SNIDER: Wizards lack guts for needed change

Rick Snider
November 21, 2018 - 10:27 am

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports


The Wizards got mad. Maybe at themselves, but probably at others for somehow doubting this dysfunctional bunch of underachievers aren't good when they actually try, or at least aren't fighting each other.

But the 125-118 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday was merely a distraction. This team is in tear-down mode.

Sure, the Wiz rallied from an awful start, but allowing 73 points in the first half just showed how little this team was listening to a coach who's begging for defense only to reportedly be cursed at by the franchise's star.

Often, such alleged disrespect would have meant either a suspension or coach's exit. Neither happened, which is typical of this team's inaction for more than a decade.

Listen, nothing good will come of the Wizards unless they fire general manager Ernie Grunfeld, who has been mostly awful in his 15-year tenure. Why owner Ted Leonsis remains loyal to someone who does such a poor job is mind-blowing.

Leonsis certainly wouldn't be a billionaire if he allowed such incompetence in his other businesses. Yet, Leonsis somehow seems blind to Grunfeld's ineptness.

Loyalty's nice, but it's killing this franchise.

Moving along, the Wiz are now reportedly willing to trade anyone after their 6-11 start. Finally, Leonsis and Grunfeld accept this team doesn't have the needed chemistry to be a contender and seems to regress the more it's together. Locker room rumblings of the past have finally erupted now that the team is no longer winning.

It happens. The Wiz have some nice players. They just can't play together. Normally, that's a catalyst for a coaching change, but it's not the problem here.

So, what's next? In typical Wiz tradition, probably nothing.

Teams aren't begging for disgruntled players with big contacts, especially early in the season. Maybe by the Feb. 8 trade deadline some desperate team looking for a final piece might be willing to take Bradley Beal or John Wall, but for now the most Washington will do is peddle a complementary player like Kelly Oubre. Sadly, that resolves nothing.

Look for the winter of discontent among Wiz fans. The team can't play angry like the second half against the Clippers often enough to salvage a sinking season.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks.