DCZards wrote: doclinkin wrote:
payitforward wrote:I don't think that's fair, dat. In fact, the one thing that seems clear is that things have not "stayed the same."
Until we win a few series in the postseason, then Dat's point stands. Whether we blame or credit Tommy, we can say his grade is incomplete until we are actually contending at the top of the leaderboard. Are things headed in the right direction? Could be. But we did squander an opportunity to "Suck to get Lucky" in a year with more than one potential franchise players at the top of the lotto.
So. Yeah. We might be better, but the team has been a long time on the treadmill of mediocrity. Unless you think otherwise. If we catch lightning in a bottle with this crew and all the moves work out as we can only hope, do you still see this team winning the Eastern Conference championship? If so I'd like to see the case for it. Shoot:
Winning an EC championship and the NBA championship are indeed the ultimate goals. But Iâ€™m not going to judge Shep strictly on how quickly we get there because there are other short-term goals along the way. Like a 50 win season and advancing to the second round or finals of the EC playoffs.
Iâ€™m not expecting the Zards to go from 0 to 100 in a season.
But, then again, you canâ€™t rule anything out. How many people here thought the Heat, which finished 39-43 and 10th in the EC in the 2018-19 season, would end up in the 2020 NBA finals. Or that the Suns, which finished 34-39 and 10th in the WC in the 2019-20 season, would end up in the 2021 NBA finals.
The Zards (at least on paper) are a significantly improved team--both talent and depth-wise--from last season. I'm going to be happy about that at this point.
(BTW, NBA.com projected that the Suns would win 41 games last season.They ended up winning 51 games. So much for "projections.")
Sure, could happen. I honestly could write the case for how it could happen. Not that I'd believe it, yet, but I could dream it. Envision it. It's not impossible.
The question is as an organizational goal, is it enough for the Wizards to be a pretty good team of real good guys or is there a restless pursuit of I dunno, championship then dynasty. I'm less discrediting Tommy's skills, and more squinting at Ted's mission statements. Tommy has clearly proven 'restless', and his real good guy nature has helped get things done that I wouldn't think possible til they happened. Ted, though, I have my doubts if he helps or hinders the cause. I read his job postings (for scouts) and they are full of self-congratulating fluff that seems to be more important to the Monumental nonsense than the ability to do the job. Like there are 2 pages of organizational mission statements and happy talk before you get to the job description and qualifications.
I was always half joking that Ted's do-goodery tends to muddy the mission, but reading his recruiting statements, no, he has read his own book and believes every word. The team's primary mission is to appear to be good people, then: anything else. And it comes out in his public persona. He didn't need to even hint at any negative word about Westbrook, who saved his tail from embarrassment and injected energy into the franchise when many local fans were alienated about his treatment of John Wall. Ted likes to make everything about Ted, and he tries to paint even his dog droppings as gold trophies. As a fan frankly I don't want to know the owner of my team. Most owners you hear about, in any sport, are interfering meddling busybodies.
Do I think Ted's bloviating is an insurmountable handicap? No. Giannis is one of the league's real good guys as well as being a transcendent talent. But I do think it drives certain actions and takes some tools out of the hands of a guy like Tommy. Like: if it were a matter of of "Get closer to a championship, or trade our homegrown star" Pat Riley would trade the star. Not that I am advocating it in this case, but it is a way to frame priorities: Tommy, I don't think he would trade the star, and even if he wanted to I expect Ted would veto.
Until we do win, and sustain winning, and advance and progress, I think it is a fair statement to say things have "stayed the same" in terms of the organization's arc towards a championship. We are committed to Being Good, double bottom good, first and above everything else. It gives us 2 finish lines. And as long as we cross the first finish line, then Ted can declare everything else a win.
And, man, I dunno, I am conflicted. Even as a fan I'm not ruthless. I like cheering for good guys. I mean-- I also like complex individuals like Wall and Arenas, who have good hearts and make questionable choices. You know, that represents the best of us. We clearly make questionable choices. We are Wizards fans. This means in order to cheer for the team and maintain hope we extend a certain grace and optimism and give our good hearts to an organization that consistently proves itself sub par. But we stick with it. Hoping loyalty is rewarded the way it was in Golden State (the Bay area Bullets, basically). We stay loyal.
We don't chase LeBron from team to team to be associated with glory and the greatest player of this generation. Because there is something dishonorable about that. Cheating to win by being born great and breaking the structure of the league so players can make superteams wherever they feel like it, so teams that already have more championships than the rest of the league combined can entertain movie stars and successful people. For what. They don't need it. They don't deserve more joy than everyone else.
Props to inner city blue collar mid west Milwaukee. Every now and again a Toronto can win for a year. Detroit. Those One-year sparks of success that make it worth it. Okay Maybe the Wizards get lucky. Maybe we can be Dallas with a meddling owner who won at least one year. Maybe we build a solid foundation and grow around our home grown talent and find chemistry and have ourselves a great year and make a few memories. I like this group, I can see possibilities and line-ups and cause for excitement. The DMV with its incredible depth of basketball talent and good people with complicated lives deserves a winner who represents us. I'll cheer for this group of interesting individuals, like I will cheer for the ones after that. I will cheer for Tommy and Wes who are bright guys who did the work without self promotion or complaint for decades. But my cautious heart has got to be skeptical, until we do put together a surge of wins and I lose my freaking mind again. Gilbert shooting that dagger in Chicago. Us swapping Kwame for Caron. Winning John Wall in the lottery. I am willing to lose my mind over and over. But I am self aware enough to know it's a ridiculous pursuit, not hopeless, but improbable in the short term. Good is the enemy of great, but Sucks is "teh suck". So hey, I'll take good. I just don't have to smile and thank Ted for it. He's lost my good will. That's all.