Washington’s new owner Ted Leonsis promised changes. He asked fans what needed to change around the Wizards and the Verizon Center where they play.
He got a box full of suggestions, and on Wednesday he posted a list of 101 things he has done to improve the team at the request of fans (via the Washington Post).
More open training camp moved closer to Washington D.C.? Check. Colder beer? Check. Wi-Fi in the building? Check. Reconnect with Gilbert Arenas? Check (well as much as anyone can check it).
Change the team’s name back to Bullets? That’s “under consideration.”
Interesting. Not likely, but interesting.
Under consideration is a pretty noncommittal phrase. Leonsis said that a change of team colors was “in development” (look for red, white and blue soon). But with that color change would he really change the name back to Bullets?
“Bullets” has some historic value, but was changed by Abe Polin because of the gun violence seen in D.C. and the nation. He though the perception was wrong. (Which makes the Gilbert Arenas situation from last year a little sadder.)
With that as the backdrop, it’s hard to imagine a change back to Bullets. Leonsis said it is under consideration, but he also said that drafting more local players was under consideration. It’s not really — it’s only under consideration when the area turns out an NBA caliber player that falls in the right spot in the draft.
And you can expect the name change isn’t getting that much consideration. But it’s out there.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.