Unfinished Business: Jordan returns with Wizards for 01-02 Season.

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Unfinished Business: Jordan returns with Wizards for 01-02 Season.

Postby RMJH4 on Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:55 am

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Unfinished Business: The Michael Jordan Story.


The 1998-99 NBA lockout had taken its toll on a share of franchises throughout the league, including the Washington Wizards. The Wizards made the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade in 1997, but they missed in each of the following years and were on the verge of collapse at the turn of the century.

Majority owner Abe Pollin courted Jordan to be the team’s new president of basketball operations, and a deal was finalized in January 2000.

However, part of the deal — which gave Jordan five years as team president — also would have allowed Jordan’s ownership stake to grow to 20 percent, which would have given him the largest stake among any black owners, including Magic Johnson.

Jordan jumped at the chance for ownership, but it would not be long before he found a familiar itch.

Michael Jordan simply could not resist the urge to lace the sneakers up once again. He felt that he could do a better job of helping the Wizards on the floor rather than in the luxury boxes.

At 38, he signed a two-year deal with Washington. There were flashes of brilliance, like multiple “40 at 40” games and an epic chase-down block of former Bulls guard Ron Mercer.

Jordan averaged 21.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists while shooting 43.1 percent overall with Washington. While these numbers don’t exactly stack up to the 31.5 points (on 50.5 percent shooting), 6.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game during his time with the Bulls, they’re still impressive given his age at the time.

But, ultimately, Jordan could not save the Wizards on the court.

Washington failed to make the playoffs in either of the two seasons that Jordan spent with the team as a player (the Wizards went 37-45 in both seasons MJ played for them), and he was unceremoniously fired by Pollin in May 2003. Jordan’s work as an executive in the nation’s capital was infamously shoddy, with the Kwame Brown selection at the top of the 2001 NBA Draft one of the major misfires.

Here I aim to rewrite that infamous chapter in Jordan's career. Often wrongly disregarded by Die-Hard Jordan and Bulls fans.

We start in the offseason of 2001 just before the NBA Draft.

Console and Game: NBA2K20 on Steam
Roster: RMJH4's 2001-02 Season In Progress.
Draft Classes: 2001, 2002, 2003 Historic Draft Classes edited by me.
Quarters: 12 Minute Player Lock.
Sliders: Hall of Fame.

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2001-02 Depth Chart

Postby RMJH4 on Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:57 am

Depth Chart

Roster
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2001-02 Schedule.

Postby RMJH4 on Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:57 am

Schedule.
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Wizards claim #1 Draft Pick.

Postby RMJH4 on Sat Sep 05, 2020 3:11 am

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Wizards claim #1 Draft Pick.


June 5th, 2001.

SECAUCUS, N.J. – Michael Jordan finally won something with the Washington Wizards – the NBA Draft Lottery.

The questions now are will the Wizards keep the top pick in next month's draft, and if they do, will the No. 1 choice get a chance to play with his boss. Jordan refused to shed light on speculation of a return to the court on Sunday evening in a static-filled telephone conference call from the 12th fairway of an undisclosed golf course after the Wizards posted their biggest win in years.

"Right now I've been focusing on my job," Jordan said when asked if the thought of playing with the top pick might influence his decision on a return to the NBA. Jordan, the Wizards president of basketball operations, was thrilled seeing the Wizards beat the odds in jumping from the No. 3 spot to No. 1 in the pingpong ball lottery. "When you're trying to build a team, you need some wild cards," said Jordan, who led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles before retiring after the 1997-98 season. He joined the Wizards as a part-owner in January 2000.

"Having the No. 1 pick is a wild card," Jordan added. "You're going to have some options thrown at you. We have an opportunity to rebuild this franchise a lot quicker." Having Jordan in the lineup would help, too. He has been working out with fellow retiree Charles Barkley in recent months. Barkley has hinted an announcement on their possible return will be made this summer.

"We all know Charles, sometimes he gets his mouth running," said Jordan, the third pick overall in the 1984 draft. The Wizards had the third-best chance of winning the lottery, and the fact that they won wasn't surprising. The team with the best chance of winning has now not won since 1990. The Bulls, who had the best chance of winning with 250 of 1,000 chances, actually slipped to fourth in this lottery in which the Los Angeles Clippers and Atlanta Hawks joined the Wizards in beating the odds.

