Before the NBA lockout, Washington Wizards Coach Flip Saunders gave forward Andray Blatche a book on leadership to read in the coach's continual quest to transform Blatche from jester to shepherd on one of the youngest teams in the league.

Hey, what was the name of that book, anyway, Andray?

"I forgot the title of it because I only read like half of it," Blatche said with a sheepish laugh after practice Saturday night. "Because after a while it was like, all right, I got the message."

Give him extra credit for honesty, but whether that message has finally seeped through, after years of haranguing, will be a determining factor this season as the Wizards hurdle into a whirlwind 66-game schedule that begins Dec. 26 at home against the New Jersey Nets.