Randy Wittman Rumors
“Guys like him that are Hall of Famers never cease to amaze you and I thought he was a real big lift for us this year,” Wittman said. “Not only what he did on the floor but his leadership and direction that he gave us in the locker room with these guys. You can’t coach that. That’s something you either have or you don’t. He’s got it. He gave us all he could in these two series. We rode him.”
“I’d love him back. I think he wants to be back. I don’t know, I won’t put words in his mouth, but I’d be surprised if he didn’t,” Wittman said. “I think what he saw with these guys and the heart this team has. Why wouldn’t you want to play the end of your career with a group like that?”
Jorge Castillo: Wittman: “Brad and John are going to be here a long time.” Beal is eligible for an extension this summer.
With Wizards star guard John Wall possibly out with five non-displaced fractures in his hand, the team is feeling some pressure. Ray Lewis reportedly came by for a pep talk this week, players have promised to step up if Wall has to sit (though no decision has been announced yet.) But if Friday’s media time revealed anything it might be that Randy Wittman has had enough of the injury talk. The Wizards coach called out a Washington Post report that Wall had clashed with the team’s medical staff, calling it inaccurate. When the reporter tried to follow up with a question (which seems like a fair thing to do if a coach calls you out publicly), Wittman emphatically decided it was time to move on.
The Washington Wizards have been off since Sunday and the long wait is starting to get to them. “They are itching to play,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said after Friday’s practice. “There’s no question about that. Today’s practice was very, very intense. And that showed me that they are tired of seeing each other down there [on the practice court].”
Bradley Beal started Game 1 against the Toronto Raptors nearly reduced to tears by an inspiring pregame speech from Washington Wizards coach Randy Wittman. “I almost cried,” Beal said. “Witt almost had me teary-eyed before the game. He said make sure you cherish each moment, because you never know, this may be your last game playing. He looked at Paul [Pierce] and said, ‘Paul, this may be your last time ever making it to the playoffs.'” “You have to embrace each moment that you are out here on the floor and live in each moment each and every second.”
Despite coach Randy Wittman’s recent claim that there wasn’t any help coming for his struggling team, the Wizards have not ruled out acquiring a player to fill out the 15th roster spot, CSNwashington.com has confirmed with persons with knowledge of the situation, before the postseason begins next month.
Randy Wittman dissected the tape of his Washington Wizards’ disappointing loss Tuesday night to an undermanned version of the Chicago Bulls and came away with one prevailing assessment: his team didn’t sustain the necessary intensity for 48 minutes and it cost them. “We’ve got to go out and play. Play hard every play. Play with more effort. More plays with effort than non-effort,” Wittman said. “That’s kind of basically what it is. Until we do that we’re going to struggle and it’s all of us together in that. And that’s kind of basically what it boils down to. I wish it was a strategy thing. We just take too many plays off. In a three-point game, as last night was coming down the stretch, it’s magnified.”
To bring someone in, it’ll be with the expectation of them playing and not just taking up space (of course, an injury could change that train of thought). Wittman’s comments make it clear that he doesn’t see much out there, and that’s consistent with the other sentiment. Does all this translate into Bynum, for instance, no longer being an option? No. But he’ll get other offers, too, and it would be his call on where he goes as a free agent.
“Nobody is going to be added to the team. That’s the reality of it,” coach Randy Wittman said after the Wizards lost by 20 points to the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier in the week.
Beal explained he wouldn’t return until he participated in a full practice session, which is standard procedure and infers that the earliest he could return is Tuesday against the Chicago Bulls because the Wizards aren’t scheduled to practice until Monday. But before Friday’s defeat, Coach Randy Wittman indicated a practice isn’t mandatory for Beal, which opens the possibility of him playing Saturday against the Detroit Pistons. “We’ll see in these next couple days,” Wittman said. “He’s been going through simulations with all our players. All the hard running and stuff that needs to be done and then you check to make sure there’s no lingering effect the next day.”
In five years working under Flip Saunders and Randy Wittman, Cassell was able to see the Wizards rise from league-wide laughingstock to a legitimate playoff contender. Wall and Beal both credited Cassell for helping them improve. Wall ranks second in the league assists and third in steals and Beal has been slowly recovering from a left wrist injury that kept him out the first nine games. “It was great,” Cassell said of working with Wall and Beal. “I don’t think John had a great playoffs last year. He was solid. He was solid. Like I always tell him, ‘John, you’re the best decoy we can have.’ It’s just not him scoring the ball, it’s all the other intangible things John Wall brings to the basketball court that’s going to make him one of the best guards in this league.”
Wall’s boss, however, was more than pleased with his showing Saturday. Coach Randy Wittman complimented Wall’s defensive pressure, which he credited for heading Washington’s stingy team defense, and was happy with Wall’s pace offensively. The problem, Wittman insisted, was that others weren’t running with the speedy point guard. “Loved John’s game today,” Wittman said. “I always try to tell you guys you can’t read into the stats stuff. I thought John was fabulous… I thought his pace was good. We just didn’t have anybody running with him and sometimes when you see that happen you’re going to stop running. So I thought that John had a really good, solid game for us.”
He’s also, as he showed when sending Polish food to the NBA on TNT crew after Shaquille O’Neal declared that pierogies were sausages, determined to bring a bit of his homeland to the United States. “It goes both ways,” he said. “The good part about being an international guy on the team is people can learn where’s Poland and things from my culture and obviously I’m learning everyday about American culture. Obviously there’s a few guys on the team that have no clue where’s Poland. People were saying Africa …” Wait, who was saying it was in Africa? “What happens in the locker room stays in the locker room,” he grinned.
After being a major part of the Wizards’ push to the playoffs last season, the franchise seemed determined to keep him, sending Wizards coach Randy Wittman and the general manager to Poland in the off-season to negotiate. “I spoke with a lot of players and they told me, ‘You can’t deny the love, if they love you so much you have to go with the team,’” Gortat said. “One thing I was just afraid of they were going to try to use this as a joker in the sleeve (and say), ‘Well, we went to Poland, now you got to sign with us.’ … But it never turned that way. It never did.”
Wittman offered three suggestions to cut game times: Play the standard 48-minutes with one fewer timeout for each team, find a way to streamline the game’s final two minutes, and revisit instant replay. “I think we’ve extended the games a little bit with instant replay,” Wittman said. “And if we just concentrated on the last two minutes of a game. …We’ve lived through mistakes made before. It’s a human game and I think if you want to speed the flow of the game up then you can look at that too. But I’m just a damn coach.”