The Wizards signed Drew Gooden to a contract for the rest of the season today, and I am fired up.
Drew Gooden you say? You're fired up about Drew Gooden?
I'm fired up about how badly Drew Gooden wanted to play for this team.
To finish his second consecutive 10-day contract with the Wizards, Gooden went OFF on Saturday night, putting up 21 points in a season-high 26 minutes of play. 11 of them came in the 4th quarter when Gooden decided the game was HIS to win.
The Wizards have a plethora of 3 pt shooters - Beal, Ariza, Martell Webster, Wall loves hitting 4th quarter 3s, hell even Al Harrington can jack up the 3 ball. But who went 1/2 in the 4th quarter from the 3 point line on Saturday with a the look of conviction in his eyes when he shot that ball? Drew fucking Gooden. (Note: this doesn't include the 21-footer he hit with his toe on the line that had to be reviewed for several minutes.)
The man was just launching his shots, feeling every single one.
He held his arms up to the crowd, a man on fire.
The other 3 nearly went in as well. The man just had that look in his eyes.
Now know that going into this game, I have always hated Drew Gooden. He was a Jayhawk, and as a lifelong Missouri basketball fan, I recognized him for the demon spawn that he was...
...or that I thought he was? He couldn't really go the way of Mario Chalmers, my one Forgiven Son of the Jayhawk cesspool. Did I see a fire burning around him that wasn't the fiery embers of the Inferno? He buried a shot.
And then another shot.
My rational brain reminded me, "he's just a washed up old center, out of the league for almost a year and a half, this can't be that real."
He grabbed a ball outside, toe on the line, and straight up drilled it.
Brain: "Say what."
He said give me that fucking ball from the 3-point line son, I don't care where it is. Late in a shot clock, he takes the ball in his hand, looks towards the basket, sees he has it. Rattles it out.
"Oh my God he wants it," I shout at the screen, I can see that fire in his eyes. All of a sudden I'm a proponent of this 6' 10" man launching bombs. "Drew Gooden, who are you?!"
I know he's getting that ball back. We all know he's getting that ball back.
He drills another shot.
Give me another 3 he says. This is my game. This is OUR game. We WILL win this game.
He gets the ball outside. I am salivating.
"DREW GOODEN!" I look around the room to the no-one-else-watching in amazement.
"WHAT THE FUCK DREW GOODEN WHO ARE YOU!" I lose my shit at the screen in front of me.
He extends his arms out to the crowd (to ME), a man among men, and I am sold. Prove yourself no further, Drew Gooden you are a part of this team, give this man the fucking ball.
In a game where the ever-steady C Marcin Gortat was held to 2 pts and a -10 rating, Drew Gooden stepped up with a +17, tacking on 9 rebounds on an incredibly efficient 8/11 from the field and 4/4 at the line. He was the out-of-the-blue backbone to the Wizards 29-15 4th quarter.
When the clock ran down on the Wizards resolute victory, John Wall stood appropriately betrothed the rock, another man among men, roaring to the sold-out crowd around him. The crowd roared back. Exhibiting a near-free-will to get into the lane to create his own shots, Wall tossed in a casual 33 points himself, rising to the equal foe.
This Wizards team is here to fight.
Sure they're coasting their way into the playoffs of a horrendous Eastern Conference, but this is a team that is finally ready to be there, a team that is ready for war.
John Wall is a true leader and has emerged as the legitimate #1 overall-type draft pick the Wizards took him with in 2010. Bradley Beal hasn't even turned 21 and drives teams fits flying around the court looking for his shot...just to briefly mention his phenomenal talent (l hope some people got to see that block from behind on Friday). Ariza, Gortat, Nene...Booker, Webster, fucking Al Harrington (who I LOOOOOVE), newly arrived Andre Miller, now even Drew Gooden...
They might not all be household names, they might sound a little bit old, but this team can play.
Just look at how badly Drew Gooden wants to play for them.
The song of the week is inspired by my brain's "Say What" and comes from my favorite rap album of the moment J. Cole's "Born Sinner," check it out if you don't mind a little profanity.