Jamison's Plea to the Washington Crowd: A Step in the Right Direction

Ryan M. ReidContributor IJanuary 9, 2010

PHOENIX - DECEMBER 19:  Antawn Jamison #4 of the Washington Wizards warms up before the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on December 19, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Wizards 121-95. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Wizards are doing what they can to make the best of a very unusual situation.

Gilbert Arenas’ admission to having guns in his Verizon Center locker room has brought much unwanted press to a Washington team struggling to find an identity.

In a very classy move, the organization put the microphone in the hands of their well-respected leader, Antawn Jamison, who before Friday's game against Orlando asked the fans for their support during this dramatic time.

The team was scrutinized for their pregame antics Tuesday night in Philadelphia, where Gilbert Arenas was pictured using his fingers as guns to simulate him shooting at his teammates in the team huddle. The picture also shows members of the squad laughing and making fun of the situation.

Jamison called the situation “very embarrassing” and said that though there was a picture of the team joking around, that was not the true thought of the organization.

“This is a serious situation, it's something we take to heart,” said Jamison. “We never meant to make light of the situation. And we're going to do everything in our power, as long as I'm your captain and all these guys right here are my teammates, to make this one of the most respectable organizations in the league."

Jamison’s sincere apology to the fans was welcomed by the sellout crowd with a huge applause.

The Wizards responded strong in their first game without Arenas, overcoming a 10 point deficit to beat the Orlando Magic.

A huge step forward for a team in turmoil.

Saturday, there was more fallout from the pregame activity when the team fined Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee, Randy Foye, and Nick Young $10,000 each for their involvement in the act.

What remains to be seen is how the Wizards will respond to the events of the past couple of weeks.

The team will most likely be without Arenas for the remainder of season, which may also spell the end of his Wizards’ career.

At 12-22, there isn’t much early hope for the postseason in the nation’s capitol, but the Wiz hope that they can pull it together and make a second half run behind leaders Jamison and Caron Butler.

“We need you guys to continue to support us,” said Jamison. “This thing here is very embarrassing for my teammates and the coaching staff, but we're going to do everything possible to make this one of the toughest places to play in, to make this an exciting place, but most importantly, a place where you can bring your kids, your families, your buddy, to come and have a good time."