Andray Blatche: Making Changes

Photo by xcode on Flickr

 

So this one time, Zach Lowe completely ripped Andray Blatche apart accurately described Andray Blatche’s season.

Blatche played much of last season (and prior seasons, really) like an entitled pseudo-star, hogging the ball on offense, taking awful shots and playing some of the least-inspired defense you’ll ever see. Injuries may have contributed to all of this, but Blatche could feel confident the Wizards didn’t really have anyone else to take his minutes. That’s still true … for now.

Via Draft Puts A Number Of Veterans On Notice, 6/27/11

Lowe was saying that, with the Wizards drafting Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton, Blatche should be feeling some pressure to get his act in gear. And guess what? He says he’s doing that.

“I’m 25 years old,” said Blatche, who celebrated his birthday last month with John Wall, Hamady Ndiaye, Josh Howard and Trevor Booker in South Beach. “I’ve been in the league six years now. I know my goal. I want to be an all-star. And to be an all-star, I have to make changes, and those are the changes that I have to make now.

“I took the time to cut back on some friends and some people, and built myself around better people that know what’s best for me,” he said. “I’m sorry that it took so long for me to realize it, but it’s all about growing and maturing and that’s basically what I’m doing.”

Via Andray Blatche: ‘I Have To Make Changes,’ 9/10/11

That’s all awesome. It’s always good to hear a player say he’s trying to grow. But let’s go back to last year, when we were supposed to be excited about his strength instead of worried about his foot injury.

“I keep working hard and going through rehab,” Blatche said recently. “I changed my diet, working harder. Eating right and drinking right. Before the foot injury, I was in the gym every day working, so my body could be ready for the 82 games. That’s the main thing for me, my body. That’s what I’m focusing on. Just rehabbing, taking it day by day, working out. Not trying to be lazy. So, I’m getting in the weight room.”

Via Despite Foot Injury, Andray Blatche Focused On His Physique, 7/22/10

And the summer before that? That’s when he decided to change his number because he was a new man. A harder-working man.

“We’ve got a new coaching staff, we changed a lot, so it’s time for me to change my whole style, my whole mentality,” Blatche said Wednesday afternoon. “I’m wearing 7, and that means seven days [a week] of hard work, seven days of being focused. I’m all about business, and I’ve got a big opportunity I’m gonna take advantage of.”

Via Wizards’ Andray Blatche Switches Uniform Numbers To Show His Commitment, 7/7/09

I’m not trying to be all snarky and tell you that he doesn’t care about getting better or he’s lying. I believe he wants to get better now, and I believe he wanted to two years ago, after his mom called him out. I guess I’m just not sure he’s got that focus in him. Some guys just don’t. He said it himself, he’s been in the league for six years! At this point, if your defense is still being compared to that of a high schooler or a hungover zombie, it’s hard for me to bet on you. I still really want to believe because, goddamn, he’s 6’11 with guard skills, but reading about maturing and making changes isn’t going to get me on the bandwagon. I’ve seen him take some of the worst shots ever and repeatedly offer no resistance at all on the defensive end — when I see him make changes on the court, I’ll be impressed. I sincerely hope this is the year.

Seth Carstens