In an ESPN interview, Wall described feeling taken aback by Gortat’s tweet, saying he was surprised the center placed the word team in quotations. More than a week ago, the players met face to face, but Wall was coy about the discussion. “Yeah, we had meetings. We’re grown men,” Wall acknowledged. “We talk one on one but that’s locker room talk. It sticks in there.”
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Washington Wizards teammates John Wall and Marcin Gortat met privately last week to confront each other about where they stood with one another, league sources told ESPN. It was the first time the two spoke in person regarding Gortat’s tweet many interpreted as a passive-aggressive slight directed at the All-Star guard, according to league sources.
The meeting, which didn’t last long, facilitated the airing of grievances, but sources say there is still more work to be done to fully repair that relationship. Those close to the franchise suggest these are natural altercations from the rigors of such an emotional season.
Also, Wall had thoughts on the recent “everybody eats” line — first used by Bradley Beal following the win over the Raptors in which Washington shared the ball for 30 assists, and interpreted by several fans and media outlets as a shot against Wall. “That was funny to me. That’s a joke. If you want to say team win and put it in exclamation points or everybody eats and all that. I’m one of the top point guards that passes the ball more than anybody. I hear a lot of times I pass too much sometimes,” Wall told NBC Sports Washington during his first interview of the circuit. “I know what I do for my team, I know what I bring every night. Like I said, if any guys have a problem with me they can talk to me face to face as a man. And if you can’t do that then I lose a lot of respect for you.”
“Well, my comment is that it’s clearly the whole drama that was stirred up from a few days ago, a week ago, whatever,” Gortat said. “It was definitely not even me or Brad or anybody on the team was trying to hit him with anything that’s going to make him pissed or that’s going to make him frustrated. And there wasn’t definitely any hit at him, basically. “We talk about team win with 30 assists a game, everybody played for each other. We enjoyed the game,” Gortat continued. “And basically I see that, you know, he felt different way. He felt it was a different way and he came back with that kind of a comment. So, now we got to ask each other questions, who’s attacking who?”
Gortat said he has spoken to Wall since sending the tweet and believed that the two had come to an understanding. “I talked to him a few days ago,” Gortat said. “I thought we verified that. I told him that it was nothing personal and I definitely didn’t think about him when I was writing that or whatever I was saying. We never thought about attacking him and I thought we had this verified.”
John Wall will be out possibly as long as two months, but the Wizards are not expected to make a major move to cover for his absence due to another round of knee surgery. One scout’s appraisal of the Wizards: “They’ve got some real internal issues, and it starts with the fact that John Wall is not a leader.”
Bradley Beal: Y’all reaching!!!!
Candace Buckner: (1/2) #Wizards F Markieff Morris had a very colorful response to Mavericks’ J.J. Barea’s comments that teammates didn’t like John Wall.
After the Washington Wizards defeated the Detroit Pistons on Friday night, John Wall revealed just how a recent players-only meeting went awry. The session was intended for open and honest dialogue but while some players spoke freely, others shut down. “We had our team meeting,” Wall said Friday. “A couple guys took it the negative way and it hurt our team. Instead of taking it in a positive way like we did in the past and using it to build our team up, it kind of set us back a little bit.”
Coach Scott Brooks said he never knew about the meeting. Even if he had known, Brooks said he would not have meddled in the players’ discussion or asked how it played out. Without knowing the topics, Brooks has been in the NBA long enough not to be surprised it had gone poorly. “I’ve been in the league 30 years now. There’s been a lot of good meetings, a lot of not-so-good meetings. You just take them for what they are,” Brooks said. “But I’ve never been in a meeting where the issue is not two things: playing together and playing hard. That’s what always the meetings are about. ‘Guys, we’re not playing together. We don’t trust each other. We’re not playing hard.’ ”
“It was tough. I try to keep all our stuff as personal as possible but I think in a way not everybody got a chance to speak whenever they wanted to,” Bradley Beal said. “They didn’t want to bring up an issue or something they had with a problem with on the team. Regardless of what may be going on, as men we’ve got to be able to accept what the next man says, be respectful about it and move on from it. I think it was one of those situations where we didn’t necessarily get everything that we wanted to get accomplished. “Honestly, it was probably – I won’t say pointless,” Beal continued, “but we didn’t accomplish what we needed to accomplish in that meeting.”