The Clippers, who only had 44 chances in the lottery, jumped from eighth to second, while the Hawks (89 chances) moved from fifth to third. Chicago will have the fourth pick in the draft June 27 in New York City. Golden State, which had the second-most chances with 200, slipped to fifth, and it was followed by Vancouver, the New Jersey Nets, Cleveland, Detroit, Boston, Denver, Seattle and Houston.

Jordan, who has seen Washington post a 36-89 record, including 19-63 this past season, made it a point not to watch the lottery because he "didn't want to get excited about it."
The problem for the Wizards is there isn't a consensus No. l pick in this draft.

In fact, the top player picked might end up being a high school player. Eddy Curry of Thornwood High School in Illinois and Kwame Brown of Glynn Academy in Georgia are highly regarded. Shane Battier of national champion Duke and Eddie Griffin of Seton Hall, one of a record 75 players to apply for early entry, are among the top players coming from the college ranks. Assistant general manager Rod Higgins, who represented the Wizards at the lottery at the headquarters of NBA Entertainment, indicated Washington might deal the pick. "Now we have an opportunity to exercise some trades, obviously," Higgins said. "There's not a Patrick Ewing; there's not a Shaquille O'Neal." Jordan wasn't so sure.

"Obviously we're going to have to evaluate our opportunities," said Jordan. "Right now if I had my druthers I'd rather keep the pick." In the lottery, ping-pong balls numbered 1 through 14 are placed in a drum and four are drawn to determine a four-digit combination. Washington, which had the third-best chance of winning at 15.7 percent, won when the combination 13-12-3-5 was drawn. The Wizards, who haven't won a playoff game in 13 years, had never moved up on lottery day before Sunday. One year, 1993, they dropped the maximum three slots and chose sixth despite having the third-worst record the season before.

The Clippers already have one of the youngest lineups in the league with Lamar Odom (21), Quinten Richardson (21) and Darius Miles (19) and Corey Maggette (21). "From eighth to second is pretty good jump," coach Alvin Gentry said. "It's a great draft for us. It gives us tremendous flexibility. There are a lot of great players. We can always get younger. We can move down or we can package it for a veteran player."

Dominique Wilkins, the special assistant to the executive vice president, said the Hawks will have some good options. "There are no franchise players, but there are a lot of guys who can come in and play an important role," he said. The Nets beat the odds to win last year's lottery, jumping from No. 7 to No. 1 overall. They selected Cincinnati forward Kenyon Martin with the top pick.
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2001 NBA Draft - Wizards take Brown #1

Postby RMJH4 on Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:13 am

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Wizards select Kwame Brown with #1 pick.


June 28, 2001 | by espn.com

In an unprecedented and historic move, the Washington Wizards used the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft last night to select high school star Kwame Brown, a 19-year-old from Brunswick, Ga., who said he decided to skip college to help his family overcome financial difficulties.

No high school player had been taken first overall and no player directly from high school has ever played for the Wizards. But the franchise's long-term struggles prompted Michael Jordan, the president of basketball operations, to believe he "had to stick his neck out" and take the risk.

"We feel like we have a quality kid and his potential is unbelievable," Jordan said. "We don't know what this kid is capable of doing, that's the beauty of why we drafted him. We don't know. In a couple of years he may be a star."

The fate of the Wizards, who finished with a franchise-worst 19-63 record last season, does not rest on the 6-foot-11 Brown, Jordan said. But as the No. 1 pick, Brown said he knows he will be judged by how quickly he adapts to professional basketball and whether he can revive the franchise.

"You don't know whether you want to faint, run, jump and cry all at once," said Brown, who starred at Glynn Academy in Brunswick. "I'm not concerned about being the first player chosen in the draft. All eyes are on me right now but I still realize I have a job, as do the guys picked number two, number three, to the last guy. We all have a job to do and we have to do it our best. It doesn't matter what pick. What matters is how you maximize your opportunity."

The Wizards were not alone in deciding to put their future in the hands of young players. Three of the first four players drafted came from high school and another was selected eighth.

Brown, 19, initially committed to the University of Florida but opted for the NBA this spring after several league talent evaluators projected him as a top five pick. By being taken first, he will be guaranteed a contract for at least three years and $12 million.

He said he will use the money to provide for his mother, Joyce, who had supported Brown and his seven siblings by cleaning rooms at a hotel before a back injury left her unable to work. Joyce Brown said last night that she has a chipped disk that stemmed from an injury that occurred when she was a high school basketball player.

"The only thing that may ever be as good [as being selected number one] is when I give my mom the keys to her first house in her own name," Kwame Brown said.

