City Paper is not for tourists
Fantastic tidbit posted on Dan Snyder’s message board, extremeskins: Dan Snyder has tired of obsessive fans using their computers to track the whereabouts of Redskins 1. With some reason: All the reports of Snyder’s jet flying to and from Denver earlier this week sucked what little PR oomph remained out of the Mike Shanahan signing.
So Snyder has apparently asked that the flight-tracking services no longer divulge where the plane’s going. When you punch in Redskins 1’s digits over at flightaware.com now, you get this message:
DSWA LLC (DULLES VA) This aircraft (N904DS) is not available for tracking per request from the owner/operator
Dan Snyder, of course, has more than flight-trackers to blame for watering down the Mike Shanahan story. For Redskins marketing purposes, NBA Commissioner David Stern picked the worst time to announce he’d banished Gilbert Arenas. Within hours of Shanahan’s introductory press conference at Redskins Park, it was all-Gilbert, all-the-time on local sportsradio. The Arenas’ story got the above the fold slot on the Washington Post’s front page that would have gone to the coach. Arenas knocked Shanahan below-the-fold on the sports page, too.
Moral #1 of the Gilbert Arenas tale: Quirky always end bad.
Moral #2: Big Threes don’t work in Washington basketball.
We now know that none of the high hopes fans had for a lineup that put Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison on the floor will be realized. That’s the greatest flop since Chris Webber, Juwan Howard and Rod Strickland wore the same uniform. When Webber retired in the spring of 2008, I looked back over the years that trio spent in town. Good golly, was their fall epic.
Strickland and Howard and Webber spent much of their Bullets/Wizards careers getting arrested for driving offenses. Strickland’s been confirmed as a louse in the years since he left, and Howard went on to have a solid and amazingly long post-Wizards career. He’s still at it, and is now in his 19th NBA season, playing with Portland. Howard had 13 points in Tuesday’s loss to Memphis, and is averaging about 5 points and four rebounds a game on the season.
But Webber doesn’t get nearly enough credit for his jerkitude. He was a dick as soon as the Bullets traded four first-round picks to the Golden State Warriors to bring him here in 1994. (Yup, four first rounders — the Warriors got Tom Gugliotta, who was the No. 6 overall pick in the NBA’s 1992 draft, plus three future #1 picks.)
One harmless example: Early in his first season here, Webber went to the Washington Times to complain about the food served on the team’s chartered flights. “I don’t eat beef,” he said.
Owner Abe Pollin ended up buying the team its own plane a few years later. Webber didn’t reform, and was all but given away to Sacramento not long after he was pepper-sprayed and busted on petty traffic and drug charges by Prince George’s police in January 1998.
The big three of Strickland, Howard and Webber never won a single playoff game.
But, they never pulled a gun on anybody, either.
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