Washington Wizards..The Winds Of Change Are Blowing In Washington

ROB YOUNG SR@HomeTeamZoContributor IJanuary 31, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 29:  Head coach Flip Saunders of the Washington Wizards looks on against the New Jersey Nets at the Izod Center on January 29, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Yes the winds of change are blowing for the three major sports franchises in Washington.For years the Redskins where the dominant attraction in Washington never really being challenged by the cities other professional sports franchises.

A few years ago the Wizards the cities NBA franchise appeared to be on the verge of at least making a push to possibly challenge that status. That push appeared to be riding a wave of exciting basketball lead by the self anointed (Agent Zero) Gilbert Arenas.

Things where starting to look as though the Wizards had pulled off a coup in acquiring the combo guard from Golden State. In the beginninig it was the combination of Arenas and Larry Hughes that seemed to be the pieces to build around. Hell the team even played some defense back then.

But all good things come to and end and the combo was broken up when Hughes left for what he thought would be greener pastures. But the Wizards countered that loss with deals that brought in Antwan Jamison and then pulled off the Kwame Brown for Caron Butler robbery.

The team went from a exciting two to the "Big Three". And the Wizards seemed to be knocking at the door of the top tier of the Eastern Conference after an exciting playoff series against Lebron James and his Cavs.

But in the final game of that series the player the franchise had hitched it's wagon to began his downward spiral with two missed free throws. Then the injury to the knee, surgery, botched initial rehab, and second season missed and the "Hibachi" all of a sudden is a can of Sterno.

Then for some reason that is difficult for most to understand when Arenas was given a max deal netting him over one hundred million dollars after playing less than twenty games the previous two seasons.

Wizards owner Abe Pollin {R.I.P.} must have seen something in Arenas that has evaded most others because it has been written that Pollin told Arenas "You will be a Wizard for life"

This is exactly why owners hire G.M's  the decision to resign Arenas should have weighed heavily on two things 1) two consecutive season's missed due to injury 2) Arenas's occasional unexplainable behavior. No way you sign this guy to a deal for over one hundred million.

Now the infamous "gungate" issue has brought the franchise to it's knees and who is the leading man in this blockbuster none other than Gilbert Arenas the hundred million dollar man. And with the passing of Mr Pollin the franchise is without leadership or direction.

In my opinion too little of the responsibility for the teams current state has been laid at the feet of it's man in charge E. Grunfeld . Yes Pollin signed the checks and had the final say. But the man he brought in to steer the ship has run it aground.

The team is on pace to be lucky if it's ten games better than last season. And let me say this Eddie Jordan should have been retained for at least this season. Flip Saunders is brought into a similar situation as the one Jim Zorn had to fall on his sword for with the Redskins.

A roster built and groomed to play one system with a bunch of high priced stars eating up the majority of the cap space. With Redskins the G.M. has had to pay the price for failure and so should Grunfeld.

Professional sports is a results driven business and that says it all. Grunfeld has a very solid NBA pedigree but it has not prevented these devastating blows to the franchise he heads up.

Yes injuries have played a huge part in the lack of success but 1) How do you allow your team to become financially handcuffed by signing one of those injured players to a max deal? 2) Why wasn't the Arenas issue nipped in the bud seasons ago? Gilbert has been allowed to do whatever he wanted with "NO" price to be paid.

Jordan was not given any support in dealing wit Arenas and was released after the team was devastated by injury but Grunfeld gets a pass?And let me say this Grunfeld should show some class and trade Jamison and Butler to contending teams. These guys have shown so much class and professionalism they deserve so much better than this.

There is a remote possibility that Grunfeld can get a bailout better than the government gave A.I.G. If he can convince the league to allow him to void Arenas's contract it would go a long way towards rebuilding this franchise.

The Wizards could become players in a consideably deep free agent market next season along wit having a relatively high draft pick.

But once the new ownership is in place should Grunfeld be the guy to move forward with ? I'm not so sure

This franchise will need to have someone who is in charge and will give it's coach everything he needs to make this the best "TEAM" possible