The Wizards open their preseason tonight against the Dallas Mavericks (yay basketball!), and while the big story is John Wall's debut, the sidestory, if there can be such a thing in a preseason game, is the return of three beloved former Wizards: Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson. This game marks the first time the two teams will play in any shape or form since last February's trade, and while few players from the old Wizards remain, it still will be an interesting viewing experience for us, the fans.
In that light, I figured it was worth taking a look back at my five favorite Butler/Haywood/Stevenson moments in a Wizards uniform. Videos below the jump.
5. Brendan Haywood calls LeBron James a crybaby
The 2008 playoffs in general was the height of the old Wizards, at least in terms of entertainment value. That's when the Wizards-Cavaliers rivalry reached it's heights. In Game 1 of the series, Haywood got into a little tiff with LeBron James, prompting this epic line.
4. Caron Butler's straws
In what remains Dan Steinberg's finest work, the DC Sports Bogger uncovered the secret behind Caron Butler's straw-chewing habit.
3. Caron Butler's game-winner against the Cavaliers
Sure, this didn't ultimately lead to a series win in 2008, but Butler's shot epitimized the never-say-die 2007-08 Wizards. Despite being down 3-1 and playing without Gilbert Arenas, the Wizards didn't quit, coming back from a seven-point lead in the final two minutes to ultimately win Game 5 on this shot.
2. DeShawn Stevenson and Gilbert Arenas hold a shooting contest
NBA teams have always done post-practice shooting contests, but DeShawn Stevenson and Gilbert Arenas broke the mold because their's was taped. Relive Arenas' cheating, of sorts, and Stevenson's obvious irritation with this video.
1. "Blow the Whistle"
I am forever proud that the Wizards were the first team to loathe LeBron James, and it was Stevenson who led the way. It all started back in March of that year, when Stevenson had the courage to unleash this gem.
DeShawn was obviously holding back in that session with reporters around his locker. When he was leaving the building, Mike Lee was chatting him up and mentioned LeBron again. DeShawn has obviously heard enough of that.
"He's overrated," DeShawn told Mike. "And you can say I said that."
That led to LeBron saying comparing himself to Stevenson was like comparing Jay-Z to Soulja Boy, which led to Soulja Boy's apperance at Game 3 of the series, which led to this.
The Cavaliers won the series, but it's pretty amazing to look back on how the whole thing escalated. Miss you, DeShawn.