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It’s official, Randy Wittman to be retained as Wizards coach

Jun 4, 2012, 11:41 AM EST

Randy Wittman AP

We’ve known this is coming for days now, but Washington is about to make official they are making the safe play.

Monday afternoon the Washington Wizards will host a press conference to announce Randy Wittman will have the interim tag removed as coach and he will return with a two-year deal. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo was the first to report this.

It’s a move that will be welcomed by John Wall, who lobbied for it. But that’s only part of the reason he got the gig.

This was the safe, affordable play by Washington. They walked up to the tee and pulled out a three iron. Which is what ownership wanted to do right now.

Wittman was 18-31 as the interim coach in Washington, which included a nice little six-game winning streak to end the season. Wittman appeared to connect with and get more out of the roster than Flip Saunders (who he replaced 17 games into the season), he helped bring a little more discipline to a young team.

But this is not a game-changer hire. And Wittman is more affordable for a rebuilding franchise than bringing in a big name (Mike D’Antoni, Stan Van Gundy types). This is a team that will have Wall in his third season (when he needs to break out, but that’s another topic), Nene at center and whomever they get with the No. 3 pick (buzz is they want Kansas power forward Thomas Robinson). The franchise likely will be rid of Rashard Lewis and Andray Blatche by next training camp.

Wittman’s getting a real chance, this could be a team on the rise in the East. We’ll see what he does with it. For the Wizards, it’s a safe iron play down the middle of the fairway.

  1. rajbais - Jun 4, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    Say goodbye to your future Wizards fans!!!

    He messed up in Cleveland and Minnesota; Washington, you’re next!!!!

    • rockthered1286 - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:08 PM

      Jokes on you. Wiz fans said goodbye to their future years ago.

      Seriously, Randy did well for us to end the year (big fan of Cassell as well, who connects well with the players), why not give him a shot and see what he can do? Wall and Nene are good starting pieces. Trevor Booker really started to come on late in the year. Get rid of the locker room cancers that are Blatche and Rashard Lewis, and hopefully we’ll see talent blossom from guys like Singleton, Shelvin Mack and Vessely. Give them 2 years and hopefully 2 good drafts, and I think they’ll surprise a few people.

      • rajbais - Jun 4, 2012 at 11:39 PM

        He doesn’t deserve a shot because good interim coaches have winning records THROUGHOUT their tenure (regardless of time length)!!!

        Alvin Gentry had a winning record with the Suns after Terry Porter got fired and they eventually went the to Conference Finals!!!

        The 6-game winning streak was GARBAGE!!! You are unwilling to acknowledge it because you seem like a homer!!! The wins against Miami were garbage because they refused to overexert in order to have a playoff push!!!! The Bobcats and Cavs are two of the worst teams in the NBA!!!!

        That’s impressive???

        Have you had your head in the sand???
        Why do we hear or speculate about teams tanking near the end of the season to get more lottery ball???
        Why do we hear complaints about contending teams resting their star players near the end of the year???
        Because we know the competition is illegitimate!!!

        Plus, why keep a guy from the regime that was losing????

        Grundfeld can’t pull it off as a GM anymore!!!!
        Wittman has been a loser everywhere he’s gone!!!!!

        If you have a GM whose tenure is WAY past its due YOU’RE GOING NOWHERE!!! If you have that and and a coach that’s a loser YOU’RE DEFINITELY GOING NOWHERE!!!

        Here’s the proof:

        Detroit:
        Declining GM: Joe Dumars
        Head Coach: Lawrence Frank
        Head Coach’s career record before the job: 225-241

        Sacramento:
        Declining GM: Geoff Petrie
        Head Coach: Keith Smart
        Head Coach’s career record before the job: 45-77

        Cleveland:
        Declining GM (who was never that good anyways): Jim Paxson
        Head Coach: John Lucas
        Head Coach’s career record before the job: 136-147

        Milwaukee:
        Declining GM: Larry Harris
        Head Coach: Terry Stotts
        Head Coach’s career record before the job: 52-85
        You need a good GM or basketball mind/influence to get good players and set up the ideal contracts!!!!
        You need a CAPABLE head coaching candidate that players want to play for!!!!

        YOU HAVE NONE OF THAT AND YOU WILL REGRET ATTEMPTING TO DISPUTE ME BECAUSE
        TWO LOSERS (Grunfeld + Wittman) DON’T MAKE A WINNER and
        TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT!!!!!!!

        YOU’LL BE SORRY BECAUSE YOU NEVER STUDIED CRAP!!! YOU HAVE CHILDISH BIASES AND SELECTIVE AMNESIA!!! IF I WERE A TEACHER WHO ASSIGNED YOU TO READ A BOOK YOU WOULD FAIL MY COURSE BECAUSE YOU STUDIED ZILCH!!!! DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE YOU TRY TO DISPUTE PEOPLE WHO WILL BE VINDICATED!!!!!

      • rockthered1286 - Jun 7, 2012 at 8:25 AM

        @rajbias

        Wow bro. You’re either a die hard NBA fan or you have waaaaay too much free time at your discretion. I’m not much of a homer at all. Hell, I don’t even live in DC. Wiz is something I watch between Caps, Ravens and O’s that gives me something to do when no other good sports are on tv. Probably watched a total of 15 games last year. NBA is all the way down there for me below NFL, MLB, NHL, NCAABB, NCAAFB, NCAA Lax.

        Ta deep breathe. Relax. Maybe just hit a thumbs down next time.

        In my defense, I don’t care if you plug in Phil Jackson, you’re not going to become a perenial winner with the lineup we have. Teddy Leonsis is now the owner of this team. How did he build the Caps into a year in year out playoff team in the NHL? through the draft and other young talent acquisitions. He plans to use the same approach with the Wiz. So why would he justify his approach by bringing in a D’Antoni only to see him fail with this lineup ( I know it’s Grunfelds call to some extent, but the owner does have some say and in this case, Teddy is very vocal in his desires)? Why not leave Whitman be for now, see how things pan out and worst case scenario you end up firing him for a bad season that brings in another top draft pick and move on from there? It’s not like we have a talentless team, and it’s not like his coach is the only thing holding us back from competing every game.

        Just speculation. From a fan. Not a hardcore junkie.

        And that folks is how we avoid overusage of the exclamation point.

  2. cosmicatomic - Jun 4, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Wittman is a 3-iron?

    He’s more akin to walking up to the tee box and trying to tee off with a baseball bat.

    He is most remembered in Minnesota for ordering Kevin Love not to shoot any 3-pointers and for not allowing rookies to wear headbands. After Love won the 3-pt contest this year, he said something like “and to think my rookie coach didn’t let me shoot any threes”.

    The following scenario will be a recurring scenario in Washington: the Wizards get blown out in embarrassing fashion, and then Wittman will roast all of his players after the game. The first 2 or 3 times the fans will go “that’s exactly what we need!”. After the 8th or 9th time, you’ll realize Wittman doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing and that he’s part of the problem.

  3. wizskinz - Jun 4, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Im a diehard wizards fan. We Suck!!!

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