- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ah, spring.

You know it is that idyllic time of the year in the nation’s capital because of the pollen in the air and the Arctic-like chill between Wizards coach Eddie Jordan and center Brendan Haywood.

You know the story line: A highly unreasonable coach expects Haywood to act his 7-foot height instead of his arrested-development age.

Interpersonal matters deteriorate from there, sometimes to the point that Haywood’s mother is compelled to make a telephone call to the team’s front office.

A mother’s intervention, however sweet and loving, rarely provides a solution in the clinical subculture known as the NBA, where relationships are based on production and not the heart.

So shed no tears for Haywood.

But if you do, use only one square of toilet paper, as Sheryl Crow has suggested.

In case you missed it, Crow is the singing scientist/environmental activist who is seeking legislation that would impose a one-square toilet-paper limit per sitting on the throne.

She does not say how this planet-saving measure would be enforced, but it does not take a degree from the Al Gore propaganda school of global warming to know that a government-mandated camera in all bathrooms would provide this function.

Fines then could be dispensed to those who do not comply with the one-square law.

Repeat offenders, of course, would be imprisoned.

Haywood is a repeat offender of a different ilk, which is why he was limited to five minutes in Game 1 of the Wizards-Cavaliers series.

His cameo appearance was striking because of the sight of Antawn Jamison trying to defend Zydrunas Ilgauskas at one point.

An obvious conclusion was drawn.

Haywood is buried so deep on the bench that the coach would prefer to use a nondefender like Jamison giving up six inches to Ilgauskas than Haywood.

At least Jordan could count on a professional effort from Jamison.

He can make no such determination with Haywood, whose delicate psyche is forever jarred whenever he is sentenced to come off the bench.

Jordan took time to explain that he wants defenders who play “hard and smart,” and he does not care that his center is not much taller than the late Eddie Gaedel.

Jordan probably would employ a midget at center if one were available on the roster, if only to make a point.

Yet that point has been made in one fashion or another in the past, and it is doubtful a midget at center would have an effect on the intended party.

At least a midget would have a better chance of meeting Crow’s one-square of toilet paper limit than anyone playing in the NBA.

We do not even want to imagine a one-square limit being imposed on Shaquille O’Neal.

We certainly would not want to go near him after a sitting, no matter how thoroughly he washed his hands.

It is difficult to say which notion is loonier — Jordan using a midget at center or Crow standing guard in a restroom and limiting a person to only one square of toilet paper after a lengthy bout of business.

Alas, Jordan may have no choice but to shoo the pigeons roosting on Haywood’s shoulders before granting him an extended look in Game 2 tonight.

That is one low-level sentiment of a series that has been deemed wanting.

Otherwise, exit meetings are up ahead for the Wizards, barring the improbable.

Haywood’s agent will speak out at some point in the offseason.

Jordan and Haywood then will agree to hold Strategic Arms Limitation Talks III.

Or will it be SALT IV?

Who can keep count when you are not having fun and you are down to one square of toilet paper a sitting?

Or as Crow might be moved to say: “All I wanna do is have some fun. Until I save the world one toilet-paper sheet at a time.”

Ah, yes. Spring.

The nuts are out as well.

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