Labor talks seem to be moving along but no real information about how far they have or have not progressed keeps everyone guessing as to when, or if, the labor dispute will be resolved. Players are even in the dark about the state of negotiations and have begun to take matters into their own hands by organizing workouts and practices with their teammates. Amar’e Stoudemire has organized a mini camp for the Knicks and now Andray Blatche has organized workouts with his fellow Washington Wizards. With the season tentatively scheduled to begin on November 1, Blatche’s decision to organize workouts to ensure that his team is in game shape when, if, the season begins is a good one. There is just one problem, though. Only two other players showed up to the first workout session on Monday.
Chris Singleton and HamadyNdiaye joined Blatche while the rest of the team was a no-show. Some players have excuses for not attending, Mike Prada points out at Bullets Forever.
Trevor Booker is in Israel, so his absence makes sense. Kevin Seraphin is at Eurobasket, of course. Mo Evans is kind of busy with lockout stuff. I’m not sure where JaVale McGee is, but I know he was in Los Angeles most of the summer, so he might also be going to Las Vegas.
The reference to Las Vegas is because that is where the Impact Basketball League is taking place for two weeks. Six Wizards (not Albus Dumbledore, however) will be playing in the league which is a five-on-five, eight team tournament featuring only NBA players. So, Blatche’s timing may be a little off but it seems that most of the Wizards players, who are in Los Angeles this summer, just did not want to make the flight across the country to attend the workouts. Life must be so hard for them. Yet, Blatche is not dejected by the turnout and is hopeful that John Wall and Rashard Lewis will attend later this week.
In order to entice more of his teammates to join his workouts Blatche should offer them something in return for their burdensome travel across the country in first class. He may have just the thing, too.
When he is not stumbling into situations that paint him in a negative, immature, and likes-to-party-at-stripclubs-because-lap-dances-are-awesome light, Blatche does a lot of community service (not court appointed). Much of the work centers around children and teaching them the values of nutrition and a balanced diet. Honestly, this initiative is something that is important as more and more children are becoming obese. Hats off to Blatche for reaching out into the community to address this issue. Back to the item to lure his teammates to his workouts, however. To promote a healthy life style to kids, Blatche has released a coloring book extolling the benefits of eating right. Yes, a coloring book. Who would not want one of these? His teammates probably do.
Blatche hands out the coloring and activity book, Get Ready, Get Set, Get Healthy with Andray Blatche, when he attends elementary schools. In addition to promoting healthy eating, Blatche is also emphasizing walking as a positive form of excercise and is planing gardens in the Miami area. Think what you want about him and his game, but Blatche is proving that he may just be maturing. Perhaps he will one day be the recipient of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.
Take a look some of the pages from the book. If you do not want to eat better and color then there is probably something wrong with you. This book is awesome. However, the page with the happy cow is a little disconcerting. The happy fish is okay, but the cow? That page makes a strong case for vegetarianism. Who wants to know that their food was once happy and alive before being slaughtered and served up for our delight? (I digress) Hopefully, this book will help more children than Wizards players who attended Blatche’s workouts make the right choices when it comes to what they eat.
Pictures after the break.