In a perfect world for Wizards fans, the trade that sent Gilbert Arenas to the Magic — a trade first substantively reported by our Orlando Pinstriped Post more than two weeks ago — would have been a bittersweet farewell to a fan favorite that also improved a team that seems destined for the NBA Draft lottery. Alas, Wizards fans live in this real world with the rest of us.
The Wizards nearly got their first win of A.A. (it's After Arenas, and what do you mean it "won't catch on because it's really lame," you cynical jerk?) in their first try. Washington led the mighty Heat at home with just 32 seconds to play, 91-86. But then Chris Bosh made a three, Josh Howard missed two free throws, Nick Young turned it over, Kirk Hinrich missed a free throw, Dwyane Wade drew a foul, and Hinrich couldn't draw one of his own.
Final: Heat 96, Wizards 95, as the team with three perennial All-Stars kept its 12-game winning streak by topping a team without both its one-time savior, swapped for role players and cap space, and its future leader — John Wall sat with tendinitis. Not much of a fresh start, that.
At least Nick Young was good. Young, the shooting guard who may become the Wizards' top scoring option in the near term, had 30 points on 13-of-23 shooting.
And if the Wizards community needs a bit of company in misery, it need only look to Orlando, where the Magic gave minutes to only eight players and fell to the Sixers, 97-89.
Fairly, if this trade is going to pay dividends for the Wizards, it will likely do so when the Gilbert Arenas Era is a less fresh memory. But tonight wasn't a good way to begin a new stage in the franchise's history, and Wizards fans can be forgiven for commiserating wistfully or responding angrily at Bullets Forever or SB Nation DC.