On the first night of his professional career, Brown appeared humble and mature after his selection was announced at Madison Square Garden in New York. In interviews before the draft, Brown had said that unlike some other young players in the draft, he's not obsessed with material things. He proudly displayed his chiseled, tattoo-less arms and openly discussed his days growing up wearing hand-me-downs.

Jordan said those qualities helped persuade the Wizards to take him.

It didn't hurt that as a senior, Brown averaged 20 points, 13.3 rebounds and 5.8 blocked shots. At the prestigious McDonald's All-American game, in which he played against the top high school players in the country, he scored 17 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked a game-high five shots.

As impressed as Washington was with those skills, it was his ballhandling and success shooting from the perimeter that convinced the Wizards that Brown was the best player for their future. There was some reluctance in taking a player so young who has never experienced a big-city atmosphere or played against a consistently high level of competition. Coach Doug Collins and Jordan said the team will put together a support system to help Brown and that teammates will have to nurture him.

Collins said the team is considering signing a free agent to serve as Brown's mentor, although he declined to identify him.

Collins said he remembered how Toronto Raptors free agent center Antonio Davis took high school forward Al Harrington under his wing when both were with the Indiana Pacers.

"We need to surround him with an environment that's really going to make it very comfortable for him to be able to grow," Collins said. "To make him trust us, so he knows we'll be here for him as he continues to grow and experience things."

Joyce Brown said she will move to Washington with her son. "Most likely, I'll go for one year. But I have a 14-year-old son, Akeem, who is 6-3 1/2. He goes to the same school Kwame did. I need to go back and confer with him and see how he feels about it."

Several other high school players had a parent or friends from their home towns live with them their rookie season.

"Without a doubt the mental challenge" will be the toughest part of the transition, Brown said. "All the high school players in the draft are going to be under a lot of scrutiny. A lot of people are hoping we fail so they can say we told you so."

After Brown, two more high school players were drafted with the next three selections. Tyson Chandler, from Dominguez High in Compton, Calif., was taken second overall and later traded to the Chicago Bulls for star forward Elton Brand. The Bulls also drafted local prep star Eddy Curry at No. 4, giving them two high school players to use as building blocks for their moribund franchise.

All three high school players are at least 6-11.

NBA teams sent a clear message that U.S. college experience is no longer a prerequisite for draft success. There were four high school and four foreign-born players taken in the first round. But only four of the 28 first-round picks played for four years in college. And the top college player last season, Shane Battier of national champion Duke, was selected sixth.

Little should be expected from Brown and the high school players during their first year in the league. All-star guard Kobe Bryant, who was taken 13th overall by the Lakers out of Lower Merion (Pa.) High School in 1996, averaged only 7.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists as a rookie before becoming one of the top players in the league. Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett, a perennial all-star who began the recent trend of high school players jumping to the NBA in 1995, averaged 10.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in his rookie season.

After the draft, Jordan, 38, played down his rumored return to playing basketball. He is still recovering from two fractured ribs, suffered in a pickup game in Chicago two weeks ago, and gave no timetable about when he would make a decision about a comeback. Retired forward Charles Barkley, a television analyst of Turner Broadcasting who has said he might return to play for the Wizards with Jordan, said he would make his decision Aug. 1.

"We did this draft as if I was nowhere around," Jordan said. "I was doing my job for what the Wizards pay me to do, which is to evaluate talent and try to put together the best basketball team possible. If I decide to play it's only going to add to what's happening."

The possibility of Jordan returning has sparked tremendous interest in the team, and season ticket sales have been brisk.

A team official said that just 300 seats remain in the lower bowl of the 20,000-seat MCI Center.

Kwame Brown, a 6-foot-11, 240-pound forward-center, greets NBA Commissioner David Stern after Brown's name is called first at draft headquarters in New York.Kwame Brown sits and waits for start of the NBA draft. He is the first high school student to be the No. 1 overall pick. Wizards had no other picks in draft.Eric Johnson, a District native and Washington Wizards fan who watched the draft at the ESPN Zone in Northwest Washington, reacts to Wizards' choice.Michael Jordan, the Wizards' president of basketball operations, appears pleased with Washington's selection of Kwame Brown.
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Wizards sign #1 Pick Kwame Brown, add PG Tyronn Lue.

Postby RMJH4 on Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:16 am

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Wizards sign #1 Pick Kwame Brown, add PG Tyronn Lue.


July 18, 2001 | by espn.com

The Washington Wizards reached an agreement in principle yesterday with top pick Kwame Brown and will sign him to a contract worth close to $12 million this month.

