Randy Wittman Rumors
The dustups date to last season. In the teams’ third meeting, in mid-January 2016, Jae Crowder — perhaps the central protagonist in this entire drama — got tagged with a technical foul in the final minute of Boston’s 119-117 win in Washington. Crowder could be seen barking at the Wizards’ bench and pointing at then-coach Randy Wittman. After the game, Crowder suggested Wittman cursed at him and called him soft. “[Wittman] was saying something about me being soft, and bleep, bleep, bleep,” Crowder said. “I feel like he was getting away with a lot of curse words and inappropriate words to me, and I retaliated and I got hit [with the technical].” Wittman later admitted he yelled at Crowder but denied using profanity. There was no obvious escalation when the teams met again two weeks later — a lopsided Boston win — and Wittman was fired after the season.
In an interview with NBA.com last week, Wittman indicated that he’s interested in possibly getting back into coaching. “I’m in between jobs,” he said. “Early spring when things begin to open up, I’ll take a look at what’s out there and see if I want to get back in it.”
“I was in the NBA for 33 straight years without a break, so my wife calls this a sabbatical,” the 57-year-old Wittman told ESPN 980’s Kevin Sheehan on Friday, in one of his first extensive interviews since being fired after the Wizards missed the playoffs last season. “I’m visiting teams. I’m watching other coaches and what they do in practices. It’s given me an opportunity to travel around and see it in a different angle than I’ve seen it up to this point.”
Wittman, who still has a place in the D.C. area, has also gotten around to having hip and knee replacements that he’d put off while coaching. He’s spent time watching Minnesota’s Tom Thibodeau, Los Angeles’s Doc Rivers and Boston’s Brad Stevens run practices, and yes, he still keeps up with the team he coached for the last seven seasons, including four-plus years as the head coach.
“John is, I think, he’s the best point guard in the league right now, the way he’s playing, and that’s just not his numbers,” Wittman said. “He’s seeing things on the floor that nobody else can see, and you can’t teach it.”