The Washington Wizards hosted their Media Day on their practice court at the Verizon Center on Monday and left the field open to reporters. Trying to get face time with members of one of the NBA’s youngest teams can be hazardous. New rookie John Wall accidentally threw a no look pass into the lens of a cameraman while he conducted his photo shoot. And 7-foot center Hamady Ndiaye came two seconds away from elbowing an unsuspecting reporter as Ndiaye was shooting around. For the most part, the Wizards have an upbeat and energetic group this year. Here are a few notables from Media Day.

Josh Howard on rehabbing from his ACL injury and how he spent his summer: “It’s been cool. I didn’t really get a vacation this summer because all I’ve been doing is rehabbing but other than that it’s my job and I enjoy doing it.”

Howard on his expectations for this year: “I want to go get back to the playoffs. I ain’t with that missing the playoffs stuff so I want to get back to playoffs and get this thing turned around the right way.”

Nick Young on his expectations this season: “It’s a new day. We have to put everything behind us and look forward to this year and the future. We have to enjoy ourselves and spark a [180]-degree turnaround.”

Young on why he quit the summer league this year after only one game: “I’ve played so many years so I had to retire my jersey. I did that to get a game in with the rook (Wall) and JaVale (McGee).”

JaVale McGee on his summer league connection with Wall and their penchant for the alley oop: “We’re both athletic and gifted players so we just clicked together. And he’s a great point guard and he knows how to throw alley oops and I know how to catch them and it worked out.”

Aundray Blatche on his analysis of the team: “We’re young, we’re fast, we’re explosive we’re quick. I feel like we have something special going on right now.”

Wall on his biggest adjustment to the NBA: “The speed and how people are going to guard you. On this level they take defense more serious. In college they help guys as much as they can.”

Wall on his adjustment to Washington, D.C.: “It’s been good the traffic is too much here. I get lost on a one-way street I got a GPS system so I’m good.”

Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO