So today started off like any other day. I wake up, open Twitter, Facebook, etc… I read the latest Donald Trump race-baiting news, saw some memes comparing Hillary Clinton to Stalin, and of course, the plethora of MJ Crying Face pictures (which I love more than anything). But today I also read a story posted by 106.7 The Fan that I felt the need to reply to. It was arguably the most scorching hot take ever written by a non-credible fan (much like myself), who thinks fan shaming is the way of the future. Well, it’s not. In fact, it makes you look incredibly uninformed.
The piece was called “KD isn’t coming to D.C. and it’s your fault”, written by Patrick Cannon.
I had so many questions.
Who is the “your” he’s referring to?
Why is the author so convinced he knows the future of an NBA player who has been linked to 14 teams thus far and it’s not even the All-Star Break?
And assuming he actually thinks it’s my fault, why does he feel that way?
I decided to give it a click(bait) and read for myself. It was probably the best (and worst) decision I made today. Best in the sense that it inspired me to write this post, worst in the sense that I think it’s an incredibly dumb argument that really sheds no light on the problem and, moreover, offers no real solution to how to fix it.
Look, it’s no secret that going to Wizards games suck. Ive been to five this year and it’s compiled with the most lethargic and apathetic fans that aren’t even paying attention to the game, and when they do, it’s because the opposition is in town, or because there is free chicken at stake. Cannon makes this point in the first two paragraphs of his piece:
“Kevin Durant isn’t coming to D.C. next season and it’s your fault. That’s right, you — D.C. sports fan attending his or her first Wizards’ game of the season tonight because Steph Curry is in town — are the reason why the Wizards will never be able to attract a superstar free agent.
You half-heartedly watch the Wiz, Caps, Nats, and Skins during the regular season and you might even go to a game or two if your companyicon1.png ¬ hands you a pair of tickets. If the team goes on a winning streak, you start to pay attention, but the day the team drops out of the playoff hunt you start a Facebook group to get the head coach canned. “Someone must pay for this disappointment! Where is the accountability?!” This is Washington, D.C.; the only thing that ever sells in this town is change. You are never satisfied.”
Yes, I know it sucks seeing 80% of the arena being Lakers fans and God forbid, tons of random fans to see the greatest shooter and arguably the greatest team of all time, but there are reasons for this that go way past the fans. In fact, the fan turnout is a direct result of problems the Wizards organization has, and has had for decades.
Yes Patrick, you’re right. Where is the accountability? Well, when you find out, let me know because I’ve been looking for someone to hold someone accountable for drafting Kwame Brown, Nick Young, Javale McGee, Jan Vesely, Tomas Satoransky…should I continue? Jarvis Hayes, Lazar Hayward, Bill Walker, Peter John Ramos, Mike Smith and Vladimir Veremeenko. Can’t forget about Vlad.
If you’ve actually heard of more than six of these players, I’d be shocked and if you want me to tell you who they passed up on to draft these nobodies, that’s another level of shock. With all that said, the Wizards have not drafted a single All-Star not named John Wall since Juwan Howard in 1995. They’ve had prized free agents like Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Gilbert Arenas, Michael Jordan and Chris Webber make the All-Star Game, but minus Wall, they’ve never drafted a player and developed him into an All-Star since then. Go figure, a team without superstars playing in a superstar-driven league doesn’t bring in fans. Shocker.
So instead of blaming the fans for not going out and supporting a team, that at times, is literally unwatchable, why don’t you sit down and ask yourself why people actually aren’t going to the games.
Do you think maybe it’s because the culture of the Wizards is about rewarding subpar performance and re-signing the worst GM in basketball to multiple extensions (for less money)?
Or maybe you think maybe it’s because the coach, at times, seems like he has no idea what matchups are working throughout the course of a game?
Surely you must think that drafting Tomas Satoransky and have him never see game time in his career in the NBA is going to bring in 20,000 people.
Oh, this is it: you think people would have filed up to watch Chris Singleton score six points and commit five fouls while playing 19 minutes a game.
No, that’s not it.
Do you think that Jan Vesely airballing free throws would have enticed the random Golden State fan to check out a game at Verizon Center? Or maybe you think JaVale McGee running the wrong way on a basketball court was something fans would line up to spend their money on?
The Wizards even reportedly had the offer of a lifetime: The 3rd overall pick Bradley Beal for James Harden and the GM turned it down. I promise you if James Harden was here, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now writing about this. THE WIZARDS COULD HAVE HAD JAMES HARDEN AND THE GM SAID NO THANK YOU. Just remember that next time you want to blame the fanbase for not supporting mediocrity.
Or maybe, JUST MAYBE…it’s because for the majority of the time, we’ve put an unwatchable product on the court? I’m going to go with that. And that, by no means, is the fans’ fault. If you want to blame someone, blame the person putting the product on the court and the person rewarding that person for doing that. If it wasn’t for John Wall, there would be 7,000 fans a night. The team needs a ton of help around John. Poor guy scored 41 last night against arguably the greatest team in NBA history, got a standing ovation from the crowd and you have the nerve to write an article that blames the fans? I would like to think you’re better than that.
Shame on you for blaming people to not want to spend their money on a mediocre team ran by terrible upper management. The fans (or lack thereof) are a direct result of that. Kevin Durant may come here, he may not, but I assure you, if and when the Wizards land a superstar of that caliber, you will see a packed Verizon Center night in and night out. Actually, you may not even have to go that far. The day after Ernie is gone, I think you will see an immediate difference as far as fan turnout.