Oct 5, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT
The Wizards have suffered far more than their fair share of injuries recently, making it difficult to climb out of the five-year funk that has let the team out of the postseason picture.
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis expects to see improvement this year, and is placing pressure on his players to produce results. While injuries have been a very real issue for the team to deal with, Leonsis says that he no longer wants to hear that as an excuse.
“We have 13 healthy players and the one thing I’m not allowing anybody to do is use injuries as an excuse,” Leonsis said at a news conference. “We have 15 players under contract. Two can’t start the season. That means we have 13. That’s all you can dress anyway.
“Last year, there was a pass given. We didn’t have Nene and John Wall, our two best players. Understandable.” …
“We’ve retained our players. We’ve added a lot of players. We’ve spent a lot of money. And I expect us to be a playoff-caliber team. …That’s the pressure I’ve placed on the organization.”
Had I been at this press conference, I would have asked Leonsis a follow-up to his “no using injuries as an excuse” statement, and it would have gone something like this: What does that even mean?
If guys are legitimately injured, that’s not an excuse. It’s an actual reason that they are unable to play. You can’t possibly live up to expectations if your best players are constantly missing time due to injury — just ask last year’s Lakers about that.
Things should indeed be improved in D.C. this year, and the team has an outside shot of making the playoffs if all the right pieces fall into place. But injuries would derail that dream rather quickly, and Leonsis more than most should be aware of that unfortunate possibility.
- Report: Cavaliers last team standing in Kevin Love trade talks 0
- Pat Riley says he didn’t think LeBron was leaving, Heat can turn around quickly 28
- Coach K on Rose: “Derrick’s played great, not good, and hasn’t held anything back” 17
- Report: Anthony Bennett pulled from pro-am by agent, possibly due to his inclusion in Kevin Love trade talks 42
- Report: Sixers fighting against immediate changes to NBA Draft Lottery system 56
- Team USA going small ball, but how many bigs do they keep on the bench? 4
- Report: LeBron James more popular than he ever was with the Heat 15
- Durant says 2014 USA team better than 2010 version that won gold 6