Brooks: This Wizards season 'probably the worst' of my career for luck

Chris Lingebach
February 27, 2019 - 9:09 pm

How unlucky have the Washington Wizards been this season?

Well, consider that they started the season with John Wall, Dwight Howard, Markieff Morris, Kelly Oubre, Otto Porter and Austin Rivers on their roster, and all but Wall are now gone. Wall, of course, has been lost for the season since December, and may not return for another year. The rest were traded once the reality of this sinking ship became too unavoidable to ignore.

The Wizards began the 2018-19 season with high playoff aspirations. They're now 11th in the Eastern Conference, which is just as good as dead in the water.

"We still have a goal in mind and we're still trying to reach it," Wizards coach Scott Brooks insisted during his bi-weekly appearance with The Junkies, presented by Greenberg & Bederman.

"It's a tough sell though, coach," host Eric Bickel quipped. Brooks, too, could be heard laughing on the other end of the phone.

"It's just too much," Bickel went on to say of all the roster turnover. "I mean, this has got to be one of your worst years in terms of guys going down, right? I mean, from start to finish of the year, this has got to be one of the worst in terms of injuries, trades. This team doesn't resemble at all what you started with!"

"I mean, yeah. It's definitely probably the worst," Brooks admitted. "But my last year in OKC was pretty bad with all the injuries. I think KD missed like 50 games and everybody missed at least a month. That was definitely tough. I didn't like the ending of that one, so hopefully it doesn't end the way that ended in OKC."

Brooks of course was referring to being fired by the Thunder after the 2014-15 season. Although his prospects look grim now, Brooks does still have another two seasons left on his Wizards contract.

On dealing with his team falling so far short of expectations, Brooks had this to say: "I was excited about the pickups we had. One of the things that we did not have last season was a rim-protector and a guy that could score down low, and Dwight was coming off of a 17 (-point), 13-rebound season and played, like, I think 81 games. And then we did get him at a great price. But that's part of it. Unfortunately, that's part of being in any sport. You have to be able to overcome it and we've struggled to do that."

Dwight Howard, after missing the first seven games of the season, played in all of nine games for the Wizards before going out with another injury, and has not been back since. Although he's close to a return.

How has Brooks been coping? "It's been a challenge" seems to be the mantra he's going with.

"It's been a challenge. It's been a challenge all year," he said. "Right from the start, losing Dwight and obviously the John injury. It's been a challenge, but that's part of the journey of an NBA player and coach and season. You gotta enjoy it and embrace it. It's definitely a challenge."

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