The Wizards also got some help in their backcourt, reaching an agreement with Tyronn Lue, a backup point guard with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Brown, the first high school player to be taken with the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, thus far has been able to mix some business (such as exploring a sneaker deal) with pleasure since the Wizards picked him late last month.

However, things now turn serious for the 19-year-old from Brunswick, Ga. Brown is expected to be in the District today and will take part in the team's minicamp this weekend at MCI Center. Next week Brown will participate in the Boston Summer League, playing six games in seven nights against NBA competition.

"We're looking forward to getting Kwame acclimated and going in the organization," Wizards president of basketball operations Michael Jordan said last week. "It's an exciting time for the Wizards and for him."

Said Brown: "This is something I've worked hard for my whole life and now the time is here. I'm very excited about everything."
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Wizards trade Laron Profit to Orlando Magic for Brendan Haywood.

Postby RMJH4 on Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:25 am

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Wizards trade Laron Profit to Orlando Magic for Brendan Haywood.


August 1, 2001 | by nbcsports.com

The Orlando Magic acquired guard Laron Profit and a future first-round draft pick from the Washington Wizards yesterday for the draft rights to center Brendan Haywood.

Haywood, the 20th overall pick in this year's draft, was acquired from Cleveland for center Michael Doleac. The 7-foot Haywood spent four seasons at North Carolina, averaging 10 points, 6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 141 games.

Haywood's addition to the Wizards' roster give the team depth in the post as it breaks in the 19-year-old Kwame Brown, the No. 1 overall pick this year.

The 6-foot-4 Profit, out of Maryland, appeared in 35 games for the Wizards last season, averaging 4.3 points and 2.5 assists..
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Jordan Returns with the Wizards.

Postby RMJH4 on Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:30 am

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Jordan Returns with the Wizards.


September 25th, 2001 | Washington Post.

>WASHINGTON -- The worst-kept secret in sports is out: Michael Jordan will play again in the NBA -- and not just for one season, but two.

After months of hints, smiles and winks that kept his fans on edge, Jordan finally announced his comeback Tuesday, saying he would play for the Washington Wizards through 2003 and donate his salary the first year -- $1 million -- to victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"I am returning as a player to the game I love," said Jordan, 38 and three years removed from what seemed to be a storybook ending to an unparalleled career. "I am especially excited about the Washington Wizards, and I'm convinced we have the foundation on which to build a playoff-contention team.

"The opportunity to teach our young players and help them elevate their game to a higher level, and to thank the fans in Washington for their loyalty and support, strongly influenced my decision," he said in a statement issued through his management agency.

The five-time league Most Valuable Player, who retired for a second time in 1999 after leading the Chicago Bulls to their sixth title of the decade, made it official after clearing up a licensing issue with one of his sponsors -- a disagreement that delayed the announcement by a day. NBA rules also required Jordan to sell his ownership stake in the Wizards.

Jordan never completely ruled out a comeback when he retired in January 1999, hedging his bets with the statement that he was "99.9 percent" certain he would never play again. Leaving the door open, even by one-tenth of 1 percent, meant Jordan could slip back into a uniform without going back on his word.

Now, he has.

"I am happy to welcome Michael Jordan, the player, back to the NBA, although, as commissioner, I am sorry to lose him in the board room," NBA commissioner David Stern said. "Michael has always brought joy to basketball fans around the world, and, in these difficult times, we can all use a little more joy in our lives."

Jordan's announcement was sure to hearten a city -- and entire country -- shocked by terrorism. Washington's economy has suffered since the Sept. 11 attacks, with Reagan National Airport remaining closed and hotel bookings far below capacity.

"This is certainly an extremely important moment in the history of our franchise, however our excitement is muted by the world events that surround us," Wizards owner Abe Pollin said.

"The greatest player in the history of the game is joining my team, and for that I am extremely honored and pleased."

Jordan will be in the unusual position of playing for the coach he hired, Doug Collins, who joined the Wizards in April and also coached Jordan for three seasons with the Bulls in the 1980s. Jordan will share the court with players he signed, drafted and traded for, including High School sensation Kwame Brown, selected No. 1 overall by the Wizards in June.
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Wizards resign Laettner.

Postby RMJH4 on Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:52 am

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Wizards resign Laettner.


October 4th, 2001 | by espn.com

WILMINGTON, N.C. -- He has faded into the oblivion of a career as an NBA journeyman, nearly a decade removed from leading Duke to its second straight national championship and being the only college player on the original U.S. Olympic Dream Team.

