The Washington Times - October 30, 2008, 07:08PM

Opening night for the Wizards at the Verizon Center had all the excitement of an exhibition game.

Unfortunately for the Wizards, the loss to the lowly New Jersey Nets counts. What’s worse, Wizards forward Andray Blatche thought they played well.


“Im very encouraged,” he said after the game. “It was a good game for us the rims just got tight for us in the last few minutes. We were in the game the whole time. Im going to take some of the blame because I had five turnovers tonight. Were going to be alright.”

In the game? Against the Nets? I should hope so.

The lack of energy in the building Wednesday night was startling for the first game of the season. For most of the night, the only thing that got the home crowd going was anything to do with T-shirts. The free T-shirts on their chairs. The T-shirts dropped from the ceiling in parachutes. The T-shirt launch. You would think Wizards fans didn’t have anything to wear at home the way they salivate over T-shirts.

Of course, they are just as excited about the burrito giveaways. Fans act like it’s a United Nations food drop. The facism of the forced uniform for sports fans continued Wednesday, as the camera for the in house video kept harrassing people who had already paid a ridiculous amount of money to be there, embarrassing them into putting on the T-shirt. Fans need to stop this harrassment and demand they not be forced to be part of the sideshow. Please, somebody step up and show the camera someday where the team can put these T-shirts. Revolt.

The only other thing that seemed to get people interested in the game was the appearance of the rookie big man, JaVale McGee. He played nearly nine minutes, didn’t score a point and had just two rebounds. But he was a defensive presence in the middle, forcing the Nets to alter several shot attempts.

McGee may add a little spice to Wizards games. It’s clear coach Eddie Jordan likes him.

“He wont grow until he gets experience,” Jordan said. “He can play in practice but we like his potential. You have to give him spot minutes. I liked the athleticism he brought to the court.”

Let’s have more McGee and less T-shirts.

Loverro on the Radio

I will be on The Sports Reporters on ESPN 980-AM on Monday, Nov. 10, from 5 to 7 p.m.

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