The work is hardly for naught. That is why Butler and Jamison are in position to make their second appearance each in the All-Star Game. It also is why the Wizards have a 17-15 record in the absence of Gilbert Arenas, whose recent ramblings indicate he will return in March, next March or sometime before his 30th birthday.
That would put him on pace with Oleksiy Pecherov, who has been out two to four weeks the last 2½ months.
The Sonics put up a competitive fight for 36 minutes before capitulating to their turnovers and poor shot selection in the fourth quarter.
“We wanted to make the homecoming difficult for their young guys,” Butler said, referring to the Maryland-spawned group of Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Delonte West, Chris Wilcox and Damien Wilkins.
Those two alone can overwhelm the lowly of the NBA. Yet if the Wizards want to advance to the second tier of NBA teams — the Magic, Lakers, Nuggets and Trail Blazers — it just can’t be left to Butler and Jamison with consistent contributions from Brendan Haywood, Antonio Daniels and DeShawn Stevenson.
The Wizards need the support system of the bench, which means less giggling from their youngsters and more recognition that theirs is a Darwinian business.
It is easy being the Chipotle Burrito Dash leader. It is a lot harder to devote yourself to the weight room and gymnasium, especially if you can be giggling with your friends somewhere else.
Both All-Star worthies will be teaching a course in the locker room this week, titled: “How to be a Professional.”
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