Christian Laettner has played for five teams and nine coaches in nine seasons as a pro, briefly finding success during a three-year run with the Atlanta Hawks before moving on again. At 32, Laettner is hoping that Michael Jordan's return to the NBA will also help resuscitate his own sagging career.

"Every year is a great opportunity," Laettner said earlier this week before heading with Jordan and the rest of the Washington Wizards to the team's training camp at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. "This is no different ... but I'm a little more excited this year."

Certainly more than he was toward the end of last season, when Laettner was traded from an up-and-coming team in Dallas to the downtrodden Wizards in the seven-player deal that sent Juwan Howard to the Mavericks. With a chance to start at power forward this year, Laettner's productivity could increase from the 7.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game he averaged in 28 starts with the Wizards last season.

It is not just the chance to play with Jordan for the first time since Laettner was a "wide-eyed kid" on the star-studded, gold-medal winning team at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. It is also a chance to play for new Wizards coach Doug Collins.

"I think it helps me in my situation here," said Laettner. "I wanted to be here regardless of whether he [Jordan] was going to be here. Once I found out he was playing, I was excited. ... I expect his presence and Doug Collins' presence to [get us) over a .500 record."

Laettner believes the coaching style Collins brings to the Wizards -- that of a detail-oriented disciplinarian -- is reminiscent of his college coach, Mike Krzyzewski. It is something Laettner said he has been looking for since being drafted third overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1992.

While Laettner has played for a wide range of coaches -- four in a little less than four years in Minnesota alone -- he described most as being laid back, a personality trait that never has been used in talking about Collins in his stops in Chicago and Detroit.

"If Doug Collins lays some rules out ... I've heard if you don't do what he says, he'll say something to you," said Laettner. "That's great. It'll just be easier for us all to stay on the same page, to look at the way we have to play."

After a remarkable college career during which he was named national Player of the Year as a senior and hit two game-winning shots in NCAA tournament games -- including the famous shot to beat Kentucky in the Sweet 16 -- Laettner's pro career has been filled with a lot of moot points.

"What I'm hoping for is that he can finish his career with such a positive that maybe it will wash away some of the negative experiences," Collins said of a player who has been with more bad teams than good ones.

A player who has averaged 14.6 points a game -- including 18.1 points and a career-best 8.8 rebounds in Atlanta in 1996-97, when he made his only All-Star appearance, Laettner finished last season under 10 points for the first time in a full season.

Despite the modest statistics the 6-11, 245-pound forward averaged with the Wizards last season, the team saw enough to resign Laettner to a four-year, $21 million contract. It has mostly to do with Collins, whose son Chris was being recruited by Duke during Laettner's senior year.

"I've always felt that Christian was a terrific basketball player," Collins said after practice last night. "He's a very skilled player, he knows how to play. He loves to play the game when it's being played the right way.

"And when it's not, he gets very frustrated and very disappointed and those feelings show. I see in Christian everything I wanted and more."

In many ways, Laettner was as demanding of the Blue Devils as Jordan was during his 13-year, six-championship career with the Bulls and is expected to be with the Wizards.

Laettner is looking forward to Jordan pushing him, even if it means being the focal point of one of Jordan's famous putdowns.

"You want that atmosphere," said Laettner. "The more people you have on your team like that, the better your team will be."
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Wizards Roster set for Opening Night 2001.

Postby RMJH4 on Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:15 am

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Wizards Roster set for Opening Night 2001.


October 6th, 2001 | by cbssports.com

There used to be five Wizards fans, and now there's suddenly five million. You'll be able to tell the real five by the tears of joy rolling down their cheeks this week, but they're glad to have you along anyway -- even if you've never heard of Joe Pace.

It's been 22 years since anyone's paid attention to their franchise, but Michael Jordan has decided to run with them, and that can only mean one thing: THE WIZARDS ARE IN THE LEAGUE AGAIN!

They're usually only on national TV once a year -- for the draft lottery -- but now we will be chronicling their every move, and, trust me, you're going to need a little background.

So, let us re-introduce the franchise to you casual fans: They are the Washington Wizards/Washington Bullets/Capitol Bullets/Baltimore Bullets/Chicago Zephyrs/Chicago Packers and God-knows-where-elses, and I don't think they've ever had one of their players pose for a bobble-head doll. Now they have 3 former Dream Teamer's on their roster.

They've played exactly one playoff series since 1988, and it lasted about a weekend. The first two times they made the NBA Finals, in '71 and '75, they got swept. They finally did win one, in '78, but most of the playoffs were on tape-delay.

