Washington Wizards forward Andray Blatche is a polarizing figure in Washington. Blatche possesses natural talent, but tends not to use it, throwing up contested fadeaway jumpers from way out of his range.
Blatche recently returned from yet another stint on the injured list this weekend and received a smattering of boos from the hometown "faithful." Monday against the Golden State Warriors, we guess you could say that Verizon Center gave him a bad reception (cell phone humor).
Via SB Nation D.C.'s Michael Katz, Blatche admitted after the game that the lack of empathy from Wizards fans is starting to get to him:
"It is difficult to play through it. It's tough when you're at home and people that are supposed to have your back don't have your back. Instead of encouraging you to get better, they actually push you down and make you worse. In the long run, it's not only hurting me, it's hurting my teammates. That's what I feel most upset about because I can't help out and perform for my teammates because I'm letting the crowd get into my head and making me second-guess, not let me be the player that I am. It's very frustrating. Hopefully, I'm just trying to fight to overcome it."
"Any time I'm touching the ball, I'm second-guessing. I'm trying to avoid the boos, just trying to play a perfect game so I don't have to hear it and help my team win."
Sounds like Blatche is down in the dumps. Even his teammates are taking notice. From forward Trevor Booker:
"I feel bad for him," Booker said. "The fans need to realize he's a part of the team. If he's out there on the court, he's trying to help us win, so they should cheer him on instead of booing him. Booing him, it's hard for him to concentrate and play his game."
Clap your hands if you believe, Wizards fans. Or just hold your applause until the NBA trade deadline next week.
Adam Vingan is co-founder and editor of Kings Of Leonsis, a Caps-centric blog, and is the Capitals Editor for SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_KOL and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.