The Wizards had the chance to reshape the roster but instead they committed to the Arenas-Jamison-Butler core. What does it mean to you?
Antawn Jamison: It means a lot. It means they have the confidence that the guys can get the job done. With all the injuries we haven’t been able to play the last year and a half. That really shows how much they believe in us, how much they want this thing to work. And it goes on the other side. All the guys want to play with each other. All the guys want to pretty much finish their careers in DC and bring the championship to DC. So it just let you know the commitment on both sides of the spectrum. Guys are just anxious to get everybody out there one time so we can start having fun again and doing the things we were doing before we started getting hurt.
Do you believe believe Andray Blatche can really step up?
AJ: We’ll see. I’m a big believer. I have the confidence that he can get it done, but it’s a different game. There are 82 games… being consistent night in and night out, he has yet to do that. The responsability is on his shoulders to take precautionary measures to make sure he’s prepared to do it night in and night out. It’s tough so, hope that he can get it done, but we’ll see in a couple of weeks if he can do it night in and night out.
Now it’s a tough time for a lot of people economic-wise. Do you think you guys can show up every night and entertain the crowd of DC and at the same time win?
AJ: Yeah, I think we can do it. With Brendan Haywood being out, it makes it a lot more difficult, because he did a lot for us being great defensively, and also helping Caron and myself out. But as when Andre Blatche comes in… also Javale McGee is an unvelievable talent who can jump out of the gym and he’s going to be so explosive with all the dunks he can do… It’s just a matter of us to continue to get better defensively. Offensively we play unselfish basketball, we get everybody involved so we do a great job at enternaining, but the most important thing is to win, and once you win in the city of DC everybody is happy. So we will try to win as many games as possible.
How is Gilbert? Is he planning something on his blog?
AJ: I know he’s good. He hasn’t seen us in the last week or so…
That may be dangerous, he might be planning something big.
AJ: [Laughs] No, he might be hanging at the swimming pool. He’s doing fine. He’s rehabbing, we’ve got a guy back home with him, making sure he’s doing the proper things to get his knee right. He’s anxious to get back on the court. Hopefully sometime in November or December he can come back out there and start playing Agent Zero-type basketball. It should be fun, I think this time around he should begin close to 100 percent healthy and be able to do the things he’s capable to do.
There are still cuts to be made. Do you think guys like Linton Johnson or DerMarr Johnson can make the team?
AJ: Yeah. It’s a matter of time before we make the cuts we need to in order to have the full roster. Linton is a guy who’s won a championship ring. DerMarr Johnson is an unvelievable talent, he had an injury a couple of years ago and I think now he’s starting to be the player he was before the accident. Dee Brown is a quick guy that we need on this team. We’ve got some needs.