By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Dion Waiters scored 20 points, Alonzo Gee added 17 and the Cleveland Cavaliers held off a late run to beat the Washington Wizards 95-90 on Tuesday night.
John Wall was sprawled out on the floor in front of him doing stretching exercises. A.J. Price sat across from him, his soft cast in his lap and a stimulation machine on his broken right hand. Shelvin Mack sat next to him, wearing oversized headphones and checking his cellphone.
For most people, finding out they have to work on Christmas Day isn't exactly the kind of present they want. For Shelvin Mack and Garrett Temple, it was the best gift of all.
When his phone rang late Saturday night, Shelvin Mack had no idea it would be from the team that let him go just before training camp, the Washington Wizards.
The fatigue was palpable. The exhaustion, physical and mental, was written on their faces. As the worst stretch of their season came to an end -- four games in five nights for two straight weeks -- the Washington Wizards entered the holiday break with a seven-game losing streak and a league-worst 3-22 record.
Washington Wizards coach Randy Wittman must have felt like it was time to pull a rabbit out of his hat when his team faced the Orlando Magic on Wednesday at the Amway Center.
Their heads are down, their eyes averted. As the locker room fills with reporters after every game, they know the questions are coming, and they don't have the answers.
The waiting was the hardest part for Shaun Livingston, who spent the first two weeks of the NBA season working out and sitting by the phone. Washington signed the 6-foot-7 point guard on Nov. 15 after an 0-7 start and released Jannero Pargo to open a roster spot.
Nene was nowhere to be found. The Washington Wizards 6-foot-11 center wasn't on the inactive list, but he wasn't at the end of the bench, either. After playing more than 48 minutes total in the last two games, Nene sat out the Wizards game against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday at Verizon Center, a 26-point blowout loss.
They were hoping to avoid historical futility. With a win on Monday night against the Indiana Pacers, the Washington Wizards would avoid a dreaded 0-9 start, the worst in franchise history. They were unsuccessful.
Despite playing a tired Utah Jazz team on the second night of a back-to-back, and a couple of tweaks to the starting lineup, it wasn't enough to get the Wizards into the win column. The Wizards lost 83-76 to the Jazz on Saturday night at Verizon Center. The loss drops the Wizards to 0-8, which ties last season's start – the worst in franchise history.
For Shaun Livingston, it was like coming home. The 6-foot-7 free-agent point guard was signed by the Wizards on Thursday, and was on the practice court on Friday to start his second stint with the team. The Wizards released Jannero Pargo to make room on the roster.
Milwaukee Bucks guard Shaun Livingston hasn't yet signed to play for a minor league team in Illinois. The team's owner says he still could.
The slow trickle of player departures began last summer. Now owner Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Bobcats are leaving no doubt that they're in rebuilding mode.
A three-way deal between the Charlotte Bobcats, Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings that featured the draft rights to BYU All-America Jimmer Fredette was the biggest of Thursday's NBA draft day trades.
"He said, 'I hope I'm not ruining your Christmas, but we have practice on Christmas Day and we want you up here.'
"I think it was trust," Shaun Livingston said of the Wizards' breakthrough win. "We trusted our teammates, and [we] trusted ourselves."