For those of you Piston fans thinking "cold" is your only enemy this morning, think again. What was at one time our favorite foreign language blog, the Wizznutzz, have finally gotten around to reading our bitter recap of the last Washington debacle, and they are lashing out. A taste:
2. Just cause u have a new Compuware headquarters and 'Renaissance Center" dont mean u can call it a comeback.
A Johnny Rockets with an new parking lot, and 2 art directors living in a loft with engineered wood media cabinets from West Elm and new glue traps at The Big Buck doesnt mean "REVITALIZED"
It just means U just went from SHithole to McShithole.
We know, because we WENT TO THE BIG BUCK and we went to the Palace At Auburn Hills, on historic first Wizards game ever and it was halloween and we dressed up in awesome wizards beards and smoked a funny smoke and we got to the game and there was no Palace and no Hills and no Auburn but just a dark and cold late-modern bombshelter that was 2/3 empty on opening night and the few people there are cashed up contractors in polyblend evening wear from Modells or surly teens in Rocca swag and cinch sacks with Growing Up Gotti fades trying to impress there dates by screaming "get The Fucking Gnomes" at us.
As I read the Wizznuttz verbal backlash against city of Detroit, I was torn. Of course I am motivated to defend my hometown, the city of my birth, against these (potentially) eloquent slams (after translation, of course). But how to mount the defense?
I’d be doing myself a disservice by attacking in kind against D.C., my home of the past five years and the foreseeable future, so I’ll focus on the topics that didn’t get much play in their maniacal ramblings… namely, topics on-court. Topics where, we all know, the Wizards provide little ammunition.
But before we deconstruct the Wizznutzz "arguments" using basketball metrics, let me just say the following. Perhaps the Wizznutzz find it easy to take trite potshots at the City of Detroit, because their reality is that of Bethesda. Or Alexandria. Or Silver Spring. Or Balston. Suburbs that, thanks to the convenience of public transportation, can link directly to the centers of D.C., and retreat with nary a threatening moment between. Perhaps the only DC they know is that of the Red and Yellow lines, or the area surrounding the Verizon Center. I personally don’t know where they post from (though I imagine that is smells of bacon, a shared love where we may be able to find an accord). My convoluted point: I love Washington, DC -- enough to buy a home here -- but let’s not pretend that all of D.C. is without strife. /soapbox
Back to the point: I’m inclined to think that the Wizznutzz’ comments on Detroit were in jest… an emotionally charged reflex to our audacity at attacking their beloved Agent Zero (a name they dubbed him that has subsequently caught on). If that’s the case, then their slams on our city should be forgiven. In the absence of better material (more than regular-season wins over the Pistons can provide), the usually creative nutzz went by way of the Sacramento Kings or Rick Telander. Disappointing, but what else were they going to talk about? Let's see...
While I’ll freely admit that a thin layer of dust has collected on the Ben Wallace-led championship of 2004, and a slightly thicker layer, coupled with some dust bunnies, have descended upon the Bad Boys championships from 1989 and 1990, that doesn’t change the fact that the Bullets last championship was obtained during the "tape-delay" era and to my knowledge is constructed of wood and foil.
In fact, were it not for the Redskins, over the past 20-years D.C. sports fans would have no voice in the championship conversation. Even John Thompson’s NCAA tourney win at Georgetown is fading to black.
But let's take a closer look at the three Piston championship teams.
As the Wizznutzz themselves stated, that '03-04 squad had Rip, Sheed, Ben Wallace, Darvin Ham... all former Wizards who were finally given a chance to succeed by Joe Dumars. To add to the suffering, guess where Rick Mahorn played his first five seasons before ascending to the varsity level? You guessed it... Bullets. Going from Gene Shue to Chuck Daly? Well, that would explain not only the '89 Championship ring that Mahorn sports these days, but his impeccable taste in suits.
Clearly, the road to Piston immortality is paved with poor decisions by the Bullets/Wizards. And should Chris Webber achieve any measure of success late in life with the Pistons, I'm sure he will attribute it to his four wasted seasons in Washington (before he left and immediately became an MVP-caliber player for the Kings). By the way, how'd that whole 80-year-old "Mitch Richmond" thing work out for you?
The reverse? Piston draft pick cast-offs to the Bullets/Wizards? Think Doug Overton. Think Don Maclean. Stings, don't it.
But serving as a championship farm club is not Washington's only quirk. In just our lifetimes, they have a) shown a knack for drafting the wrong sibling (Harvey Grant, Brent Price), b) managed to accomplish what womanizing, gambling, and general assholishness could not (bringing down Michael Jordan), and c) engineered a team bus special enough to fit the likes of Kevin Duckworth, Gheorghe Muresan, and "Never Nervous" Pervis Ellison all during the same season.
- Tallest nail is hardest hit
Finally, it must be true that from great pain comes great art. The Bullets have provided their fanbase as much pain as any over the past almost thirty years, and yet they have some extremely quality bloggers. For better or worse, they have the Wizznutzz too. (I jest, of course. We've always pimped their wacky-ass site.) What the Bullets-turned-Wizards have not trained fans for, apparently, is the inevitability of backlash against the over-hyped. Win games, and suddenly the NBA world is paying attention. Win games while showering with your clothes on and playing poker during halftime... the NBA world will suffocate you. Your star, well he’s going to receive an inordinate amount of praise and criticism.
Put it this way, if Luke Ridnour destroyed my Pistons on a given night, it probably would not have inspired a rant against Ridnour (maybe against the Pistons...). But Gilbert "Agent Zero"/ "Hibatchi"/ "Mike Krychelsiewlkas&4’o9&2ski-hater"/ "altitude-adjusted"/ "DeShawn Stevenson-swindling" Arenas? He’s everywhere, approaching over-exposure at breakneck speed. And so it was more difficult to see him go off that night. He got to me. His effing mouthpiece got to me. It should be a badge of honor… he’s yours, after all. Enjoy my suffering.I should also make it known that the "I'm sick of Gilbert Arenas" post was not necessarily an opinion shared by Matt Watson, the true purveyor of Detroit Bad Boys. Though he is a fellow Detroit-defender, and so I'm sure will echo the sentiments expressed here.
But, seriously, your muse? Your God, Gilbert? It has to be slightly disturbing that Gil’s most hyped game of the season -- his rematch against Kobe -- ended with Gilbert going 9 for 29 from the field. I guess he did make 16 of 17 free throws though, so maybe there is some hope of beating Cleveland in a playoff series this postseason.
Anyways, this is a disproportionate response. You want a blog war? Sure, I guess. But come at me with some basketball-oriented stuff.
I'll be over here polishing up the three Larry O'Brien trophies my team has won since yours drafted Muggsy Bogues, just one spot after Reggie Miller.
Olive branch: I propose that Detroit Bad Boys and Wizznutzz join forces for a weekend Wizards home game at some point this season. We can invite along others to referee the summit. Should Gil do something during that game that even we cannot dispute the awesomeness of... well, then we'll recant our "Sick of Gilbert Arenas" post, and make peace with the franchise that has brought us the unintentional comedy of Brendan Haywood yelling "And 1" after hitting a two footer. What say you?