Brendan Haywood has had chance after chance to prove that he is more than seven feet of shot blocking and mouthy statements. And much like his tenure for the Washington Wizards, he has yet to rise to the level of expectations—however minimal they have been.
His improvements on the court, despite being about three years too late, are far more welcomed than his underdeveloped and uninformed tangents as a political and social commentator, which he seems to have awkwardly stepped into courtesy of YardBarker. His latest prose, in combination with making the rounds on local media, have painted him a nice blue hue of less-than-professional in his comments on the Wizards’ big trade.
Of the three departed big men—Darius Songaila, Oleksiy Pecherov and Etan Thomas—Haywood found it prudent to bid fond farewell to Songaila only. While his feuding with Thomas was widely-known, O-Pech never did anything to him. While it was not a requirement, it was a requisite chance to show Washington that his maturity off the court was parallel to his maturity on it.
Sadly, in another opportunity to be above it all, Haywood stooped mightly low to hit below the belt. Subtlely, but straight for the jewels, nonetheless.
Haywood’s time in Washington has been marked by his ill-handling of the deficits in his own game and personal jealousy issues. When former coach Eddie Jordan challenged his aggression on the court, he responded by fighting his less-talented, aggression-filled poet teammate. Save for a career-altering heart ailment, it would be Haywood headed for the frostbite.
Where Gilbert Arenas sets the blogosphere on fire, Haywood has thus far chided an NBA legend in the making, questioned the importance of human life over dog life, and took the NBA to task on the age limit.
Just your basic regurgitation of the popular sports opinions of the day. I’m surprised that ESPN hasn’t scooped this boy up to replace Stephen A. Smith on NBA coverage.
His perspectives are unremarkable, yet his game will be the catalyst for any success the Wizards will have in 2009-10. Until JaVale McGee can take his spot, Haywood is the only legitimate defensive threat that the Wizards have. Period. And scarier, in the Eastern Conference, only Al Horford, Chris Bosh, Dwight Howard and Kevin Garnett outpace Haywood in big man talent.
Yeah, that is scary.
In short, the Wizards must tolerate this guy. The jealousy, the public immaturity, all of it; just to have a chance to compete for meaningful basketball in March and April.
But please, don’t let the recently-bloomed talent or the fact that he is the single most important player on the Washington Wizards fool you; from all indications, Brendan Todd Haywood is an opportunistic clown.
And sadly, it is he who must lead the way for the Washington Wizards.