The atmosphere at Patriot Center on the campus of George Mason University on Tuesday evening was certainly exciting. Washington Wizards fans gathered in long lines for a free event featuring an open scrimmage, Wizards Girls dancing, Wale rapping, little kids shooting hoops, and to catch glimpses of their new basketball team. When the doors finally opened, people rushed into the arena, trying to score a prime seat as the George Mason band rocked Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”
Those anticipating a quality basketball performance, however, were likely disappointed, as John Wall, Trevor Booker, Nene, and Trevor Ariza sat out due to various injuries and were merely spectators during the unremarkable hour-long scrimmage. New assistant coaches Don Newman and Jerry Sichting led the White team against a Sam Cassell and Don Zierden-coached Blue team. Head Coach Randy Wittman looked on, rotating from sideline to sideline all evening and never afraid to get his point across at any moment. Both Kevin Seraphin and Chris Singleton received the brunt of audible displeasure from their coach.
Bradley Beal struggled getting open, Martell Webster knocked a few shots early but then kind of disappeared, and Jan Vesely still has major issues with fouls. Emeka Okafor was a force on defense, but his offensive post moves were lackluster; Seraphin, on the other hand, continued his interior scoring prowess, although at times he let himself get pushed away from the basket by Earl Barron. Also, Jordan Crawford’s shot selection opened the door for critics.