#WittmanFace Wednesdays: How Long Will the Wizards Coach Last? (Poll)
TAI’s Game-by-Game Chronicles of #WittmanFace … while it last, perhaps.Look, this blog is not advocating for the firing of Randy Wittman … yet.
However, the national media and select #SoWizards debaters, but mostly the national media, can’t shut up about it. Some, such as Bill Simmons on a recent B.S. Report podcast with Zach Lowe, think Wittman could be canned as soon as after tonight’s game 4 … in the event of another embarrassing to the 76ers.
Some factors, in no particular order:
- The Wizards did not quit on Wittman after starting 0-12 and then 5-28 last season; tears were evidently shed by the coach and the players still respected him.
- The likes of John Wall and Nene gave Wittman their endorsements to Ted Leonsis during the summer.
- Aside from a willingness to trade a top 12 protected pick for Marcin Gortat, Leonsis has shown, over time, that he wants to avoid rash decisions as much as possible, especially rash decisions that would cost him money. (Of course, not making the playoffs costs Leonsis money.)
- Point is, if Wittman is fired, George Karl or some other big name coach probably isn’t walking through that door. The likelihood is that an assistant like Don Newman (or even Sam Cassell) would be promoted … and I’m not sure that accomplishes much.
- If the Wizards had struggled but came close in Detroit, beat the 76ers handily at home, and then lost the Heat by 10 on the road, we would not be having conversations at this level.
- The fact of NBA life is that it is extremely easy, often wa-a-a-ay too easy, for a coach to serve as the scapegoat. And that’s why, I reckon, that most national heads think Wittman will get fired while most local followers of the team tend to focus their angst on Ernie Grunfeld.
- It’s pretty unprecedented for a team to fire a GM (or team president of basketball operations) mid-season. (Of course, Mark Cuban’s Mavericks recently departed with a GM who was only on the job for three months just before the season started.) Still, if the fire-and-promote-from-within tactic is one tactic, why wouldn’t Leonsis aim for the head of the dragon instead of grunt-work Wittman? Both parties are in the final year of their contract, after all.
- One Ernest Grunfeld was fired, or rather, demoted within the Knicks organization, during the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season. This act was, perhaps, unfair (Grunfeld’s assembled Knicks ended up making it to the NBA Finals as an 8 seed, but lost to the Spurs). And perhaps Grunfeld is due for things to even out.
Again, this here blog—and I can mostly speak for the other members of the staff—is not advocating for the firing of Wittman. The current situation is on Grunfeld first, then the players, then Wittman. That said, how long can Randy last? (Or how long will it take for impatience to prevail?) Vote below and/or comment away otherwise.