HoopsHype Randy Wittman rumors

May 1, 2014 Updates

Leonsis declined to comment on the futures of Wizards General Manager Ernie Grunfeld and Coach Randy Wittman. “I don’t think it’s appropriate to talk about people’s contracts when you’re in the playoffs,” Leonsis said. “What I’ve said all along, and what I’ll say is, I only can worry about what I’m dealing with on a one-to-one basis with management. When we bought the Wizards not even four years ago, I made the assessment that there was less risk in blowing the team up and starting from scratch than there was in trying to build around it. “We had lots of conversations with Ernie and Ernie was very, very straightforward with me, which was, ‘Well, I can guarantee you that you’re going to be really, really bad.’ We played five rookies the first year that we owned the team. We had five starting players who were rookies. We weren’t trying to tank; we just had so many first-year players. … Everyone in the organization has done a good job, but it starts with the players, and then the coach.” Washington Post

April 27, 2014 Updates
April 18, 2014 Updates

Michael Jordan’s Bulls swept the Wizards in three games in 1997 (after a nine-year drought for Washington). The Wizards beat Scott Skiles’ grimy Bulls in six games in 2005 (after an eight-year drought). And now, the grimier Tom Thibodeau Bulls will host the Wizards in Sunday’s Game 1 (after a six-year drought). “Mind-set is to go in there and win the series; that’s the only mind-set you should have,” Coach Randy Wittman said. “We’ve played this team the last two years extremely well; we are 2-1 against them this year. They came in and smacked us pretty good last game so that should be a good fresh wound on our guys, the message that they sent us last we played them.” Washington Post

April 11, 2014 Updates

John Wall and Bradley Beal are both learning about the intensity and challenges of battling for postseason position and Wednesday’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats was a struggle for the duo. Wall, the first-time all-star, and Beal, an invite for Team USA tryouts this summer, combined to miss 23 of 33 shots in the Wizards’ 94-88 overtime loss and Wittman didn’t hold back when asked to critique their performances. “When you don’t put effort in, you’re not going to have good showings. It just filters down,” Wittman said. “You can’t play with no energy or effort at one end of the floor and expect to turn it on at the other end of the floor. It doesn’t work that way. That’s been proven with these guys. It was almost like we were spinning our wheels in mud. We just didn’t come out with any enthusiasm. I don’t even know if they had a sweat broken at the jump ball.” Washington Post

March 25, 2014 Updates
March 6, 2014 Updates

Coach Randy Wittman appears to be on the verge of guiding the Washington Wizards to the playoffs. And if the Wizards get there for the first time in six seasons, Wittman undoubtedly will receive praise. He’d rather receive a new contract. Wittman’s current one expires after the season. Although qualifying for the postseason would be a significant accomplishment for the franchise — especially considering the Wizards’ recent history — owner Ted Leonsis expects the Wizards to be a playoff team. Leonsis has set the bar high, and Wittman realizes he must clear it. Washington Post

February 19, 2014 Updates
January 23, 2014 Updates

Wall took 29 shots in the 113-111 defeat at Verizon Center. That’s 13 more than Bradley Beal, 21 more than Trevor Ariza and Marcin Gortat, 15 more than Nene and 20 more than Martell Webster. Coach Randy Wittman had a sitdown with Wall and went over the video. “John’s a competitor. I sat down and talked with him,” Wittman said. “It’s not a malicious thing. He wanted to try to take over the game for us. Sometimes you try so hard it’s counterproductive because he’s the one guy that can get a lot of guys shots, get them into a rhythm especially at the start of the game. That’s what he’s got to try to continue to do. When he does that, they’re in a rhythm. John’s going to get his opportunities. The ball is in his hands.” Washington Times

January 7, 2014 Updates

Chewing out Gortat while chewing his gum, Wittman denied that the exchange was anything serious or unusual. Gortat threw up his hands and nodded his head as Wittman spoke to him. “He had a spirited conversation with me? I was coaching him, you mean?” Wittman said when asked about what he said to Gortat. “You’re saying there was a confrontation? I have a conversation with everybody on our team. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Washington Post

