Bullets Fever

A blog and community website for the Washington Wizards and their fans.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Remember When MJ Was Supposed to Lead Us to the Promised Land?

It feels like most Wizards fans are happy with the team as it is now, but there was a time when Michael Jordan was supposed to be the savior of the franchise. I know this can be a depressing topic, and I have already posted about this before, but I stumbled across this 2001 ESPN the Magazine article, and it just made me laugh reading the type of stuff that was said.

I'm just going to let the excerpt speak for themselves.
In fact, us Bullets fans have just read the first media-contrived trade rumor -- San Antonio’s Tony Parker for MJ -- which is enough to make us keel over. Parker’s had a nice couple of months, and now he’s Jason Kidd? Stop it.
Tony Parker would be nice right about now. But don't worry, there's more.
The truth is, Michael’s helping us over the long and short run by staying exactly where he is. We don’t want to hear how his presence is retarding Courtney Alexander’s growth or how he’s nit-picking Kwame Brown to death. In two months, he has taught them more about winning than they knew their whole lives. He’s taught them about not moping when your shot is off. About actually playing defense when your shot is off (see that, Courtney?). About hitting the boards and boxing out when your shot is off (see that, Kwame?).
Yeah...okay...whatever. This next part is funny for current Wizards fans.
We’re not promising we can make the playoffs, but have you seen Brendan Haywood lately? Teams aren’t waltzing in for layups anymore because of the 7-footer, and, on offense, Haywood has shown incredibly efficient hands, Chris Webber hands. Had 17 points, 15 boards and four blocks in Memphis. Of course, all of those drooling GMs are coming after Haywood now, figuring they can dupe Wes into trading him (which they probably can). Alas, the Washington Post just reported that the Bullets consider Haywood an "untouchable." We’re hoping that’s a sign that Wes isn’t actually in charge, and we’ll leave it at that.
More Haywood stuff.
The other enigma everyone’s talking about is Brown, and we think you all need to leave him alone. He’s 19, for godsakes...The point is, Brown just needs to keep observing Haywood, and keep figuring this four-games-a-week thing out. Just a few games ago, he went for 10 points and 12 boards, and he’s got a nice touch. You can play him at the 3, even.
And finally, my favorite part.
Obviously, if [Richard] Hamilton could bring you a guy like Shawn Marion -- who, mind you, Wes passed on in the 1999 draft -- we’d do a trade, but the other team will have to give up an athletic future superstar to get us to part with Rip.
Or...you could trade him for an older version of the same player in Jerry Stackhouse. That makes perfect sense! Also, the Wizards took Rip Hamilton instead of Marion. I don't think you can really fault Wes Unseld for that pick.

"Bullets Fever" [ESPN the Magazine]

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