- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 20, 2009


OAKLAND, Calif. — When the Wizards‘ plane touched down in San Francisco on Sunday evening, it was a welcome moment for California natives Nick Young and Dominic McGuire.

Young, the backup shooting guard, grew up in Los Angeles and played college ball at Southern Cal. McGuire, the starting small forward, is from San Diego and played for Fresno State. Each said he had been looking forward to the trip for some time.

“It’s just nice to get back to some warmer weather, for one,” McGuire said. “In Cali, there’s more stuff to do. It’s too cold in D.C. to do anything, so yeah, it’s a good thing [to return home].”

Apparently the fans in Oakland were happy to welcome McGuire, who his junior season at Fresno State averaged 13.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.6 blocks and 3.3 assists. When his name was announced during pregame introductions, Warriors fans gave him a warm ovation.

One Wizards player received a louder applause. That was Antawn Jamison, who spent the first five seasons of his career (1998-2003) in Golden State. One fan was even wearing a No. 33 Jamison jersey from his days with the Warriors. …

The Wizards got off to a disoriented start: They couldn’t figure out which way to line up for the playing of the national anthem. The majority of the team faced midcourt, but there was no flag there. In doing so, they had their backs to the flag, which hung from the rafters.

Meanwhile, Oleksiy Pecherov, Darius Songaila, Juan Dixon and Mike James stood facing the flag. Caron Butler lined up with his back to the flag, turned around, then seeing the rest of his teammates turned the other way returned to his original position. Pecherov and Songaila also fell in line and turned their backs to the flag. James and Dixon continued to face the flag, however. …

Shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson remains out with a pinched nerve in his back. After receiving two epidural shots in the past two weeks, he said he believes he’s making progress. … Center Brendan Haywood remains out following surgery to repair a torn ligament in his wrist. Like Stevenson, he made the West Coast trip with the team.


2-17 Record for the Wizards on the road this season, tied for worst in the league with Oklahoma City.

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