Candace Buckner: Here’s a damning revelation about this year’s #Wizards team. When asked if he can “coach effort,” Scott Brooks said: “I never had to worry about that and this year it’s definitely cropped up too many times.”
Michael Lee: Scott Brooks told reporters in Charlotte, “We’re going to have to change some things” after the Wizards decided not to compete in Steve Clifford’s return to the bench. Brooks called the performance in a 133-109 loss, “unacceptable.”
The Vertical: The Hornets have broken their franchise record for points in a half with 77. Charlotte is shooting 31-48 (64.6%) from the field and the Hornets are 7-14 from behind the arc [against the Washington Wizards] 😮
The perception of the Wizards from the outside and within their own locker room at the midway point of this 2017-18 season perhaps says a lot about how the expectations are higher than they have been for this franchise in quite some time. After 41 games, exactly the halfway point, the Wizards are 23-18. Over the course of a full 82-game schedule that would amount to 46 wins. Considering that this team has only won 46 games or more twice since the 1978-79 season, that’s not bad at all. But the Wizards have reached a new era where simply being good isn’t good enough. When asked to grade the first half, head coach Scott Brooks and his players all offered marks within the C to B range. What held them back from As is the fact they have lost many games they feel they should have won.
The Wizards have had consistency issues in years past, but this is an unusual split. Past records show they are generally very good against lesser teams. “I know y’all are tired of hearing it and I’m tired of saying it,” John Wall said. “Until we prove that we can do it on a nightly basis, we’re going to have these same conversations.”
Candace Buckner: #Wizards lose 103-98 to the Brooklyn Nets and closing this road trip with a 2-3 record. Coach Scott Brooks, again, criticizes first unit w/o naming names: “I thought guys off he bench did a great job of competing. We got to get more effort from our starters.”
Candace Buckner: More Brooks: “The starters gotta come in and give us effort.” Once again, Brooks sparingly played his starting frontcourt through the second half.
J. Michael Falgoust: Gortat on his future (hes still under contract): “I know how the business works. Im the oldest guy on the team” #Wizards
J. Michael Falgoust: Gortat sounds agitated. Talking about how centers have become devalued around the league #Wizards
After Gortat proclaimed the team’s reserves “one of the worst benches in the league right now” following Washington’s seventh loss in nine games Saturday against Chicago, Brooks and Gortat stood together in front of the team before practice Monday. Gortat apologized, and Brooks preached unity to a team that can’t afford to waste energy pointing fingers. “I look at things from a whole, because this is how — when I played, I was a backup, and I didn’t like to be divided,” Brooks said. “We don’t have two teams here, we have one basketball team, and right now we’re not happy and content on being 2-7.”
“And I wouldn’t have begged him to come back,” Wall interjected. “I would’ve been, ‘Don’t come back because in two years, I ain’t coming back.’ We would’ve figured something out. … I think everybody blew it out of proportion for no reason. I mean, if you look at any two great teammates, and two young, great guys, that’s talented and want to be great, you’re going to have ups and downs. Everything is not going to be perfect.”
“My individual goal is to add [Beal] to the All-Star game with me. I feel like if he’s not there, then I didn’t do my job of leading the team,” Wall told The Vertical. “We’ve proved it. I ain’t an All-Star if he ain’t playing. Simple as that. We’ve had arguments in games. You’re going to do that. But if I can put that to the side, see him wide open and make that pass … and if I don’t make that pass and take that shot …”
Marc Stein: Randy Wittman has been fired by the Washington Wizards, according to NBA coaching sources
J. Michael Falgoust: John Wall: “Yeah, it’s a wasted season to me” #WizardsTalk @CSNWizards
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March 19, 2018 | 5:59 am EDT Update
Isaiah Thomas: Give me the same opportunity I had last season and I’ll do the same stuff. You can’t compare this year and last year. My opportunity is totally different! Be a real student of the game and stop just looking at stats dumbass