Sunday, December 23, 2012

A bad team with a deluded owner

The Washington Wizards are a bad team. That's a fact. The numbers bear it out. That's not even news. But what surprised me was a blog by the team's owner Ted Leonsis. Ted writes a blog called Ted's Take where he opines on a lot of things. I don't usually read it but I read what he wrote following the Wizards' loss to the Atlanta Hawks (the 4th loss to that team this season). He wrote:

Another Winnable Game
We just can’t close out tight games to get a win. That has been the biggest disappointment to me this season so far. We are simply losing too many winnable games.  We lost last night in over time – again – to the Hawks.

You can read the rest yourself here.  But what struck me was the fact that Ted actually thinks the Wizards have anything resembling a "winnable game" on their schedule. For the non-sports fan, a "winnable game" is a game where one team is so much better than the other that the conclusion is forgone. For example, Barcelona vs Columbus Crew (Barcelona features Lionel Messi, the best player in the world while Columbus Crew is a middle of the pack team in MLS) or LA Lakers vs Washington Wizards (winnable game for LA).

So why do I think the Wizards have no winnable games on their schedule? First, they are last in the entire league with just 3 wins in 25 games (as of 12/23/2012); the Hawks meanwhile are in 3rd place in the Eastern conference with 16 wins in 25 games. So based on records alone, it's laughable to think the Wizards have a "winnable game" against the Hawks.

Second, let's take a look at the roster of the Wizards. For those who aren't that familiar with the NBA, it's a star driven league. Every single championship winner has had at least 1.5 bonafide stars (i.e. household names with sneaker deals and all the trappings of stardom). The only exceptions are the Detroit Pistons and the San Antonio Spurs. However, Detroit had a starting five that were very good to excellent all-star players. And the Spurs had Tim Duncan the very definition of anti-star. So this is the league the Wizards play it. Now let's look at our roster:




This is the roster for the 2012 Washington Wizards and their owner thinks a game against the Atlanta Hawks is winnable. It's one thing to be bad but quite another to be delusional. I am not sure which is more worrisome: that Ted believes this team can win or that he thinks he can fool us into thinking they can win. This is worse than Mike Shanahan "staking his reputation" on the John Beck.