One as yet unconfirmed report has suggested that Kwame Brown has either turned or broken his ankle in a pick-up game Georgia and that he is scheduled for surgery either tomorrow or Wednesday. Is it true? And what would it mean for the Wizards if it were?
Emails sent to the Wizards media relations department were not returned before press time so we must proceed without confirmation of the facts.
There are three main causes of concern for the Wizards about Kwame Brown: (1) his overall condition, (2) the speed and manner with which he reported the injury, and (3) his recovery time.
A turned ankle can happen to anyone at any time in any physical condition. But what ought to concern the Wizards about his overall condition are two things. First of all, was he in fact in good physical shape to be playing pick-up basketball? Had he been working out sufficiently, stretching, doing all the things that a professional should unquestionably be expected to do? And secondly, was he being careful in his pick-up game? Was he playing indoors or out? Was he wearing appropriate equipment or playing a quick game in sandals? If it's a broken ankle, a far more serious injury, what exactly happened?
The second cause of concern is the speed with which he reported the injury and the manner in which he followed up. Along with rumors of the injury itself were rumors that the Wizards were upset at how late he reported his injury to them. It is possible this is a meaningless concern if the delay was less than 24 hours. But we all remember how furious the Knicks were when Latrell Sprewell reported to training camp with a previously unannounced injury. If Kwame was unable to make his way up to D.C. in a reasonably quick period of time, and that followed up a late notification, the Wizards could be understandably upset.
Finally, the most important concern is the future and Kwame's recovery time. If it is a twisted or sprained ankle, he is probably out 6-8 weeks. If it is a broken ankle, he is probably out even longer. Either way, he is likely to miss at least part of training camp and possibly even the beginning of the regular season.
GM Ernie Grunfeld must be breathing a huge sigh of relief that he matched Milwaukee's offer on Etan Thomas. At least the Wizards won't be completely short-handed in Kwame's absence.
More on this as it develops.
You can shop at the Wizards team storewhere you can personalized jerseys with your name and number.
Joe Davidson ofThe Sacramento Beewrites: [Anthony] Peeler, now with the Washington Wizards, led the NBA in three-point shooting last season, and the Kings could sorely use some perimeter help. But he threw the most ill-advised sucker punch in franchise history, and that resonated right on through the last minutes of the season. His retaliation shot on Kevin Garnett in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Minnesota Timberwolves cost him the rest of that game and all of Game 7, which the T-wolves won by three points at Target Center. Peeler cost his team valuable depth as Bobby Jackson was already out with a stomach injury, forcing Kings coach Rick Adelman to play Buford more than he ever expected. A theme in the Kings' locker room later was that Peeler might have fared decently guarding Wally Szczerbiak, who had 10 second-quarter points in Game 7, all rather easily. What's more, Peeler made just 30 percent of his shots in the playoffs. Peeler elected not to return for this coming season, with it being his player option, but you didn't hear any Kings players, coaches or management bemoan the loss. With the Wizards, Peeler will still be a backup and experience a ton of losses.
John Heuser ofThe Ann Arbor Newswrites: "I was going just to say that I tried out," said [Phil] Hubbard, now an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards."I figured that (fellow Wolverine) Rickey Green would make it. He was a senior, so for sure he had a better shot than I did." When the camp concluded, the 6-foot-8 Hubbard was packing for his trip home to Canton, Ohio, when he saw fellow invitee Johnny Davis, now the Orlando Magic coach. Davis asked if Hubbard had noticed the list of the 15 players who had survived the cutdown, and mentioned that Hubbard's name was on it. Thinking that Davis was joking, Hubbard left town without looking. Several days later, Hubbard took a call, found out he was wrong and flew back to North Carolina for a month-long training camp. He lasted through another cut, and became a member of a squad that featured Adrian Dantley, Scott May and Phil Ford (Green didn't make the team), and had the task of avenging a disputed 1972 Olympic loss to the Soviet Union.
Afeez Tijani ofBasket-Ball.comwrites: The Washington Wizards matched the Milwaukee Bucks' six-year $36.6 million offer sheet for Etan Thomas.Y'all wouldn't believe how many times I shook my head as typed that. Like I said last time, THE NBA IS GIVING MONEY AWAY.
Grant Paulsen ofThe Free Lance Starwrites: IT'S SAID that one is supposed to root, root, root for the home team, and that if they don't win it's a shame. Fans like you and me who support and follow teams in the Washington metropolitan area have suffered for a few long years and, just as the old song says, have felt a lot of shame... The Washington Wizards, whose last postseason berth, in 1998, ended in a three-game first-round sweep, weren't even able to muster a .500 season when they had the best player of all time--Michael Jordan (albeit in his later years)--leading their roster.