Randy Wittman Said WHAT?! Highlights from His Courtside Interview with NBA TV
Well, the Wizards finally won a game in Vegas—and in convincing fashion. In the midst of a first-half surge that saw the Wiz lead by as many as 12 points, NBA TV’s Steve Smith and Matt Devlin caught up with Randy Wittman courtside to discuss the state of Washington D.C.’s professional basketball team.
Coach Witt talked about Otto Porter, Bradley Beal, Glen Rice, Jr., training camp, Nene, and more. You can find the entire 11-minute interview here, but below I’ve pulled out some sound bites.
Wittman on Otto Porter:
“We’ve got a young guy in Otto Porter. Obviously, we want to get his feet wet. The thing is, sometimes we don’t realize that these are young kids. How they react… I think [Summer League] is a valuable tool. Even in the Summer League, the pace of the game, the speed of the game, is so much different than what they’re ever accustomed to playing in college. It’s really beneficial for those guys.
“The main thing for him is the pace of the game. Otto is a player—a very smart player. When you played pickup in the summertime, you’d want that guy on your team because he made everyone around you better. He made the right plays, did the right things. He’s a jack-of-all-trades right now is what I’m seeing a little bit. He’s going to have to develop range on his shot playing the small forward a lot, develop the NBA 3 range, and his ability to handle the ball.
“For us, we’re a running team. We want to get the ball thrown up the floor to our wings where they can look to attack before the defense gets set. That’s something he’s going to have to work on.”
Wittman on running:
“We have to run, obviously, with John. You gotta utilize the strengths of your players. That’s John’s biggest strength for us—he’s as good as anybody from one end of the floor to the other, speed-wise, seeing the floor, making players for himself and for others. We’ve gotta play at a high pace, and that’s what we’re trying to incorporate with all these young guys.”
Wittman on Bradley Beal:
“He can really play. He can. He has a great stroke. When he came in at 19 years old—like I said, you just don’t know how they’re going to react and this kid took a lot of things in stride. He doesn’t get riled. He really works, he’s a hard worker. He’s probably one of my best workers, and that’s what will make him a good player.”
Wittman on Glen Rice, Jr.:
“He’s really a first-round draft pick. Pedigree’s big. His dad could really shoot the lights out. I told him at practice this morning, ‘You haven’t proven you’re quite like your dad yet.’ But you can tell this kid has been around the game, he knows the game, he’s very smart. You don’t think looking at him running up and down the floor that he has a great ability to penetrate, get in and make plays. That’s what’s really surprised me. He’s not strictly a guy that will shoot from the perimeter.
“[His time in the D-League] woke him up. I give the kid credit for taking that route.”
Wittman on Jan Vesely:
“He has to play with confidence. He’s got great length, size, speed. Defensively, he gets in passing lanes. He’s gotta believe in himself. Coming from overseas when we picked him, he’d never played this caliber of basketball before. He’s gone through situations here early on where he doesn’t believe in himself. And let me tell you what, you can be the best basketball player, but if you don’t have confidence, you aren’t gonna be worth a crack. And that’s kinda what he’s been.”
Wittman on Nene:
“He is incredible for us. He’s never going to be a 25-point scorer. That’s not who is he, and that’s not what he wants to do. He makes our team so much better from the inside, because he’s such a great passer from the high post.
“His basketball IQ is one of the best from a big man that I’ve ever coached.”