Last season the Washington Wizards won just 20 games and finished with the second worst record in the NBA. It was a slow start for the Wizards as they won just two of their first 17 games but they finished strong, which led to some optimism for this upcoming season. Not to mention Washington grabbed shooting guard Bradley Beal in the draft in hopes of teaming him up with John Wall and creating one of the best young backcourts in the NBA. It will be a little while before the Wizards get to see the two first round picks playing together though. A few weeks ago it was announced that John Wall would miss eight weeks with a knee injury. All the enthusiasm the Wizards felt heading into this season quickly vanished with the news of Wall’s injury and it looks like this year’s start will have the same kind of feeling as last years.
Randy Wittman joined 106.7 The Fan in Washington D.C. with LaVar and Dukes to talk about his team, what he thinks about Bradley Beal so far, what his message is to his young team and what he thinks of the job David Stern has done since taking over as NBA Commissioner.
On what he has seen from his team so far this preseason:
“We’re making strides. We’re not where we want to be obviously with the injuries that we have and everything but the one thing our guys have been is resilient. They’ve gone out each and every night of these preseason games and every one of them has gone down to the wire which from the standpoint of teaching and stuff and how to win games late in the game it’s really been good in the preseason. You don’t get that a lot of times. We’ve been lucky enough to be in a lot of close games to really work on those things and how to win games down the stretch.”
What he thinks of Bradley Beal so far:
“The main thing that I preach to these young guys is consistency. As a coach you always want to know when you put a guy in a game what you’re going to get and not necessarily in stats but how he is going to go out there and perform. Is he going to go out there every night that you put him in the game and play at the level that he is capable of playing? Some guys have done a very nice job of that and other guys need to continue to become consistent from an effort standpoint, going out there knowing what you’re supposed to do and it’s not really a roller-coaster ride. One game you’re playing at a high level and then the next game you don’t even know you’re on the floor. As a coach that’s hard. I don’t want to look down on the bench and say ‘well geez if I put this guy in tonight what am I going to get from him?’ I want to know what I’m going to get each night. I don’t want to worry about which guy is going to show up tonight. That’s the main thing with young guys is to learn that consistency and when you have that consistency then you really begin to develop the things that you’re able to develop but if you’re up one night and down the next then you’re going to plateau and really stay at the same level. The only way you’re going to get better is to be consistent.”
What he thinks about the job David Stern did as NBA Commissioner:
“I think he has done a fabulous job since he’s taken over. We’ve come a long way from when he took over in the early 80’s and what we were facing at that time with a lot of drugs and situation that was in professional sports at that time, to clean that up and bring our game to probably the highest level from a fans point of view than we ever had, his big thing was taking the game globally. The amount of people that we have in our league now that are coming over from Europe is at an all-time high. He’s done a great thing for our league and our players have got to appreciate that. I know I do because with the salaries and everything, that’s part of it and we’re lucky enough as coaches and athletes to be in games that, it is a game you know. I don’t really consider this a job. This is fun. To be able to be a part of that and be at the level that we’re at, we owe a lot to Commissioner Stern.”