Blog Entry

Tempers flared in Saunders' last game

Posted on: January 24, 2012 12:45 pm
In the least surprising news of the lockout-shortened season, the Wizards have fired coach Flip Saunders and replaced him with lead assistant Randy Wittman, multiple sources confirmed to Tuesday.

Wittman will take over on an interim basis, paving the way for the Wizards to limp their way with some semblance of dignity to as high a lottery pick as possible. After that, sources say, widespread changes are expected.

"They need to clean house," one league front office source said.

Washington started the season 2-15, and hit rock bottom Monday night with a 103-83 loss in Philadelphia. Tempers flared during the first half of that game, as players were "upset about being subbed out" when the Wizards were down by as many as 30 points, a person with knowledge of the situation told

"At that point," the person said, "no one had the right to complain about anything."

Players were informed after the loss in Philadelphia that a coaching change was coming, a source said. But the writing had been on the wall since at least the eighth game of the season, Washington's eighth consecutive loss to start the season. After the 93-72 loss to Minnesota, Andray Blatche stated that the players had begun to tune Saunders out.

"Flip is definitely doing his job," Blatche said that night. "I just don't feel like guys are listening and following behind what he says and what he wants us to do."

The Wizards won their first game two nights later against Toronto, but things only got worse from there as they lost seven of their next eight. The lone victory came against the West's top team, Oklahoma City, but the string also included a putrid 64-point effort in a loss to the Bulls without Derrick Rose.


Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 2:41 pm

Tempers flared in Saunders' last game

Well, they might suck but at least they are no longer armed. We hope.

Since: May 16, 2009
Posted on: January 25, 2012 12:47 pm

Tempers flared in Saunders' last game

John Wall is talented, but I don't think he is a leader.  Blatche is definitely a poison in my mind, but Wall as the point guard and franchise guy needs to show a little grit and compassion, that is the only way he is going to get the other players on board.

Since: Mar 22, 2008
Posted on: January 25, 2012 11:55 am

Tempers flared in Saunders' last game

Washington fans, you have my heart felt sympathy. In Philly we went so many years with a poor team that was going nowhere. This year, they are one of the best in the league. No I am not trying to rub your nose in it either. I hope your ownership realizes what happened in Philly. It wasn't a free agent signing or cleaning house. It was finally getting a quality coach who could make his players buy into a certain style of play. I don't think anyone thinks Philly has anything better than a middle of the pack team. But they are playing their hearts out. I'd keep Wall but blow the rest of the team up. Chicago did that years ago, get rid of anyone that will bring a draft pick in return. Good luck!

Since: Feb 24, 2009
Posted on: January 25, 2012 11:18 am

Tempers flared in Saunders' last game

Wow, the "Glory Years" of Wizards/Bullets basketball. After living in DC for nearly 30 years, I've witness them go from champs to chumps to "we are reaching up to touch bottom". One thing that puzzled me was why they kept Wes Unseld in the front office so long (still think he's there somewhere). Seems that Abe Polin had a strange loyalty to Wes. Wes was trying to play a 1977 game in the 80s, 90s and 2000s. The list is long of descent players who came to the team only to fade away to oblivion like a Jeff Malone jumper. Moses Malone, Bernard King, Gilbert Arenas to name a few. Then their draft picks...remember John Williams from LSU (a Magic-like-do-all 6'8" player), he blimped up so bad he cracked the ice under the court. Kwame Brown is living proof that height ALONE can earn you an income in the league.  Two of the Fab Five could do nothing in DC (Howard and Webber).C Webb and Rasheed Wallace decide to bloom after they leave team. I do agree, Ted needs to sell the team to someone who really gives a rip about basketball. He's fortunate enough to be in a city that has a strong basketball history (high school and college) so he's not at risk of losing alot of fan base. In DC, for a long time now, fans come to see the visiting team. So I'm in the camp that says a house cleaning needs to happen from ownership down. If that doesn't happen, it will be same crap with different faces.

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 10:42 am

Tempers flared in Saunders' last game

Nothing proud about this franchise since they moved out of Baltimore.

Like everyone else who goes to Washington, they've failed to fulfill any of their promises yet continue to collect a paycheck....

Since: Jan 24, 2009
Posted on: January 25, 2012 9:35 am

Tempers flared in Saunders' last game

This is a shame for a once proud franchise that boasted talent like Elvin Hayes,Wes Unseld Kevin Porter and Phil Chenier. They need to b\put a coach and gm in place that will work in tandem and ownership has to be willing to tryh and spend money on a big player or two to go around young stud John Wall.The Rashard Lewis's oh yeah al 21 mil of a bad contract and that type won't work.This draft coming up if they win the lottery would be a start as there will be some prime time talent coming out.As bad as the record may be they do have some talent to build around.

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: January 25, 2012 8:46 am

Tempers flared in Saunders' last game

Go back to the Buzzards glory years with Manute Bol and Mugys

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 8:10 am

Tempers flared in Saunders' last game

Ohhhhhh.......Elvin Hayes, Wes Unseld, Kevin Grevey, Phil Chenier, Mitch we long for days of yore. 

Since: Sep 7, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2012 8:10 am

Tempers flared in Saunders' last game

The more surprising news would be when Blanche actually tunes somebody in.... Just a knucklehead with a little bit of talent.

Since: Oct 26, 2010
Posted on: January 25, 2012 5:34 am

Keep Paying

Keep coming to the games chumps!  Keep paying obscene prices for tickets, food, beer, parking!!  The owners are making millions if the team is good or not since all these chumps keep buying their stuff.  Nice!!

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