Andray Blatche. You work your whole life to make the NBA. You work your whole rookie contract just to make sure you stay on a roster to get to that second deal, where the real money is.
You reportedly have an offer on the table. It's show time. All you have to do is keep your act together. Make sure nothing crazy happens.
Then something crazy happens.
Who knows if you did anything wrong this time? Innocent until proven guilty.
But isn't the best course of action not to even be there? This would be a great month to spend evenings working on that jumper, or really catching up on your videogames and your Netflix. For a guy who has already endured a shooting, at some point isn't the urge there just to be a little cautious?
The police say you and a friend were in front of a downtown hotel past midnight. And the part that really kills me: They also say that when you showed up at court, you were already wanted, because you failed to appear after you got in trouble for driving without a license.
If you're not careful, people are going to think that you have bad judgment.
Yes, I imagine you'll skate through this one OK. But you only get so many of these kinds of mistakes, and you just used up another one.
I hope there are some smart people in your life (start with the ones who were telling you to make sure to go to court over that license thing) and I hope you'll be listening to them more than ever.
Because if you can just bring yourself to be good on the court, and boring off it, there could be a special life ahead for you. Ivan Carter writes in the Washington Post:
Wizards veterans have alternately marveled at Blatche's talent and expressed concern about a lack of maturity and decision-making.
"Andray's not a bad kid but he's young and he's going to have to grow up quick if he's going to reach his potential because it's there, everyone can see that," said one player who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "I know this has to hurt Ernie because [Andray's] his guy. He drafted him and he's been patient with him all along. Which way is Andray going to go?"
One Western Conference general manager who has followed Blatche since his rookie year said the Wizards are not alone in seeing Blatche's potential.
"He would be big for them," said the executive, who also spoke on condition of anonymity. "He was about to enter, what, his third year? He was about to graduate from young, potential ballplayer to an actual ballplayer."
Be a real shame to miss that -- and it has happened plenty of times before. There's no such thing as a can't miss NBA prospect, especially among guys who average 3.7 points per game. This could all end way sooner than you want it to.
Please be boring for a while off the court. We want to see you play basketball.
UPDATE: On his blog, the Washington Post's Ivan Carter says that even Blatche's shooting was (in some fashion I don't totally understand) attributable to poor judgment:
It's no secret in Verizon Center circles that Dre Day enjoys the night life -- even after getting lucky two years ago when some crafty females suckered him and Peter John Ramos into getting jacked by two thugs in the early morning hours. Dre lived after getting shot but it's hard to tell whether he's really learned anything.