both Arenas and Haywood might be right about what’s ailing the team, but good teams don’t air their dirty laundry about each other in public.