When we last heard from former Washington Wizards forward Andray Blatche, he was being unceremoniously jettisoned out of town by the team when they amnestied him in July.
In simpler terms, the Wizards paid Blatche what was left of his contract -- $23 million, to be exact -- to go away.
This weekend, Blatche resurfaced in Syracuse, N.Y., for an event put on by his foundation. In a feature on Syracuse.com, Blatche insisted that he is focused on returning to the hardwood, even if that means starting from the bottom:
“My dream destination right now would be back on the court. For real. Just to get back on the court,” he sai. “It’s something I love to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Heat or the Spurs or the D League. Whatever. As long as I’m back on the court playing ball.
Ironically, the NBA's developmental league is not really that developed; unlike baseball and hockey, where organizations house their prospects on minor league teams, the D-League is usually where undrafted players and also-rans go to die. Metaphorically, of course.
Speaking of also-rans, Blatche didn't do much of the second part as he ballooned up to nearly 290 pounds during the season, which led to the embarrassing "DNP - Conditioning" memo on the Wizards' roster before a game in March and a premature end to his season as a means of getting back in shape:
“The GMs came to me and said, ‘You know, you’ve been hurt, you’re out of shape, so let’s say that you’re working to get your body back right, to get over your wounds,’¤” Blatche said. “And then when I saw on the paper, not a DNP, but a conditioning, I was kind of upset because that’s not what we talked about. But I ran with it because conditioning was part of it. But it was moreso the injuries that caused the conditioning problem.”
According to the article, Blatche has lost 14 pounds and is now a "firmer, trimmer 268" pounds.
He's been a punchline for some time in this city, but Blatche truly seems dedicated to turning his life around. Kudos.
Now just don't come back to the Wizards.
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