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Evilmav2
03-22-2003, 02:37 AM
Jordan had some pretty harsh words for his teammates after tonight's Wizards national television loss. It actually makes me kind of sad to see Jordan frustrated by the futility of trying to retire on a high note with this present decrepid Wizard's squad...

Jordan Berates Wizards after loss
Suns 109, Wizards 83

By Steve Wyche
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 22, 2003; Page D01


PHOENIX, March 21 -- The Washington Wizards hoped to open this crucial six-game, Western Conference trip tonight at Phoenix with a victory that would kick-start a push to the postseason.

Instead, they embarrassed themselves with a performance that prompted harsh words from Michael Jordan.

Showing little penchant for playing defense and a lack of urgency for a team that says it wants to stay out of the draft lottery, the Wizards lost, 109-83, to the Suns at sold-out America West Arena. It was Washington's seventh loss in its past 10 games and its 11th in its past 13 on the road.

The loss dropped the Wizards (32-36) four games under .500 for the first time since they were 13-17 after a loss Dec. 30 to the Orlando Magic. It also kept them a half-game behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Washington squandered a chance to pass the Bucks, who lost to the New Orleans Hornets.

The New York Knicks, with their victory over Detroit, closed within 11/2 games of Washington.

"For us to look at the scoreboard after this, I hope we look in the mirror," Wizards Coach Doug Collins said.

After the game Jordan echoed his coach's sentiments.

"I'm not going to try to save this team. It's not my job," Jordan said. "My job is not to try to carry this team like I did in '84 with the Bulls. We've got young, talented players on this team. If they're going to sit back and expect that I'm going to score 50 points they got a nice little awakening coming up.

"I told them at halftime. I'm not going to try to carry the team," Jordan continued. "I'm going to move the ball, draw the attention and get you the ball. You shoot it, you score it, I go rebound and try to play defense, but don't expect me to try to put an 'S' on my chest and go out and play for these guys. We've got 14 games left. I'm going to try to enjoy myself. If you guys want to play hard basketball, we'll play hard basketball. You guys want to take it off, I could be playing golf somewhere."

When asked if he would criticize Wizards players again, Jordan said: "I'm not wasting my breath. I'll hold on to my breath. I can do other things with it. I can have a nice cigar."

Phoenix used a 17-0 run to close the first quarter and shot 55 percent to beat Washington for the first time in the past four games. The Suns are tied with the Houston Rockets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

That early run was all it took to break the Wizards, whose only threat came in the third quarter when forward Christian Laettner scored eight of his 12 points to get Washington within 14. The Suns shook off the surge to take a 79-57 lead into the fourth quarter.

Washington never threatened in the final period and Jordan checked out of the game with 9 minutes 4 seconds remaining and the Wizards down by 30. He finished with a team-high 14 points.

"We didn't even compete," Jordan said. "It was like they made a push at us and we just wilted form that point on. It wasn't even a game. It was like we were in uniform and they were doing anything they wanted against us. It was very, very embarassing, more so than anything. I can't even believe we got paid tonight.

"I've never been part of a game where you feel like you can't score you can't do anything else. That's not what this game is about. If you can't score the object is not to let the other team score. We couldn't score, we couldn't get the ball over half court and we just let them do whatever. It's one of those games you don't ever want to be a part of. I look out there today and I was a part of it.

"That's definitely embarassing. I don't see how we could get paid for this game. We beat this team before. It's a matter of just going out and competing. We didn't even do that. I don't have the right words for it.

"It's just not fun to be part of a game like this. No emotion, no energy, no continuity, no connection, no motivation, no dignity at all. It was just like we were going though it. We expected to lose this game. We expect to lose all games and we don't want anybody to get mad."

Wizards guard Larry Hughes scored 13 points. Small forward Jerry Stackhouse had just seven points but had a team-high nine assists. Laettner had a team-high six rebounds. Backup forward Bobby Simmons added 10 points.

Phoenix outscored Washington 60-16 in the lane and out-rebounded the Wizards 46-32. The Suns also blocked eight shots, four more than Washington.

Guard Stephon Marbury led four Phoenix players in double figures with 23 points. Guard Joe Johnson had 21 points. Forward Shawn Marion added 18 points, rookie forward Amare Stoudemire (eight rebounds, three blocked shots) had 16 points and center Jake Voskuhl had six points in a reserve role.

The Wizards hobbled into the locker room down 51-34 at halftime after getting pummeled during the previous 17 minutes. The Suns' dismantling of Washington began with five minutes left in the first period and continued in the second quarter when the Wizards could not find any footing on either end of the floor.

Phoenix had its way on offense in the first half, shooting 58 percent from the field. That high conversion rate came courtesy of a whopping 32-6 edge in points in the lane. Washington, meantime, made just 32 percent of its shots as it took aim mainly from the perimeter. The few times the Wizards did attack the rim, Phoenix sent the shots back, blocking six shots in the half.

