Andray Blatche stretches to rebound (Getty Images)
Washington Wizards forward Andray Blatche entered the season with postseason hopes and the potential to take his game to an All-Star level in his seventh NBA season. Instead, his Wizards have fallen miserably, costing former coach Flip Saunders his job, and Blatche is making just 38 percent of his shots from the floor as the boos come crashing down. It's unclear if poor conditioning was the cause of Blatche's recent calf injury, but it's been the cause of most of his frustrations since the season (unexpectedly, we presume) started in December, and Blatche will be on the shelf until he's in NBA shape again.
Andray, to his credit, is pointing the finger squarely at himself. Which is impressive, because fingers are round. In a discussion with Carla Peay of the Washington Times, Blatche sounds off on his year gone wrong:
"I have nobody to blame for my bad year. It was all me," Blatche said. He understands why the fans have been so rough on him this year, and why he gets booed almost from the moment he steps on the court.
"It was tough the first couple times I [was] booed," Blatche admitted. "But I had a lot of talks with my mom, my family and everybody. My mom told me basically I put myself in that situation the way I've been playing, the way I've been handling things. So she said, 'It's up to you to dig yourself out of this hole.' So I really take full responsibility for how things have been going for me this season."
"I can't go home at night and say (to heck with) them, cause they don't know nothing, but they do," Blatche said of the Verizon Center fans who shower him with boos on a regular basis.
A lot of fans "don't know nothing," you're right in that regard, Andray. They can be insensitive, and they can lose perspective. But you can't send an expletive -- read: "(to heck with)" -- when you're a big man that shoots 38 percent, and looks winded. It's nice to see Blatche correct himself as he talks regarding the frustrated Wizards fans.
In reality, Blatche has over seven months before he'll have to play a meaningful NBA game again, even if he returns this season. That's plenty of time to get things right; and if he continues to understand the source of his bigger issues, he could pull out of the hole that he mentioned in the interview with Peay.
It would be quite the turnaround, though.
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