The Washington Times - October 8, 2008, 10:29AM

Big men need big seasons

It’s not good when one of the remaining Big Three goes down with an injury, as Wizards forward Antawn Jamison did when he strained his right knee in Tuesday night’s preseason game. It raises the possibility of going into the regular season down two of the Big Three, with Gilbert Arenas still rehabilitating his left knee and now having to do so while married, an extra burden. And now Brendan Haywood is having his sprained right wrist examined by a hand specialist in New York. It doesn’t change the focus of what this team needs to succeed.


It does, though, change what success is. For the Wizards to take the step out of the pack and compete for the Eastern Conference crown, they need two big men — Andray Blatche and Dominic McGuire — to step up and have an impact. The same can be said if Jamison and or Haywood are sidelined, except now we are talking about them stepping up for the Wizards just to remain competitive.

For all the talk of the Big Three, the future of this team is on the shoulders of a couple of young big men, and one of them, Blatche, has so far shown no reason to believe he can shoulder that responsibility.

Ovechkin best athlete?

The Washington Capitals hosted their media day Tuesday at the Verizon Center, and, of course, there is tremendous buzz about this team going into this season. It’s a buzz that goes beyond Washington, with expectations for this team high throughout all the NHL cities, based on their strong finish last season to make the playoffs. And, of course, based on the fact that the Capitals have the greatest player in the NHL in Alex Ovechkin.

General manager George McPhee called Ovechkin the best athlete in the league and then raised the possibility that he may be the best athlete in all of the team sports. He may be right. I would consider LeBron James in that argument from the NBA. From the NFL, possibly LaDainian Tomlinson or Troy Polamalu. In baseball, Alex Rodriguez should be considered, or maybe Jimmy Rollins. I’d be interested in hearing any of your thoughts about who might be a better athlete than Ovechkin among the major sports.

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