Mar 24, 2010, 4:56 PM EDT
UPDATE 4:56 pm: More comments from Blatche, via the amazing Dan Steinberg (yes, you have to use the word amazing there) at the D.C. Sports Bog. Read the comments yourself, basically Blatche is showing a lot of immaturity. Not a shock. Sad, but not a shock.
4:29 pm: According to Wizards Beat reporter Michael Lee — and his well-sourced twitter account — Blatche will not be suspended and will play tonight.
2:49 pm: What we have here is a failure to communicate.
Andray Blatche said he was more than willing to go back into the game last night for the Washington Wizards, and said so to 106.7 The Fan in DC.
“I never said I didn’t wanna go back in the game. I love the game. I love to play. No coaches came to me. I never told anybody [I didn’t want to go back in the game].”
Blatche confirmed that he didn’t want to listen to what his head coach, Flip Saunders, had to say when he was removed from the game eight minutes in to Tuesday night’s loss, Washington’s 12th straight.
“I thought it was gonna be about shot selection, and it was too early to be talking about that,” he said. “So I just went over to the bench and sat down.”
Andre, just a word of advice — I don’t care if the coach wants to talk to you about what he is getting his wife for her birthday, if he wants to talk to you, you listen, smile and nod. You don’t have to do what he says — just ask Vince Carter — but you have to listen. Blowing off the coach never, never works.
Saunders apparently didn’t let it go this morning at a practice, and Blatche likely will not suit up tonight. Saunders has to set the tone and get the players to, “respect my authoritah” on a team that has lost a dozen straight and is heading into the tank. He needs to establish something that will carry over to next season.
But now is the time for everyone to be adults, talk it out and move on. And do all of it quietly. Blatche is finally showing flashes of the player he can be, and while Saunders needed to send a message, he doesn’t want one of his best players to mentally end the season a few weeks early. The Wizards will be better down the line with that Blatche than without.
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