- The Washington Times - Friday, May 19, 2000

As the flavor of the moment, Mike Jarvis will be expected to deliver a miracle with the Wizards.
At least he is coming to the right place.
Walking on water is Michael Jordan's area of expertise. He can provide tips.
Two Mikes are hoping to be better than one. A similar twosome worked in Chicago, with the two Jerrys, Reinsdorf and Krause.
Jarvis led George Washington to the Sweet Sixteen in 1993, which qualified as a miracle at the time after the John Kuester years. Yinka Dare was the team's starting center, too. Yinka eventually merited a hyphen and a Stinka in New Jersey.
Jarvis comes with impeccable manners, except when required to comment on the NCAA's Third Reich. He is forgiven.
The NCAA could teach Janet Reno how best to invade people's closets. Unlike Reno, the NCAA does not incinerate kids to save them. Or use guns.
The NCAA is reason enough to join the NBA. Jarvis is not unlike Erick Barkley in this respect. The money is good in the NBA. It also is placed on the table as opposed to under it. There are no academic advisers, either.
Jarvis is perceived to be a fine choice, if only because he is a charmer with local ties. But college success is no harbinger of NBA success.
Jarvis will need to be at his warm-and-fuzzy best around Rod Strickland, the team's conscientious objector at point guard.
Strickland never has met a coach he couldn't defy. Strickland has a time-management problem, among other problems. Showing up is sometimes a challenge for Strickland as well.
The burden of Strickland's waywardness falls on the head coach.
Gar Heard was fired after it was confirmed again that Strickland could not keep time. Darrell Walker, who was no better at holding Strickland to a schedule than Heard, was promoted to the front office.
Jarvis is undoubtedly planning to outlast Strickland, who, at 33, is running out of time, if not an unlimited supply of second chances.
Strickland, unfortunately, is only part of the issue in Tony Cheng's neighborhood.
Juwan Howard is the financial chain and ball attached to the franchise. That is the prevailing view anyway, and accurate to a point.
But people forget. In some instances, revisionist history is the convenient form of forgetting.
If you recall, the noise in favor of Howard at the time of his re-signing was persuasive. Abe Pollin was the skinflint owner who allowed John Nash to insult Howard with a poverty-level rookie contract.
Howard's defection to Miami was the payback, and it was seen as a reflection on Pollin and the franchise.
After the NBA determined that Pat Riley was playing the free-agency game with funny money, Pollin was granted a do-over with Howard and one last opportunity to be taken seriously. By re-signing Howard, Pollin bought a certain level of seriousness, but he overpaid in a big way.
Howard is a decent player; he's just not a franchise player.
That doesn't make him a bad guy, only a guy who benefited from a favorable set of circumstances and is now cursed by them.
Favorable circumstances sometimes lead to wrong-headed conclusions.
Rasheed Wallace leads the NBA in wrongheadedness but has an ensemble cast at his side to make amends. Wallace was the price for Strickland, and a fair price it was.
Wallace, like Howard, is no franchise player. But unlike Howard, Wallace can pretend to be one with the Trail Blazers.
You only can imagine where Wallace's head would be if he were entrusted with more responsibilities, as would be the case on Fun Street.
Lamenting the departed is one of the pastimes at the DMZ Center, as Jarvis will discover soon enough.
A good move today is possibly a dumb move in two or three seasons, sometimes sooner.
In Ike Austin's case, good became dumb after two or three weeks in November.
Here's an admission: You would make the same moves again, given what you knew at the time.
Jarvis is the latest good move for the franchise.
Obviously, he does not come with a guarantee.

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