Odd Wizard Out: DeShawn Stevenson Wasting Away In Washington

Matthew Brown@mlb923Correspondent IDecember 8, 2009

A team is only as strong as its weakest link and the Washington Wizards are no exception to the cliche. The weakest link for the Wizards right now is DeShawn Stevenson.

I doubt anyone will protest that fact either.

Since arriving in Washington, Stevenson has been a hard-working, bench caliber player getting a lot of minutes with the starters. In review of the Wizards starters, the names Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, and Brendan Haywood come to mind. Stevenson is not a starter, nor should he ever be again.

He should be sent packing while he still has some market value.

I used to buy into the notion that Stevenson was a good defender and the defenseless Wizards could benefit from having him on the floor a little more. If there was ever a time to refute that completely, it is now.

Or more specifically, it was the November 10 meeting between the Wizards and the Miami Heat.

On that night, Stevenson played 40 minutes in the game and was responsible for keeping Dwyane Wade in check. Instead, he rolled out the red carpet for Wade and allowed him to score 40 points on the night en route to a Wizards loss.

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In two meetings since, Stevenson has only played 23 minutes against the Heat and missed one game due to injury. Wade actually scored more (43) in the second meeting, but just 18 in the most recent meeting.

Not to attribute Wade's stellar performance to the presence of Stevenson, but yeah I do mean to attribute the performance to Stevenson.

Despite the common opinion of "experts," Stevenson is not a good defender, which would make him far from great as some have been bold enough to label him.

Good defenders restrict the scoring of their opponents. Great defenders do that and throw in a steal or two for good measure. Stevenson's career average for steals is well below one per game.

If the numbers and recent history aren't enough to convince fans that Stevenson has earned his walking papers, I refer you to the Wizards' 2007-2008 playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

I am personally not the biggest fan of LeBron James, but Stevenson foolishly called him overrated. In the coming games of the series, Stevenson adopted a John Cena-esque style of waving his hand in front of his face i.e. "you can't see me."

In that series, Stevenson averaged 37 percent from the field, 12 points, 2.6 rebounds, and one steal per game. His supposed overrated opponent, King James, averaged 29 points, 9.5 rebounds, 7.6 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game. All the while, he shot almost 49 percent from the field.

The Wizards lost the series 4-2, and the best thing to happen to Stevenson was inclusion in a remix diss by Jay-Z, a James supporter.

The numbers scream overrated for Stevenson, yet the Wizards continue to let him run his mouth off the court and disappear on it. If Washington intends to improve itself, it can start with the dead weight Stevenson represents.

Everyone else on the roster has a reason to be a Wizard. Stevenson seems content in making outlandish statements about opponents, his game, and his continuing to adorn himself with stupid tattoos.

What is the purpose of a tattoo of your name and jersey number on your back, DeShawn? Why is there a small crack tattooed on your forehead?

"I don't crack," he said. "I feel like people always try to break me, but I don't crack. So, I put that there."

Make sense? Of course it doesn't and neither does keeping Stevenson on a roster with Mike Miller and Nick Young; I rest my case.