SACRAMENTO — Went by ARCO Arena this morning for shootaround for the Wizards, who will take on the Kings tonight, and talked for a while with Antawn Jamison about some of the frustrations of this season. Despite putting up some of the best numbers of his career for a second straight year, Jamison likely will miss out on the chance to make a second straight All-Star performance, and third bid of his career, because the Wizards have such a terrible record.
On missing out on a trip to Phoenix, Jamison said: “It’s definitely frustrating. You do everything possible in the offseason to make sure you’re ready to go and unfortunately we have injuries, and with a young team, and we haven’t been able to adjust. But the most important thing is when it’s all said and done, when the season’s done, you can know you did everything you could.”
On not even being among the top 10 in the fan voting despite being one of only five players in the league to average at least 20 points and 9.5 rebounds: “I never was one of the guys that got the fan votes, so I just focused on productivity and on what I could control, and just hoped that the coaches would notice and put me on.”
“Part of you wishes you could make it, you think, you’ve made it two times and it definitely would be nice to make it a third and go out there to Phoenix and enjoy that warm weather and time with your peers,” Jamison, who made the 2005 and 2008 All-Star teams, said. “But, you’ve got to understand, we’ve got the worst record in the Eastern Conference and one of the worst in the league, and part of being an All-Star is raising your team to another level, and that’s not happening.”
But regardless of how frustrating this season has been, Jamison said he doesn’t regret deciding on last June to sign a four-year, $50 million contract extension to stay in the District. Having just come off of a career year, Jamison would’ve had a fair share of suitors had he hit the free agency market rather than signing that extension with the Wizards the day before free agency began. Two of the teams craving Jamison were the Philadelphia 76ers (who at 20-21 are in the playoff hunt, and probably would’ve done better with Jamison rather than Brand because Antawn better fits their style) and Charlotte Bobcats (Jamison’s hometown). But Jamison never asks himself “What if?” he says.
“I never say, ‘I should’ve gone to Philly, or gone back to Charlotte,’ because I had control over that,” Jamison insists. “The only thing that gets me is, why can’t we get healthy? I just want this to work. I signed on for four more years, and you wanna take advantage of the situation. You don’t wanna call this year a waste, but it hasn’t gone according to plan. So, hopefully the next three years we can stay healthy and really have a chance to enjoy some success.”