We saw Doug Collins let it all out in a recent post-game interview, and now we have Washington Wizards coach Randy Wittman, who thinks his team is selfish an does not wish to be coached. Michael Lee of Washington Post has the details:
“It didn’t boil down to that,” Wittman said of Ariza’s shot. “We got what we deserved. We didn’t deserve to win that game. We were more caught up in ourselves as individuals than the team. That’s the bottom line. We got guys that haven’t been in the rotation, complaining. The older guys trying to help them, they won’t listen. And that just tells me: ‘I’m worried about myself. I’m not worried about winning this game.”… “It’s bizarre to me,” Wittman said. “They didn’t want to be coached. It was more about playing time and shots, rather than: ‘What are we doing as a team? And how am I playing when I’m out there?’ It’s my job to decide who is deserving of playing out there and that’s what I’ll continue to do and that’s the only way I believe. And if you can’t handle that, you don’t agree with it, that’s what you get — a game like tonight. It wasn’t about the team. That’s what’s disappointing.”
The criticism is a little more surprising than Collins’ outburst, given the recent surge of success the Wizards have had – they have gone 7-5 in the month of February. Also, the loss to the Detroit Pistons was a tough one to swallow, but it was a 1-point loss. To question the team’s motives after that close of a contest sounds harsh, but given that Trevor Ariza agreed with his coach about being a selfish-minded team, there certainly appears to be a level of truth about how the team may have been playing as of late.
At least there is no doubt about how Wittman feels about John Wall – he defended the play of Wall to the core, from Mike Prada of SB Nation:
Hey, John is huge and instrumental to what we’ve been doing here lately, even though in his eyes, your eyes; it doesn’t matter whose eyes lately, they might not think he’s playing at the highest level. But his impact on what he can do for other players on this team, as you mentioned, in getting shots for guys that need shots. And not just shots, but open shots. That’s huge. That’s huge.
Hey, John Wall is huge for this team. The people that want to bash John Wall have no idea how the game is being played and what his impact is on the game. I think everyone always looks at points and that’s crazy. John Wall’s more than a guy that can score points. I want him to be more than that and he wants to be more than that.
Wittman thinks anyone who wants to talk poorly about Wall “has no idea how the game is being played”. Take that, Stan Van Gundy and David Falk.
Onto other news from around the league:
- Rick Barry thinks Stephen Curry needs to get at least 20 shots every night, according to Michael Thompson of The Oakland Tribune: “The Hall of Famer said he knew Curry had that kind of game. He said he hopes the performance reveals to Curry the kind of player he can be when he is aggressive. “That’s the way he needs to play all the time,” Barry said. “You’ve got to play with that aggressive mentality. As unselfish as he is, and with the vision he has, it opens up so much more when he plays that way. The entire team benefits when he plays that aggressively. I don’t know how Mark (Jackson) feels, but I’d be mad if he doesn’t take 20 shots per game.”