Rashard Lewis says his big-money contract is nothing to be ashamed of.
It became fashionable to pick on players like Lewis during the NBA lockout. His six-year, $118 million deal was cited as an example of spending run amok in the league. Such contracts led the owners and players' union to offer each team a one-time amnesty clause once basketball resumed.
Lewis expected to be an amnesty case, but the Washington Wizards decided to keep him. They need his veteran leadership on a team brimming with young talent.
Also, Lewis says the sore right knee that hampered him last season is better, which means he can go back to being the type of all-around player he was with the Seattle SuperSonics.
The Wizards play their first preseason game Friday.