Washington entered the second quarter down by nine after allowing the Suns to reel off 17 straight points to close the first quarter and post a 26-15 lead.

In an effort to generate some life in his team, Collins went to a small lineup for a good portion of the second quarter but the move produced little. Phoenix out-rebounded Washington 13-4 in the period and actually shot a higher percent (61 percent) than it did in the first period (55 percent).

The Wizards failed to score over the final 5:14 of the first quarter and the Suns took a 16-15 lead on a Marbury layup. The Suns quickly built their lead to 11 with three consecutive layups and a quarter-closing dunk by Marion.

Most of Phoenix's interior points came in halfcourt sets and the Suns just got six fast-break points in the quarter. The Wizards' cascade of failures had them playing a hectic game of catch-up from that point on, and, too often, Washington tried to make up the deficit by launching many ill-fated three-pointers. They made only 3 of 12.


2003 The Washington Post Company

OzMavs
03-22-2003, 09:50 AM
Too much falls on the shoulders of too few in the east.

Bayliss
03-22-2003, 01:01 PM
Well, quite frankly... it is Jordan and Collins' fault. If you wanted the kids to "grow" why stifle them on the bench?The only way to get better and produce in this league is to get minutes. Yet, Collins and Jordan rarely give minutes to the young kids like Dixon, Brown, etc.

Murphy3
03-22-2003, 04:49 PM
kwame brown has definitely had chances to grow...dixon has been a bit more limited this year.

no one to put kwame's failures on except for himself

Nash13
03-22-2003, 05:44 PM
I agree 100% with Jordan. If i was Jordan, i'd tell them they wouldn't get anything from me. There's only one thing worst than a rookie being the best player on your team, and that's a 40yr old man being the best player on your team.

Bayliss
03-22-2003, 06:41 PM
Murphy, I didn't say Kwame was setting the world on fire but what numbers do you expect him to put up in 22 minutes?

Kwame's numbers:
7 pts
5 rebounds
45% FG
1 block
.6 steal
.7 assist

Not bad numbers for the minutes he is getting. Put it in perspective.. Dirk in his rookie year averaged 20 minutes a game.

Dirk's numbers:
8 pts
3 rebounds
40% FG
.5 block
.6 steals
1 assist

Not a lot of difference, eh? I'm not saying that Kwame will be as good as Dirk but in Dirk's second year he averaged 36 minutes. If you give Kwame that same number of minutes, he will produce the way the Wizards want him to. The problem though is Collins and Jordan will not give him minutes.

FilthyFinMavs
03-24-2003, 04:40 PM
<< Murphy, I didn't say Kwame was setting the world on fire but what numbers do you expect him to put up in 22 minutes?

Kwame's numbers:
7 pts
5 rebounds
45% FG
1 block
.6 steal
.7 assist

Not bad numbers for the minutes he is getting. Put it in perspective.. Dirk in his rookie year averaged 20 minutes a game.

Dirk's numbers:
8 pts
3 rebounds
40% FG
.5 block
.6 steals
1 assist

Not a lot of difference, eh? I'm not saying that Kwame will be as good as Dirk but in Dirk's second year he averaged 36 minutes. If you give Kwame that same number of minutes, he will produce the way the Wizards want him to. The problem though is Collins and Jordan will not give him minutes. >>




The reason why he isn't getting minutes is because he isn't playing well. Kwame gets to pad his stats when either the Wiz are blowing out a opponent or they are being blown out. Kwame was playing great ball earlier in the season. I remember a couple of games were he had 6 blocks and like 14 points. I think maybe MJ is asking a bit much out of a high school kid in his 2nd year but he isn't performing like a first pick in the draft so I can't blame MJ for it.

jayC
03-25-2003, 05:35 PM
I agree with Bayliss. Give the guy a shot to screw up. I saw a game where he had 20 points and 6 rebounds. Remember how bad steve nash was when we traded for him he would get booed every time he took a shot. Give the kid time to develop. Hey if Jordan wants to get rid of him i hope the mavs can work something out to bring him here.

FilthyFinMavs
03-25-2003, 08:55 PM
<< I agree with Bayliss. Give the guy a shot to screw up. I saw a game where he had 20 points and 6 rebounds. Remember how bad steve nash was when we traded for him he would get booed every time he took a shot. Give the kid time to develop. Hey if Jordan wants to get rid of him i hope the mavs can work something out to bring him here. >>





If I were MJ I would try and get a Najera for Kwame deal done. Not sure if I would do it as a Mavs fan though. The reasonw hy I brought up Najera is becausehe would do wonders for the Wiz. A young guy who has no problem doing his role. That is what MJ wants and isn't getting from no one on that squad. I think his first mistake was gettin' rid of Rip.