- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
Boykins full of finishing moves
When the Washington Wizards emerged from a timeout in need of a game-winning play with the score knotted at 102-102 and 10.5 seconds left, Gilbert Arenas walked onto the floor, rubbing his hands together. A three-time All-Star, Arenas noticed the Milwaukee Bucks players looking at him and talking to each other to ensure they had accounted for him.
Arenas just laughed to himself.
“I was sitting there thinking, ‘Y’all worried about me, but y’all ‘bout to be in for a rude awakening. This is Earl’s show,’ ” Arenas chuckled later.
Sure enough, Earl Boykins - the 5-foot-5 backup who had put his team on his diminutive shoulders down the stretch - was in charge. Boykins drove, pulled up for a jumper and drew a foul with a second left. He proceeded to make both foul shots for a 104-102 victory Wednesday night.
It wasn’t the first time Boykins saved the day. Since he suited up for the Wizards for the first time nine games ago, Washington has won five times. Four of those victories came after Boykins took charge in the fourth quarter, either with his scoring or his ball-management skills.
When Boykins stepped to the line with 17 seconds left for the free throws that gave the Wizards a 102-99 lead, it was no wonder the home crowd started chanting “M-V-P! M-V-P!”
“I’m not into all that, honestly,” the soft-spoken 33-year-old said with a smile. “I’m just happy to get a win.”
Boykins’ coach heard the chants - and pointed them out during his postgame news conference.
“The fans are chanting MVP for Earl,” Flip Saunders chuckled. “He’s been like that. If you look at the games we’ve won, he’s finished games for us.”
Every time Boykins drives and makes a shot over players often a foot or more taller or drives and kicks for an easy bucket for a teammate, the Verizon Center faithful rise to their feet in applause and amazement. But Boykins, who signed Nov. 11 when the Wizards were down to one healthy point guard, said he hasn’t been surprised by his impact.
“That’s the reason I came here,” he said. “I wanted to be a guy who could help a team win games. I’m just glad Flip and my teammates have confidence to allow me to do it.”
Boykins’ confidence was the reason he signed to play in Italy for a reported $3.5 million last season after he failed to get the NBA offer he desired. He experienced success but returned to the United States, still confident he could find the perfect situation after 10 seasons in the NBA. He turned down training camp invites from teams with situations he viewed as less than ideal, and he continued to work out, knowing his chance would come.
The Wizards were the right fit.
“I’ve always been patient. I never worry,” said Boykins, who was expected to be insurance for the backcourt but now is the Wizards’ leading fourth-quarter scorer. “That’s just my personality. I guess I’m not an anxious person. If the Wizards wouldn’t have called me, I had other teams interested and would’ve chose someone else.”
About the Author
- Wizards respond on practice court
- Saunders flips out about Wizards' defense
- Saunders fumes as Wizards regress
- Wizards close out 2009 with another loss
- Late breakdown costs Wizards in Memphis
Latest Blog Entries
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- Inside China: Ukraine gets nuke umbrella
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- North Korean dictator stuns world with uncle's execution
- CHELLANEY: China's game of chicken
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- Inside the Ring: China targets Global Hawk drone
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow