The Washington Times - August 12, 2009, 03:13PM

The Wizards introduced Francisco Oberto today, a day after signing him, but three weeks after he agreed to join the team for a one-year $1.99 million deal. Some of the soundbites from the day:

Ernie Grunfeld: “It’s been a long and we feel very positive summer for us. It started with the hiring of Flip Saunders as our new head coach, then came the trade where we acquired Randy Foye and Mike Miller, and we had a very successful Summer League where our young players played very well. But we still felt like we still needed one piece to our puzzle, which was a veteran big man, someone who has a lot of playoff experience, someone who’s willing to sacrifice his own game for the benefit of the team, and someone who’s able to give good depth at the center and power forward position, and we’re here to introduce that player today, and his name is Fabricio Oberto.”



Oberto: “Thanks Ernie, thanks Coach. When the trade happened, the first moment I heard Washington was interested in me, I was honored for that, and it’s a new era for me. I need every day to work hard and show what I can do, and help the team. They know me, the priority for me is to see the team win and to help the team with that, and that’s my only concern.” A bit later Oberto said: “If I have to play defense and not take a shot for 10 games, I’ll do it.”


Flip Saunders: “After the trade, everyone was saying we were a little guard heavy and thin up front. From Day 1 even before we did it, we knew we wanted to bring in another big guy and Fab was at the top of the list. He has a very high basketball IQ, the things we like to do both offensively and defensively, he’ll be able to help us. … There’s no question he’s been in big games, not only when he played in San Antonio, but also playing for his Agentina national team as far as winning the gold medal in the Olympics. And we just thought it’d be a good complement. I was saying earlier, if you look at our roster, we don’t have any duplicate players. We have all players that bring something different to the table. And Fab, brings a lot of different things. His ability to guard people. He told me the other day, ‘If you want me to guard 3, 4 or 5, just tell me and I’ll find a way to do it.’”


Oberto, who will wear No. 21, and Grunfeld both said that the irregular heartbeat that limited the 34-year-old Argentinian the last two years is no longer an issue at all. “He got the green light from his doctors in Texas, and up here as well,” Ernie said. Oberto said he is looking forward to both sharing his experiences and knowledge he’s gained with his younger teammates, but also learning from the Wizards and Flip Saunders as well. More to come later …