Andray Blatche took just two shots in the Brooklyn Nets' 96-89 win over the rival New York Knicks on Monday night at Barclays Center. But on a night that should have been all about the first basketball borough battle, Blatche decided to take two bigger shots at his former team: the Washington Wizards, the organization that is paying him more than $7million of the nearly $8million he will earn this season.
As reporters gathered in the Nets locker room before the game, Blatche asked, "Anybody seen how the Wizards are doing?" Then, after the Nets won and the Wizards lost their 12th straight to start the season, Blatche wrote on his Twitter account, "Feels good to be part of a winning organization."
The comments drew the ire of Wizards fans.
In a radio interview with Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 The Fan, Blatche lashed at the Wizards for what he felt was a lack of support in his final years with the franchise.
The Wizards ended a seven-year relationship with Blatche in July, when they used the amnesty provision to waive him and give him the $23 million left on his contract. But Blatche said ties were severed well before then and accused the organization of using him as a scapegoat when last season went south.
In his final season in Washington, Blatche had ballooned to more than 280 pounds and was booed at Verizon Center. He felt the organization didn't do enough to shield him.
"They could've explained exactly what was going on," Blatche said. "They could've had my back." percent. And that's what you do with family. That's all I'm saying. If we're family, then act like it."
Asked Tuesday about Blatche, Wizards coach Randy Wittman said: "I'm not going to get into that. We did everything we could to help him, as we will with every player that ever comes here."
Blatche accepted some blame for his shortcomings last season, when he regressed in nearly every statistical category. He blamed his poor conditioning on the lockout and failing to train because he thought the NBA was going to cancel the season. "I was out of shape. ... percent admit that. And that's 100percent on me," he said.
million extension in 2010, Blatche replied, "It's easy to be in somebody's corner when things are good." That's the easiest thing in the world. ... I'm talking about when things are bad, when things are going wrong. That's when you can tell if somebody is on your side or not."
Blatche said he never questioned owner Ted Leonsis' commitment to building a winner in Washington. "He's a first-class guy. I have nothing against him."
Blatche is averaging 8.5 points and 4.8 rebounds as a reserve for the Nets (9-4), who are tied with the Knicks for first place in the Atlantic Division. He signed with the Nets in late September and made the team after a solid performance in preseason.
He said his time in Washington was largely misrepresented. He denied that he had refused to enter a game against the Charlotte Bobcats in March 2010, saying it was a misunderstanding that the Wizards declined to acknowledge publicly and made him look worse.
"They can ask every last one of my teammates here and I guarantee you what they say about me is completely different than what you all think of me in D.C.," he said. "For them to say, 'Oh, he's a bad teammate. He's a cancer in the locker room' ... all that was a bunch of lies."