By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Nick Young scored 18 points in his first game against his old team, Jrue Holiday had 21 and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Washington Wizards 92-84 Wednesday night.
His nightly walk toward the tunnel is slow. His head is down, his body language unmistakable. This was supposed to be his year to break through, to lead his team out of mediocrity and into the playoffs. His chance to have his name spoken alongside the Celtics' Rajon Rondo, the Thunder's Russell Westbrook, the Clippers' Chris Paul.
No one would suggest that D.C. has suddenly morphed into the nation's sports capital. The city has too much losing in the rearview mirror — and too many transient fans on the side — to make a grand proclamation just yet. But Washington clearly has been a center of attention lately in the world of professional fun and games.
Championships aren't won in the offseason, but as Washington Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld was quick to point out, every journey begins with a single step.
Last season, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert sent his 14-year-old son, Nick, on stage to represent the franchise at the NBA Draft Lottery. The strategy worked.
In his 2 1/2 seasons in Washington, former Wizards coach Flip Saunders often smiled wistfully when talking about the best player he ever coached, Boston Celtics star Kevin Garnett.
Kenyon Martin scored seven of his 11 points in the fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Clippers advanced to the Western Conference semifinals with an 82-72 win Sunday over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 7.
Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo was suspended for Game 2 of the opening-round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks.
Jordan Crawford was greeted with skepticism a few weeks ago when he predicted the Wizards would win 20 games this year. The team was stuck on 12 wins and needed to go 8-5 in their final 13 games to pull it off.
As it turns out, Nene and Brian Cook weren't the only bigs Washington acquired when it traded JaVale McGee, Nick Young and Ronny Turiaf. The Wizards also got the new-and-improved player who was buried on their bench. Wednesday's game against Indiana presented more evidence of the discovery, yet another exciting chapter in "The Evolution of Kevin Seraphin."
Randy Wittman stood on the sideline of the Wizards' practice court watching his reworked roster come together. With 22 games left in this lockout-shortened season and the team out of playoff contention, the process of building for next season can begin.
If he felt odd in a Washington Wizards practice T-shirt, it didn't show. The broad smile for which Nene is known still was present as he worked out with assistant coach Gene Banks and his new backup center, Kevin Seraphin.
Nene arrived in Washington early Saturday evening to take his physical, the final step before officially becoming a member of the Wizards.
All Chauncey Billups had to do was show up and the mood in the locker room improved.
Washington Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld cautioned that the team's trade for veteran center Nene doesn't mean the team is abandoning its plan to build through the draft and develop their young players.
"That DNP, it hurt," Young said. "Sitting on the sideline, I don't want to get back to that. I'm starting to buy into what the coaches are talking about."
"It's a great feeling, especially when you win," Young said.