More recently, they've made a lot of gaffes, as you're well aware. They have recently traded Chris Webber for Mitch Richmond, and Rasheed Wallace for Rod Strickland, and if you take both of those back, they could be in the Eastern conference finals or semi-finals the last two years. Truly a 'What If?' franchise.

But all that's moot now, because the Wizards are what they are: awful. On the other hand, despite what all the pundits say, with the right dose of Jordan, they may be able to pull something together.

So here's the all-important rundown of Michael's newest squad:

Starting Point Guard: Surprisingly it will be Richard Hamilton. He can handle the ball shockingly well, and, in limited time at the position in the last two years, he scored at will. And against zones, he will be lethal. The only concern will be the new eight-second rule when it comes to bringing the ball up the court. But as they used to say in junior high, a pass beats a dribble any time. Richard knows this.

Starting Shooting Guard: Courtney Alexander. He is a big-time scorer, and a Jordan favorite. He has an attitude (we hear even Jerry Tarkanian at Fresno State thought he was a bad kid), but he can get his own shot any time, and, at this position, that's all that matters.

Starting Small Forward: No. 23. He will post up more, and play some point forward at times, but if you have Hamilton and Alexander as starters, he won't have to score as much. In fact, his biggest impact may be defensively, plus all the intangibles. He'll still get the calls from the refs. He'll still draw double teams. He'll still be like Mike.

Starting Power Forward: Christian Laettner (with an asterisk): He will begin the season as the starter, but maybe not finish as one. Rookie Kwame Brown was promising in summer league and may eventually step in for him, and there's also the remote possibility of signing Dennis Rodman. But Laettner can still hit the open jump shot, and will cheat and grab your jersey to attain better position under the boards. And he won't act up with Jordan around. They know each other from the Dream Team days.

Starting Center: Patrick Ewing. He is the wrong side of 38 but he still know's how to play. Ewing was and still is a warrior. He knows how to win, but his main role this season will be to give good minutes and mentor Kwame Brown. Easily still the most skilled big man Jordan has ever teamed up with.

Sixth Man: Kwame Brown. The rookie will be the team's most athletic player, other than Jordan. Under Ewing and Jordan's mentorship, look for this kid to learn the ropes quickly.

Backup Point Guards: Chris Whitney will be a zone buster, and potential starter over Hamilton at the point. Tyronn Lue is an unknown. He was somewhat of a deterrent to Allen Iverson in the NBA Finals last year, but the Lakers didn't flinch when he threatened to leave. So the jury's out.

Backup Shooting Guard: You know Jordan was going to keep a Carolina guy around. Hubert Davis can still fill it up.

Backup Forwards: Popeye Jones will be an important rebounder, because Michael knows you need the ball to score. Chris Mullin has been coaxed out of retirement by Jordan. Mullin will provide 15 - 20 minutes of hard work on both ends, but will be most effective in spacing the floor. Etan Thomas, a lottery pick by Dallas a year ago, is a wild card, because he has an NBA body with skills.

Backup Center: Jahidi White. He can't guard Shaq and he can't stay out of foul trouble very often, but, as rotund as he is, he's a surprising shot blocker and leaper. He's no worse than Bill Wennington or Luc Longley or any of those other stiffs that Jordan won titles with. Will split minutes with Ewing.

Coach: Doug Collins knows what he's doing. He knew how to disguise a zone when it was illegal, and now he'll be able to play one for real. They won't be outcoached, for the first time in a while.

Front Office: He's in the front court.

If you're not ecstatic about the team we just named, think about it: How much talent did Jordan have around him in Chicago? During his first three titles, he had a young Scottie Pippen and a young Horace Grant and role players. Of course, Michael was young then, too. And during his last three titles, he had Pippen and Dennis Rodman and Toni Kukoc, plus, again, role players. The Wizards are not going to win any titles this year, but they're not gonna lose 50 either. Hallelujah!

The Wizards haven't been this excited about anything since Hamilton represented them in the All-Star game last year (okay, it was in the 2-Ball competition, but at least they had someone there).

So I know I speak for all of the real Wizards fans when I say to everyone else, welcome aboard. Oh, and the Wizards team colors are blue, black and bronze.
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Re: Unfinished Business: Jordan returns with Wizards for 01-02 Season.

Postby truefaith0826 on Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:46 am

Barkley with his bff MJ, that's nice. MJ also has good relationship with Pat, hopefully the chemistry works. They should watch out though MJ's competetitiveness, as we know he lashes out his teammates when he loses.
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