It all starts at the top. Any successful company or corporation is predicated on accountability. An accountability which starts with the CEO and trickles down all the way to the administrative jobs.
The Wizards don't have any accountability, but they do have a systematic failure in the organization from the very top position - in this case it is the owner - to the very bottom which include all the administrative jobs. In a way, the Wizards are very reminiscent of the DC Metro. A lot of finger pointing, but nobody willing to take the blame; in this case, everyone is to blame.
Let's start with, the owner, Mr. Ted Leonsis. When Ted Leonsis bought this Franchise, all of the fans were excited because we all expected a major shake up. We expected Ted Leonsis to clean house and fire everyone (The GM, medical staff, scouting staff, and coaching staff), but instead we were surprised that he would make his decisions at a later time. Evaluate and then fire. That was fine. We entered rebuild mode and we were all hopeful for the future based on Leonsis' success with the Capitals.
Unfortunately, Ernie Grunfeld did enough to keep his job. We enter the rebuild; We draft John Wall, Kevin Seraphin, and Trevor Booker. We braced ourselves for more losing and realized that Gilbert Arenas was not going to be on this team much longer. We endure the losing, Gilbert Arenas is traded away, and we trade for Jordan Crawford.
Next year, we keep the same coaching staff. I’m sure we all had questions about that, but "fight on!" we said. There’s a semblance of a plan emerging. We draft Jan Vesely with the 6th overall pick when we all wanted to draft Kawhi Leonard. At this point we all think, "That’s fine, we can coach him up and he can become a very good asset to this team." There is still a lot for Wizards fans to be hopeful for because we have a lot of cap space available to make power moves, couple that with the shortened season.
Come this offseason, we’re questioning the Vesely pick once we’ve seen the way Kawhi Leonard plays. We've fired Saunders and have hired Wittman; we know full well what Wittman’s history of losing brings, but at the end of the year we saw a spark in this team which we hadn't seen before.
During the offseason, we’ve questioned Ernie Grunfeld’s abilities as a GM and instead of hiring a new GM, we stick with the same guy. We’re set up to have a monstrous amount of cap space to possibly make a franchise defining trade in the offseason GIVEN we eat Rashard Lewis' contract. Rumors fly of the 3rd pick and Singleton for James Harden. The trade doesn’t happen — instead we trade for Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza -- which New Orleans had been rumored to be offering the 10th pick so that another team can eat the 43 million over two years. This is it. This is where we lock ourselves up in Cap Space, so we make numerous cost-effective moves. Wall and Nene are hurt, something really beyond our control.
So here is what these moves ACTUALLY ARE in hindsight:
Ted comes in. He inherits this Franchise’s liabilities. It’s much cheaper to retain all of the staff and then fire them if they fail. However, Flip Saunders’ contract is very expensive. He refuses to fire him, until we lose so hard his hand is forced. Ernie Grunfeld and most of the staff are still retained because it’s cost-effective. Again, another move that is cheap. Prior to amnestying Blatche, he was shopped by EG vigorously because Ted didn’t want to eat that contract. At this point, he gets amnestied. Because Ted doesn’t want to eat Rashard’s contract he tries to recoup SOME value for him by trading him away. The key here is that way, he won’t be wasting that money. Thus, we trade Rashard for Ariza and Okafor. $43 Million which erase the cap space we had and leave little breathing room. However, multiple sources also state that the Harden deal may have not gotten done due to economic reasons. It may not have been the reason, but it had an enormous role IMO. The difference between the Clippers once being losers and the Clippers now being winners. Not having any fear to make these moves.
These Nene comments have just corroborated what the likes of bloggers, beatwriters, etc. have been saying all along; The Wizards organization is broken and there is a systematic failure from the GM that trickles down to the players. The players have been assembled and babied by the Front Office and have been rewarded for doing nothing. The players come in every year into training camp out of shape, they dick around even when we're in the worst of losing streaks, and the GM does nothing about it. The GM fails to hold himself accountable for the failure of this franchise. There's no coincidence that players get hurt every year, it's because often time they're out of shape coming into the season and on top of that we have an inept medical staff which was hired by none other than Ernie Grunfelf himself. Whenever we endure streaks of losing Ernie finds someone to point his finger at whether it be a coach, a player, etc. Well these latest comments by Nene have corroborated that this organization is a mess. Ted Leonsis is a short-sighted, cheapskate owner who doesn't care about anything except maximizing the sale of tickets. Ernie Grunfeld and most of the staff in this organization are serial finger-pointers who have been assembled by the biggest searcher of scapegoats himself, Ernie Grunfeld. We have a lame-duck coach and an awful medical staff. On this Christmas day, there is no hope for us Wizards fans. And I don't expect Ernie Grunfeld to be fired any time soon because it's not "cost-effective."
All in all, Ted Leonsis needs to man up, Fire Ernie, and clean house (fire the scouting, medical, and coaching staff). If not, this franchise will continue to be riddled with scapegoating and lack accountability.