- Congressman: McAuliffe victory means gun control a winning message
- Clinton aide admits soliciting disgraced D.C. fundraiser; says actions were legal
- Joel Osteen church victimized in $600K theft
- Obama goes shopping at Gap as minimum-wage thanks
- N.J. woman charged after client dies from black-market butt injections
- CIA chief Brennan ‘determined’ to speak out more this year
- Reset? What reset? U.S.-Russia ties at worst since Cold War
- 9/11 terror recruiter released in Syrian prisoner swap
- D.C. elections board gives green light to marijuana legalization initiative
- Elephants can tell difference between human languages: study
Wizards’ Lewis passes wisdom on to younger players
Lewis, now a 13-year NBA veteran, is playing a different role in Washington. He’s being called upon not only to score but to help provide leadership for a rebuilding team after spending the majority of his career on playoff contenders — first the Seattle Supersonics and then the Magic.
For inspiration in his new role, Lewis recalls his days in Seattle when the team’s veterans showed him what it meant to be a professional and how to survive the lean years.
“When I younger, playing in Seattle, we had a mix of young guys and veterans, and I think that’s the best way to go,” Lewis said. “You’ve got to have some veterans on the team to help the young guys in practice, making them get better, just telling them what to do or showing them by example, by practicing every day, getting in the weight room, whatever.
“It’s very tough for a young team to learn when you’ve got nothing but young guys on a team, because they follow each other’s lead. They’re trying to learn, trying to figure out a way as well.”
Lewis‘ veteran role models from his Seattle days included Gary Payton, a nine-time All-Star and nine-time first-team All-Defensive selection, and Detlef Schrempf, a three-time All-Star and two-time Sixth Man of the Year.
“In practice, I had to guard Detlef. Every time I messed up, he would kill me in the post, or when he would do something to me, he would stop and tell me what I was doing wrong,” Lewis said. “I was all ears. I knew I was a young guy, coming out of high school, that needed to learn the game of basketball, learn the NBA game.”
“If it’s not talking, you’ve got to lead by example,” Lewis said.
His job is made that much more difficult by the Wizards‘ 0-5 start. Washington is the only winless team in the NBA.
“That’s the competitive nature of this team, because of the hard work we put in during training camp, working together, and feeling this year that we had a good chance of being a good team,” Lewis said. “Coming out of the blocks stumbling, it’s very tough.”
On Wednesday night in Orlando, Lewis will help lead his young teammates into Amway Center, where they will face a Magic team that is focused on the playoffs and trying not to dwell on the potential trade of All-Star center Dwight Howard.
“I had great times with that team,” Lewis said of the Magic, with whom he played for 3 1/2 seasons. “There are still guys that I played with on that team that are still there. I’m just looking forward to being back in that building and just being in that atmosphere.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Carla Peay keeps you up to date on the Washington Wizards and the NBA.
- John Wall’s practice session includes contact
- Chris Singleton falls out of Wizards' rotation
- Wizards can't sustain solid start, fall to Mavericks
- Kevin Seraphin gets some tough love from his 'big brothers'
- Wizards' Randy Wittman desires healthier team in 2013
Latest Blog Entries
An America drowning in red ink is the land of the free no more
- Inside the Beltway: A new interest in Rahm Emanuel for 2016?
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- David Jolly wins in Florida, GOP keeps swing district seat
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- Brennan: Russia 'absolutely' could invade eastern Ukraine
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- CARNES: Kissinger's flawed and offensive analysis of Ukraine
- HURT: John Kerry The ridiculous face of a ridiculous U.S. diplomacy
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again