The Washington Wizards snapped their 25-game road losing streak to start the season with a 115-100 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The last time they won a road game was April 9 of last season, when they defeated the Boston Celtics 106-96. That's a span of 310 days between regular-season road wins. Or, if you prefer, 7,339 hours, or 440,370 minutes, or 26,422,200 seconds.
A lot of things about the NBA were different on April 9, 2010. LeBron James was still in Cleveland, and his team was poised for a deep playoff run. The Celtics and Lakers looked old and flat, as if they couldn't make it through their respective conferences. John Wall was less than two weeks removed from his final college game. Gilbert Arenas was about to serve the first day of his 30-day sentence in a halfway house for taking guns into the team's locker room.
But those are just big-picture details. What was really different about the NBA the last time the Wizards won a road game? Here's a look at some of the headlines that were out there on April 9 and 10, 2010.
(Thanks to HoopsHype's rumors section for most of these).
You may forget the Wizards' win that day, but it was actually a really damaging one for the Celtics at the time. It dropped them to 49-30, and it prompted a lot of boos from the Boston crowd. SB Nation's Celtics Blog openly asked whether the team cared anymore. In response, Kevin Garnett decided to sound off on Celtics fans.
"I mean, we're at home, man, and we look for our fans to give energy and to give us a spark when times are tough.
"It doesn't help when the boos happen, but we're a group of veterans and we are a team - a real team. You know, we're not fair-weather. So when that occurs we all sort of just get together and say we've just got to grind this out. Through any type of adversity, you grip up and come together. I think that's where your bond comes and is very much needed at that point."
The Celtics ended up rolling to the NBA Finals, and they now have the best record in the East. Elsewhere in the league:
- The Lakers lost their fourth game in five tries, falling to the Nuggets, but Kobe Bryant wasn't concerned, telling Marc Spears that "everything is judged in June anyway. You're not even going to remember this [stuff]." Two months later, the Lakers won the title, and Bryant ended up being right.
- Miami Heat Team President Pat Riley gave an interview where he had this to say: "Not only is [Dwyane Wade] going to end up getting the contract that I think he deserves, we're going to try to find the pieces to be able to play with him, alongside him not for just a season but a long time and that's why we have done what we have done since 2008." Three months later, he walked away with LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
- We were getting ready for the inevitable Kobe/LeBron clash in the NBA Finals, including Larry Bird. Bird told Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News that "everybody" wanted to see that matchup. Ten months later, we're still waiting to see it.
- Deron Williams was upset at Jazz CEO Greg Miller for not scheduling home games on Sunday, telling the Deseret News that it saps the energy of the team because it forces them to have more games in the middle of the week. Ten months later, he arguably caused Jerry Sloan to resign.
- Tracy McGrady was making a return visit to Orlando, where he was asked about his future. Here's what he told the Orlando Sentinel: " Whatever it takes to win. That's what I'm all about now. Winning. I don't care about anything else." Five months later, McGrady signed with the Pistons. Detroit was 27-55 last season and is 20-34 this year.
- The Los Angeles Clippers were making inquiries about Mark Jackson being their next head coach, according to a report by Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. Ten months later, Jackson is still with ESPN/ABC.
- Former Wizards coach Eddie Jordan was closing in on a deal to become Rutgers' new head coach after a disastrous year in Philadelphia, according to a report by Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. Ten months later, Mike Rice is Rutgers' head coach and Jordan is nowhere to be found.
- The first episode of VH1's "Basketball Wives" series, started by Shaquille O'Neal's ex-wife Shaunie, was all set to hit the air that weekend. In the promo, one of the cast members called the lifestyle "dysfunctional." Ten months later ... well, it was exactly what we all expected.