January 4, 2014 Updates

Wizards Coach Randy Wittman scanned the box score as he sat at the podium after the Wizards’ 101-88 loss on Friday to the Toronto Raptors. Wittman sighed, then explained that he was “shocked” and “disappointed” with his team’s listless performance, adding that some “selfish play” had crept in and contributed to an embarrassing defeat that was much more lopsided than the final score would suggest. “We’ve proven over the last couple of years you can’t play that way,” Wittman said, shaking his head. “And we’re getting concerned with, ‘Why am I coming out? How many minutes am I getting? How many shots am I getting?’ rather than, ‘What is the team doing?’ and we didn’t do that tonight and that is disappointing because we’re not good enough to do it that way…We have to come back together. It is not about ‘me’ it’s about ‘us’ and it has to be focused on us and it was focused on individuals rather than the team.” Washington Post

When told of Wittman’s comments about selfish play, John Wall disagreed and credited Toronto with disrupting the offense and creating poor floor spacing. “I don’t think so, I think we try and play the right way. I just give them a lot of credit, they took away things from us and then we didn’t make a lot of shots,” Wall said. “They just outplayed us. They played with more sense of urgency. They played with more aggressiveness, they were pounding us on the glass and making open shots and we didn’t stick to our defensive concepts and we just give them a lot of credit for what they did and the game plan they had against us.” Washington Post

December 17, 2013 Updates

The Wizards, while not quite living up to preseason expectations, have sufficiently rebounded from yet another slow start to the point that they're starting to look like what passes for a playoff team in the ugliest Leastern Conference in memory, which should get Wittman through the final year of his contract. Sources say, furthermore, that it's always been the preference of Wizards owner Ted Leonsis to complete the season without changing anything and then assess everything in the offseason with the deals of both Wittman and general manager Ernie Grunfeld expiring. ESPN.com

November 25, 2013 Updates
November 22, 2013 Updates

The Wizards had lofty expectations for returning to the playoffs this season, and given how bad the East is, it's too early to discount them in that endeavor. But with a 4-7 record, the results have been mixed so far, to put it kindly. League sources wonder how long GM Ernie Grunfeld can remain in self-preservation mode. Speaking of self-preservation, continued struggles in Washington would put coach Randy Wittman in a race with the coach of our next team in the Misery Index to see who will be the first coach to be fired this season. CBSSports.com

November 19, 2013 Updates

When a team with playoff aspirations gets off to a disappointing start, the scrutiny always seems to find its way to the head coach. Coach Randy Wittman likes to say that the NBA is “a results league” but with the Wizards (2-7) on a four-game losing streak, he hasn’t concerned himself with checking the temperature of his seat on the bench. “That’s not a worry of mine,” Wittman said after Monday’s practice at Verizon Center. Washington Post

In parts of seven seasons with Washington, Cleveland and Minnesota, Wittman has a career record of 147-291 (.336), which is the worst winning percentage of the 87 coaches with at least 400 career games. Wittman is 49-91 with the Wizards, but John Wall was among those who lobbied for him to get an extension after the 2011-12 season. Wall continues to support Wittman. “Everybody believes in Coach Witt,” Wall said. “We understand what he did last year and what he was capable of when everybody is healthy. So we know what he tells us as coach, what his schemes is and what he tells us players works, but us players have to go out there and execute what he’s given us as our game plan and what he wants us to be as a team and we haven’t been doing that so far. We’ve only proved it in two” games. Washington Post

November 18, 2013 Updates

According to a person with knowledge of the Wizards thinking, Wittman still has some time to turn things around. The fact that Washington played six of its first eight games on the road did not help his cause, and their Tuesday night home game against the dangerous Minnesota Timberwolves will be the latest test on this front. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the situation. USA Today Sports

November 14, 2013 Updates

It doesn’t take much to see why Washington’s Randy Wittman is the guy many see as the coach on the hottest seat. His team is 2-6 but with playoff aspirations. His star player is writing playoffs on his shoes every game (and shooting 37.9 percent). His team’s owner Ted Leonsis has talked playoffs a lot and said injuries are not an excuse. Leonsis has been a loyal and patient owner, but at some point that is going to end because he wants to win, too. On top of it all the Wizards’ veteran players are frustrated with the younger ones. NBCSports.com

November 12, 2013 Updates

Leonsis inherited a mess with the Wizards, and he’s embarked on a rebuilding process similar to the one that brought the Capitals out of the doldrums. But the Wizards were a combined 86 games under .500 over the last three NBA seasons, and eventually the longsuffering fans need to get their payoff. It’s worth noting that both team president Ernie Grunfeld and coach Randy Wittman are in the final year of their contracts. Washington Times

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