Like we did for Capitals fans tuning into these Stanley Cup Finals, here’s a quick NBA Finals guide for Wizards fans. Just because we’re not in it doesn’t mean we can’t be into it …
1. JaVale McGee is four wins away from a ring.
Vale, along with Nick Young and Andray Blatche, was a featured player on the 2008-12 Wizards teams that *averaged* 22 wins a season. The highlight was probably that time he dunked on two baskets at once in the dunk contest.
Then he left D.C. and went to Denver, Philly and Dallas before washing up with Golden State this season and showing that he wasn’t washed at all, averaging six points, three boards and a block in 10 minutes/game. Not bad, and he’s been even better in the playoffs.
2. Kevin Durant did not think fondly of playing for the Wiz.
Was it just last summer we were looking forward to so desperately?
Despite being from PG County, flirting with a bunch of teams, John Wall and Bradley Beal both being under contract for years and us making a “K2DC” shirt that looks even more pathetic now than it did then, KD didn’t even give the Wiz a meeting.
It’s cool, though; we landed Ian Mahinmi.
3. Hey, the Wizards could’ve drafted Draymond Green!
He was there on the board for the Wiz with the second pick in the second round in 2012. Ernie Grunfeld draft-and-stashed Tomas Satoransky instead, and Golden State took Dray three picks later (one pick after Jae Crowder and four picks before Khris Middleton).
But hey, who knew a Big Ten Player of the Year with multiple NCAA Tournament triple-doubles could contribute in the modern NBA?
4. Shaun Livingston is a familiar face, seems like a good dude.
His career is an odyssey that’s seen him play for nine teams (30% of the league), including two stops in D.C. Would be nice to see him get another ring.
5. The Steph Curry factor transcends regional rooting interests.
My son Miles is 6. Like all of his friends, he’s into basketball. And like all of his friends, Steph Curry is his favorite player. They have Steph Curry jerseys, they play with a Steph Curry ball, they say “Steph Curry” when they hit jumpers and they find it fascinating that Steph Curry has a brother named Seth Curry who’s actually in the NBA, too.
Because of this, his favorite team is the Warriors. It’s a good time to be Miles.
6. Tyronn Lue was a tiny little Wizard once.
There was a time, before he was the top assistant for player/coach LeBron James, that T-Lue was a backup PG with the Wiz. Those were the Michael Jordan years, and Tyronn was fresh off of getting stepped over by Allen Iverson in the NBA Finals. What a career.
7. Kyrie Irving went to Duke.
He didn’t really play that much for Duke, but it was enough.
8. The wounds from the Wiz-Cavs War of 2006-08 are still fresh.
D.C. hates LeBron, remember? You don’t pull this shit and just get away with it.
If it’s at all unclear, we’re rooting for Golden State, and it’s not close.
Bonus: Did a podcast version of this post, if that’s your thing.