Can the Spurs save Andray Blatche from himself?


December 15, 2011; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards forward Andray Blatche (7) during the Wizards media day at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE


Managing Andray Blatche effectively is tedious and, ultimately, a delicate chore that likely won’t reap the expected return on investment. It comes with the territory for relying on the 25-year-old anomaly, especially when he’s already began his downhill descent as a player and person.

But, make no mistake: A team will take a chance on Blatche, who was amnestied by the Washington Wizards. His skills and size are too tantalizing to decompose in an otherwise decent basketball player that should amount to much, much more than he has to date.


Blatche’s best season — his 2009-10 campaign where he missed only one game all season, started 36 of them while posting career-highs in just about every metric — will always be valuable in the NBA even though he still struggled with shot selection then.

The fact of the matter is, though, that likely won’t happen again. Much like Walter White of Breaking Bad, whose similarily experiencing a downhill journey into the depths of human evil, Blatche is struggling to find himself in the league. He’s young, he’s talented, he’s tall, he should be successful. But his inability to refine his game has left him without a job or identify.

The storyline of Breaking Bad, in case you’ve inconceivably discovered the Internet today, centers around one man’s poor decisions and the consequences — generally life altering — of his decisions on the people surrounding him.

Blatche’s decisions aren’t quite as significant, obviously, but it’s a fair comparison for our sake. He isn’t quite the same player he was — Walt swapped out his whitey tideys and innoncence for evil and manipulation or in Blatche’s case, an insatiable adherence to himself and his own well being.

Why else would he take more than half of his shots from 10-23 feet other than to appease himself rather than his fans that grew inclined to hate his performance (much like BB fans have increasingly grew tired of White’s charade) and his inability to adhere to the collective good?

Much like White, a lust for power — or, in the basketball sense, control — resonates deeply in the two. Blatche hasn’t yet developed a sense of the finer points of basketball which explains, well, everything.

As Breaking Bad comes to a conclusion — there is 13 episodes left in the critically acclaimed TV Drama — there will be some closure to the tumultous path that White has chosen for himself. The same cannot be said for Blatche, who faces a steep uphill climb back into our good graces. There will be no sense of finality — yet.

Though if he continues to decline, his 10.6 PER and .415 true shooting percentage marks from last year both represent career-lows, the end may be near. Perhaps his only avenue will either be the Miami Heat or San Antonio Spurs, who have both expressed interested in the disgruntled forward, according to Marc Stein.

Neither of those franchises are perfect, even though San Antonio has an outstanding track record for success and Miami is so talented that it will force Blatche to appreciate and utilize the other facets of his game.

The only thing impeding Blatche from brandishing his physical gifts into a productive player will be himself. A systemic change will need to happen soon unless he, too, wants to be resigned to Walter’s fate.

Which, if you haven’t seen Episode 1 of Season 5, isn’t exactly a pretty sight.