DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors shot is blocked by Washington Wizards' Blatche during their NBA game in Washington

Blatche says he is willing to play anywhere — even D-League


Andray Blatche — the talented but mercurial big man recently amnestied by the Washington Wizards — is one of those NBA players standing on the sidelines right now waiting for someone to point at him and say “get in the game.”

There have been nibbles on the line — how serious depends upon who you ask — but no big fish yet. Certainly not for much more than the veteran minimum.

Speaking with the Syracuse Post-Standard (as discovered by Ben Standig of Blatche said all the right things about just wanting to get back in the game.

My dream destination right now would be back on the court. For real. Just to get back on the court,” he said. “It’s something I love to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Heat or the Spurs or the D League. Whatever. As long as I’m back on the court playing ball.”

You really think Blatche would stick in the D-League? Bus rides and shared two-star hotel rooms?

Some team is going to give Blatche a shot. There’s a lot of talent there, someone will roll the dice that either he has matured or their locker room culture can keep him in check.

But if he wasn’t serious about his words, if this time he hasn’t matured both on and off the court, it may be his last shot. Unless he really does want to play in the D-League.

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.