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Thursday, December 01, 2005 

Wilbon on Dixon/Blake

Quality article from Wilbon about Dixon and Blake returning to MCI Center. I wish I coulda been there with my Juan Dixon jersey to cheer both (but for the wiz overall), but MD basketball takes precedence. I think Dixon is in my top 5 favorite athletes of all time, maybe even 2 (behind MJ ofcourse).

Holding Close Dixon and Blake

They were worried before the game they might be booed when introduced.

They were visitors now, Juan Dixon and Steve Blake. They entered the arena through the visitors' tunnel and walked into the visitors' locker room.

They put on, for the first time here, uniforms that didn't represent Maryland or Washington. They were preparing to be treated like players from enemy teams are treated. "Man, they booed Larry Hughes," Dixon said, "so I don't want to take anything for granted." And at one point Blake said to Dixon: "It seems like every guy who used to play here got booed when he came back. And we're in that position, right?"

Well, no. Those other guys didn't take the big neighborhood school, a joint that lives and dies with its basketball team, to its first Final Four and its only NCAA championship. Dixon and Blake did that. Dixon and Blake, not those other guys, were the ones who stayed four full years at a time when kids half as accomplished were jumping ship and turning pro after a year or two. It wasn't those other guys who stayed and endeared themselves to the home folk while playing with the pros. For three years with Dixon and two years with Blake, NBA folks would come to Washington, listen to the ovation every time Dixon hit a free throw, and have no idea what to make of the racket, of all the love.

Outsiders didn't get it.

Everybody here got it.

And that's why, with 30 seconds to go in the first quarter last night, folks stood and applauded with the usual appreciation when Dixon entered the lineup for the Portland Trail Blazers. That's why the building had a little buzz when they played together in the fourth quarter of a tight game against the Wizards.

Every time they see Dixon and Blake play, it makes them feel good, reminds them of Maryland's first run to the Final Four in 2001 and of the fabulous run the next year, through all that basketball royalty (Kentucky, U-Conn., Kansas and Indiana) en route to the national championship. You didn't have to be a Maryland fan to enjoy those teams that were coached by Gary Williams, directed by Blake, and led with heart, soul and clutch jump shooting by Dixon. So no, they weren't booed last night. Very possibly, they won't ever be booed here.

You might have a rowe/ricky proehl man crush on juan dixon...rowe specifically said he would lick proehl's balls...what would you do???

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