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April 16, 2015 Updates

Wall had read the story by Wednesday evening and didn’t have a problem with Pierce’s comments. “I think it was great. It is. It’s a great point,” Wall said before the Wizards’ loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the regular season finale. “I’m the type of guy, you know, I don’t like to sit out of anything, practice or games, but he also told me I’m the key to how far this team goes and I tried to do my best this season of trying to stay healthy and play as many games as I can. I’m the type of guy that hates to get out of practice. I like to compete in everything I do. This is what I do. This is my job. But I had to do that to get through most of the season. But I definitely want to be great. I definitely pick his brain about certain things I’ve been doing all season because he knows what it takes. He’s in a position where I want to be: a Hall of Famer, winning a championship, and those types of things.” Washington Post

There’s a worry that the comments, which come on the heels of Brooklyn’s final game of the season in a tight playoff race, could distract the team in a high-pressure situation. But while Johnson and Williams declined to speak with the media prior to the game, Nets coach Lionel Hollins said the comments didn’t faze him. “I don’t really care (about the comments),” Hollins said during his normal media availability before the Nets took on the Orlando Magic. “I wasn’t here. I don’t care. All I can go by is how we are this year, and as I’ve said many many times, the vocal leader of our team early on was (Kevin Garnett), and since he’s left it’s been more of a collective.” The Brooklyn Game

"Freedom of speech," said Jason Kidd, who left Brooklyn for the Milwaukee Bucks over the offseason. Asked if he saw the same problems, Kidd replied, "He was in the locker room. For us as coaches we're in a different locker room. So we're coming in pre-game, halftime, they spend a lot more time in that locker room than coaches. So that group of guys that played, to be 10-21 and find ourselves with 44 wins, someone has to care if you're going to turn it around that way. "I think sometimes when trades are made the beginning of the season on paper they look great. It just takes time. Sometimes the process by the media or outside influences or sources want it to be now. Sometimes it doesn't work that way." Booth Newspapers

With the Nets set to play their season finale Wednesday against the Magic - a game they have to win in order to keep their playoff hopes alive - another Hall of Famer jumped on the Williams' blame train. "I can't argue with what Paul Pierce said. I have to agree with him," Reggie Miller told WFAN. "I don't really like to kill guys but you have to call a spade a spade. I think he's right on. "The most important position in the game today is the point guard position," he added. "And if you can't get that out of your point guard - because that's the coach on the floor. That's the guy that has to get everyone rallying in the right position. So if your point guard is not demanding and is not accountable and is holding everyone else accountable, your team is going to struggle. That's why Brooklyn has struggled because Deron Williams - not only has he not held himself accountable, he's not holding anybody on the floor accountable as well." New York Daily News

April 15, 2015 Updates

Gilbert Arenas was among the most vocal of Wizards fans during the 2014 playoffs, because he so dearly values his time in Washington. “I lived in Washington longer than I have lived anywhere else, so it’s considered home, even though I moved back to California,” Arenas said last spring. “When you grow up as a kid and as an adult — from 21 to 29 I lived in D.C. — I mean, it’s my home team. Right now I’m a fan. When you’re a fan, that’s your team. That’s us. We lose, we lost, we won. Just like any other fan.” Washington Post

The player that puzzled him the most, said Pierce, was point guard Deron Williams. "Before I got there, I looked at Deron as an MVP candidate,'' Pierce said. "But I felt once we got there, that's not what he wanted to be. He just didn't want that. "I think a lot of the pressure got to him sometimes. This was his first time in the national spotlight. The media in Utah is not the same as the media in New York, so that can wear on some people. I think it really affected him.'' ESPN.com

Pierce said veteran Joe Johnson was an affable professional but also a reluctant leader. "Joe is quiet,'' Pierce noted. "He doesn't want much attention. He doesn't say much. "There's a lot of secondary guys on that team. KG and I went there looking at them as the main guys who would push us, because we were advancing in years. But we ended up doing all the pushing.'' ESPN.com

Though much has been made of it, Pierce said, people don't understand he wasn't all that close to Allen to begin with. "It was a weird relationship,'' Pierce conceded. "We were all good friends on the court, but Ray always did his own thing. That's just the way Ray was. Even when we were playing together, we'd be having a team dinner and Ray wouldn't show up. We'd go to his charity events but Ray wouldn't show up to somebody else's. "I called him on it. I said, 'Man, Ray, we support all your stuff but when we ask you, you don't come to ours.' I remember when Rondo re-signed with Boston, we had a little dinner at a restaurant and Ray didn't show up. ESPN.com

"I know Ray probably didn't like Rondo that much, but it wasn't a fact of not liking somebody. You don't have to like everybody you play with -- it's a matter of showing support. "Rondo probably didn't like Ray either, but he came to Ray's functions to show, 'Hey, we're together in this.' ESPN.com

 

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN WIZARDS HISTORY

Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison are the only two new-era players cracking the Top 10.

   

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