words & images // Nick DePaula
Unlike last week's inaugural Jersey Spotlight post, CLEARLY this post isn't in honor of any awards or All-NBA teams that Andray Blatche can lay claim to. That's mostly because Fadeaway Dray is a terrible basketball player. For most of the year, he was actually kept off the floor until he improved his conditioning. Which is so, so funny.
Because the Washington Wizards were one of the all-time worst teams in hoops this season and such a joy to watch on NBA League Pass (from a pure entertainment standpoint), I simply had to own a jersey from this year to forever remember this roster. I seriously watched nearly all of their games during the first half of the year.
What can say, I'm a cheerleader for foolishness. Plus, it was the franchise's first year in these new sweet Wes Unseld Bullets-era adidas REV30 unis, which are an exponential improvement from the recent blue and gold team colors.
That brought me to two natural options and quite a big dilemma: JaVale McGee jersey, or Andray Blatche jersey? You could certainly make a strong argument for both cases, but I strategically put my order in the day after the NBA's trade deadline in February to help with the decision. JaVale, perhaps because of some legendary foolishness of his own, was moved to Denver. Dray wasn't, as one league executive put it, "due to a lack of interest." And thus I gladly placed my order.
So, to recap really quickly, here are some of the reasons why Blatche is a favorite of mine:
- Once had his name spelled wrong on his own jersey.
- Once desperately tried to get a triple-double in shameless fashion. (But nowhere near as awesomely as when my real favorite player Ricky Davis did.)
- Blows layups rather often. Exhibit A. And, Exhibit B.
- Is notorious for floating around the perimeter. Throws "Hard In The Paint" themed birthday party for himself.
- Was held out of games for second half of year by the Wizards. Official reason was actually listed as: "Not With Team - Conditioning"
- Had a horrendous season by everyone's standards. Capped it off by throwing a "Grand Finale" party!!
So yeah, hilarious -- and for good reason, a must-have jersey to add to the collection. While they're obviously not in the playoffs, last night seemed like a good time to break out the REV30 jersey in support of the Wizards as they desperately needed all the help they could get during the NBA's Draft Lottery selection. Unfortunately, they'll choose third this June in a draft that features only one, if not two, can't-miss players.
Sounds about right for the Wizards. Luckily, Andray (who is miraculously the team's Captain!!) has vowed to come back better than ever next year, so there's that.