Wizards forward Rashard Lewis decided not to play in his team’s game Sunday after getting into an argument before the game, CSN Washington reports.
Frank Hanrahan had very few details other than Lewis getting into an argument with assistant coach Sam Cassell and not playing, but he notes that Lewis was not on the team’s bench for the game. The boxscore says Lewis missed the game with a sore knee.
The Wizards have started out the season 0-8 and Lewis is their highest-paid player. He’s had a poor season like most of his teammates, and he’s off to his worst start since his rookie season.
Shockingly, nothing has improved with the Wizards since Andray Blatche demanded the ball more after the team’s first game.
An absurd rumor was started by a gossip website Thursday and it spread across the internet. The rumor, which had extremely shaky details, said that Wizards forward Rashard Lewis had slept with LeBron James’ girlfriend, Savannah Brinson, and that’s the reason LeBron had been playing poorly in the Finals. The report surfaced the day after Stephen A. Smith said LeBron was going through personal issues that affected his play in Game 4 of the Finals, leading people to connect the two stories. I said they were separate, unrelated issues, but it didn’t matter to the folks hungry to jump on any possible anti-LeBron news. The result was Rashard Lewis going on a radio station in Houston to quash the rumor:
People can deny a story and still have it turn out to be true, but this felt differently. Two items convince me what Rashard says is true: he’s never met Savannah, and he says he talked to LeBron’s circle about the rumor. That was enough to convince me. Now the only other question I have is why Rashard Lewis says the NBA is a tight sorority. Bro, I know you skipped college and went straight to the NBA, but you gotta know better than that. That’s turrible.
Meanwhile, we have yet to hear a denial from Delonte West.
Head nod to Black Sports Online for the video
Recently, OJ Mayo joined the long list of professional athletes who were caught using an illicit performance-enhancing substance and subsequently caught using a bad excuse to explain usage of said substance. Based on the now predictable response of those who have been found guilty, the doping playbook uses a three-step process to react to a positive test. Number one: look surprised. Step two: deny all accountability. Three: if all else fails blame it on an over-the-counter supplement/energy drink or some other poor faceless schlub.
Heart, chemistry, teamwork. These were once the hallmarks of sportsmanship. Now, the only time you hear about heart is when there is an enlarged one from supplementation. The chemistry is supplied by ne’er-do-wells Vince Galea and Victor Conte. And, teamwork only exists when one player is helping another with steroid, er, Vitamin B-12 injections. Baseball has been racked with so many allegations, one would half expect the 2013 Hall of Fame induction class to include cream, clear, and Report, Mitchell to be enshrined. Heck, if you total up the number of home runs hit as a result of the trio, it makes Ruth and Aaron’s power look like that of Rowan and Martin.
What happened to the days where athletes got by on grit, toughness, and, perhaps, a horse tranquilizer or four? Eh, you probably misremembered those days, too. I presume there’s no blood test for gumption, or a urine test for elbow grease. Nowadays, it’s out with the old in with the “-ol.” Heck, even the producers of the chicken at the market go out of their way to say “steroid-free.” (Presumably, these chickens were killed because they could not keep up with the birds that were drugged.)
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Rashard Lewis has been a complete no-show through four games of the Eastern Conference Finals. To say Orlando‘s highest paid player has been horrible would be an understatement. Through four games, Lewis is 29% shooting overall and 18% from beyond the arc. He has averaged 7.0 points, a number that would be lower if not for his 13-point performance in Game 4 — his best of the series. The lock-down defense being played by the Celtics hasn’t helped, but Lewis has been especially bad.
Blogs, newspapers, radio stations, and any other media outlets that deal with sports have crucified Lewis non-stop for over a week. Apparently he has a reason for his poor play — a seemingly good one at that. The forward disclosed today that he has been sick throughout the entire series with a viral infection. Here’s what the Magic superstar had to say about being under the weather:
Overall it effects you. I’ve been throwing up. I haven’t been at full strength. I’ve been feeling weak, my legs been feeling weak. I find myself getting tired very fast in the first quarter. You know, when you can’t hold food down you have no energy in your body to go out there and perform. Regular season, I probably would have sat out. Not to make no excuses, it is the playoffs. You just got to go out there and give it 110 percent. It’s the playoffs. I’ve got to drag myself out there if anything.
Nobody likes a cry-baby, and that’s probably why Lewis waited so long to share this with the public. However, I’m not sure it would have hurt his image to come out with it a while ago. It’s a pretty legit excuse, and disclosing it before you stink out the building for four straight games wouldn’t be a bad idea in my opinion. Regardless, he chose to wait until the day of Game 5 to let people know. We’ll have to wait and see how it affects the way Stan Van Gundy uses him — if at all.
So Rashard Lewis became like the first NBA player I can remember who tested positive for steroids. That means we should strip the Magic of their Finals appearance and crown the Cavs the reigning Eastern Conference champs. I mean how else can you explain Shard going from 5.4 to 5.7 boards per game in one off-season? OK, maybe that wasn’t the difference maker, but something that’s bothering me is the lame excuse I’m tired of hearing:
“Toward the end of the season I took an over-the-counter supplement which at the time I did not realize included a substance banned by the NBA. I apologize to Magic fans, my teammates and this organization for not doing the research that should come with good judgment. I hope this unintentional mistake will not reflect poorly on our team and its great character. I hope every athlete can learn from my mistake that supplements, no matter how innocent they seem, should only be taken after consulting an expert in the field.”
Honestly, how many times have we heard this excuse? J.C. Romero, the Williams Wall from Minnesota, seems like every player who gets busted blames it on a supplement. When will all the players take responsibility for their mistakes? And why don’t they get products checked by their leagues before they take them? If they get approval from the league, then how could they possibly have a problem? When you have multiple game suspensions and millions on the line how could you make a mistake like that? I can’t imagine guys being that sloppy with that much at stake. You’re really expecting me to continue buying these lame excuses?