We could tell you how bad Andray Blatche played last night (in PBT’s recaps we said he should have been benched) but we’ll let Wizards coach Flip Saunders tell you, courtesy our media brothers in arms at CSNWashington.com:
“He was terrible, he was bad. He was bad. He didn’t look like he had energy or something. He didn’t have it. When you’re a quote-unquote go-to guy you can’t have those kind of games. You gotta get some energy and find a way to produce,” he said.
“He struggled tonight and if he doesn’t produce it’s going to put a lot of pressure on us.”
If that’s the coach, you can imagine how well his performance went over on sports talk radio. Eviscerated might be the best word for it.
Blatche didn’t like it, he didn’t like it one bit — so he called in to 106.7 The Fan to defend himself (via the mighty Mike Prada). Well, if you define “defend yourself” as “dig a deeper hole.”
“Always I give 100 percent effort. I’m the person that nobody ever says ‘Well, this is what’s bothering Dray today.’ Nobody knows that I’m sick. Nobody knows that my shoulder is really messed up. Nobody knows that my knee really is bothering me. Nobody is paying attention to what’s wrong with me. Everybody just cares about, well, ‘Why is he playing so bad?’ There’s a reason why people play bad.”
No excuses… well, except for these excuses. Simply put, Derrick Rose’s back is “killing” him but he’s busting it to get his team wins. Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade are all playing through pain. Kobe Bryant is held together buy spit and duct tape at this point. If you want to be the man, you play through it and you bring the effort every night anyway.
Blatche went on to give us a couple other quotes sure to endear him to fans in the District. Like what he said Gilbert Arenas told him on the way out the door.
“We had a discussion, and this is what he said to me. ‘Just as fast as they turned on me, it’s going to happen to you.’ I took it as a joke, but I actually see what he’s talking about. Everybody is looking for someone to blame, and I feel like I’m turning into that person just like Gil.”
Or his view of what fans should do.
“If you’re a Wizards fan, that means you cheer for everybody. That doesn’t mean you’ll come to a game and you shout ‘Trade him!’ If you’re part of a Wizards organization fan group, that means you cheer for the team.”
Fans want winners. But they will forgive a lot if they think you’re busting your hump every night, every play. But it has never felt like that with the mercurial Blatche.