(more embarrassing than this, anyway)
…or he’s a dead GM walking. At least that’s the conclusion we can come to after the 2-15 Wizards canned head coach Flip Saunders Tuesday, with one unidentified agent telling the Washington Post’s Mike Wise that making assistant Randy Wittman the interim coach is a poor band-aid (“Witt is Flip without the accomplishments.”). In calling for Grunfeld’s termination, Wise’s WaPo colleague Jason Reid writes, “excising Saunders from the Wizards’ dysfunctional situation is like arresting a lowly accomplice while permitting the mastermind to go free.”
It’s fine to stay on message about your “plan.” Marketing slogans about “New Traditions” have their place. When teams exhibit little effort, as the Wizards did while going through the motions on the road and dropping to 2-15, the person ultimately in charge actually has to lead.
After Washington’s awful performance the past two seasons, and Grunfeld’s poor judgment while enabling the Wizards’ high-profile knuckleheads through the years, Leonsis needs to initiate an organizational purge. So far, he has ignored the biggest problem.
The Wizards coddle their players, offering excuses for their missteps. Each time the Wizards fire a coach, they validate their players’ repeated acts of ignorance.
Why should Andray Blatche attempt to do better when he plays in an organization that apparently places little value on accountability? How is JaVale McGee expected to learn the right way when, eight days after Saunders took issue with his showboat dunk, the coach is the one taking the blame for this disaster of a season?
Is it any wonder the players had tuned out Saunders? And when Saunders gets fired just 15 days after management declared his job safe, is it any wonder they don’t take anything seriously?