The Student Newspaper of Paint Branch High School


The Student Newspaper of Paint Branch High School


The Student Newspaper of Paint Branch High School


Wizards, Pistons Setting Records for Futility

The Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons are, by far, the worst teams in the NBA this season. The two teams have combined for just 19 wins this season with the Pistons record standing at 12-53 and Washington at 11-55. 

There are many problems with both teams and they both need a  proper rebuild to be successful. and trying out different trade options are needed for these teams to prosper or else they will never recover from being known as losing franchises as opposed to winning franchises they used to be. For starters both of these teams were top tier  at one point in time. Detroit won the NBA championship three times -1989,1990 and 2004 – and Washington, who were called the Bullets at the time, won in 1978. 

The Pistons were actually an elite team from 1981-1994 when they were led by  star point guard Isaiah Thomas, shooting guard Joe Dumars, and a strong supporting cast. In those years the Pistons drafted well and made strong acquisitions by picking up players such as John Salley and, perhaps most importantly,  a defensive threat in Dennis Rodman. The team did play dirty and many people of the time might call them unfair, a reputation that earned them the nickname the “Bad Boy Pistons.” The “Bad Boys” won those two titles and the Pistons became a notable team before falling back to average play for a few years. That all changed after some good drafts and pickups which resulted in them jumping back onto the scene with several good teams in the early 2000’s. These teams were led by Ben Wallace, a great big defensive center, Richard Hamilton, a good mid range shooter nicknamed Rip, and Chauncey Billups, a clutch shooter and defender. Their best year was 2004 where they won the title in  a five game series over the Los Angeles Lakers, who featured a young Kobe Bryant and a dominant version of Shaquille O’Neal.

As for the Washington franchise, that one championship season of 1977-78 season was by far their high point. That team was led by all-around threats Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes, who took the team to a solid 54-28 record that year before going on a run in the postseason. That playoff run finished with a game 7 win over the Seattle Supersonics, though they almost blew a 3-1 series lead.

After that magical season, the Washington franchise went on to have a few notable names throughout the years. Micheal Jordan, who came out of retirement and laced up from 2001-2003,  did not accomplish anything crazy for them. But a big change for the Wizards came when they acquired Gilbert Arenas, often called Agent Zero, a three time NBA all star and one time winner of the most improved player of the year award. He averaged  20.7 points a game yet never helped the Washington Wizards to a playoff win, even though he had  a career in the NBA from 2001-2013. But the most prominent duo in Wizards franchise history was definitely John Wall at point guard and Bradley Beal at shooting guard. This duo played together from 2012-2019. Wall would average 18.9 a game, while Beal would average 22 points per game. In their time they have reached 7 playoff series but never won in the Finals or even the Eastern Conference Championship. Eventually injuries and trades led them apart and stopped something that could’ve been great.

As for where both teams stand today, their poor seasons are based on poor team play, bad rosters, and bad coaching. For the Pistons, this has been an epic failure of a season. On February 28 the Boston Celtics beat the Pistons 128-122, which stretched the team’s losing streak to 28 games in a row, the longest single season skid in NBA and professional sports history. Another thing that has hurt them recently is a pretty constant change of players. This year, by the February 8th trade deadline, the team had made five trades, which resulted in them having 7 new players on the roster. This means they have no chemistry and have to learn to play together. 

But not all is lost for the Pistons. In 2021 the Pistons took Cade Cunningham out of Oklahoma State University with their first round pick. Cunningham, a 6’ 6” shooting and point guard, is a great all-around player who they can build upon. They also have Jaden Ivy, a 6’ 4” point guard, who has played well but has to learn to coexist with Cunningham and make something happen in Detroit. The next step is to get these two some support, especially frontcourt players, which can only happen through the draft and to work trades that get them more talent. Unfortunately, they don’t have much on their roster that other teams want. 

With the worst record in the Eastern Conference and the league, the Wizards have got to pull something together to prepare for future years or they will continue to be totally irrelevant. Last season is what really set the Wizards into a bad place and put them into their current spot as one of the worst teams in the league. The first step in their demise came in June when they traded their best player, Bradley Beal, to the Phoenix Suns for Chris Paul and Landry Shamet as well as a set of draft pick contingencies. This was a bad deal because they lost their best player, Paul never played for them, and Shamet has done very little. This deal gave fans nothing to cheer for and not much to look forward to. On a small bright note, they were able to swap Paul to the Golden State Warriors right away for Jordan Poole, Ryan Rollins, and Patrick Baldwin, Jr. plus a 2030 first round pick and a 2027 second round pick. While none of these players are doing much for the Wizards, the picks could lead to some new talent either through the draft or by acquiring other players. Unfortunately for fans, the product on the floor, though they play hard, is not very fun to watch. 

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Omar Akbari, Sraff Writer
Most high school students don't think about, let alone have plans past today, but for 17-year-old Paint Branch senior Omar Akbari this is not the case as he has very meaningful plans for his future. Omar says that in the next ten years he “wants to be stable, have a good job, have a home, and be happy with a family.” For Omar, stability is a cornerstone of his aspirations. He's not content with merely going through the motions either as he's actively planning for a future that promises both personal and financial stability. In a world often characterized by uncertainty, Omar's unwavering commitment to stability serves as a testament to his maturity and foresight. One of Omar's foremost goals is to secure a good job that not only sustains him but also allows him to build a comfortable life. He understands the importance of hard work and dedication in achieving this goal, and he's willing to put in the effort to make it a reality. Beyond having a job that he looks forward to in the future, Omar dreams of having a place to call home. The idea of a stable, comfortable living environment is more than just a distant dream for him, it's a tangible goal. He envisions a home where he can find solace and create lasting memories with his family. Perhaps what sets Omar apart the most is his unwavering commitment to happiness. He understands that true success isn't solely measured by wealth or status but by the joy and contentment you get from living life. Omar's determination to find happiness in every aspect of his journey reflects a wisdom beyond his years. As he goes through his senior year at PB  with aspirations of stability, a good job, a loving home, and genuine happiness after college, Omar seems certain to achieve the goals he has set for himself.

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