Teams typically don’t go from a three-game win streak to a potential fire sale in less than a week without a dramatic blowup, and now details are finally starting to emerge about what may have set the team into freefall.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Shams Charania of The Athletic, and Candace Buckner of the Washington Post are all reporting there was a heated practice in which both of the Wizards’ star guards made some heated comments.
Let’s start with Beal. He reportedly got into a tiff with Austin Rivers over a foul call during practice on Thursday and during it all, he reportedly said “I’ve been dealing with this s— for 7 years — it starts top-down.” Beal and Rivers reportedly hashed things out afterwards, but it might be harder to patch things up with Ernie Grunfeld and co. now that his criticism is out in the open.
Then there’s Wall. He was reportedly fined by the team after getting into it with Jeff Green (who said in his first press conference “I don’t hold my tongue for nobody”) and Scott Brooks:
After teammate Jeff Green and Brooks pushed Wall and Wizards teammates to raise the level of intensity in a practice last week, Wall fired back with “f--- you,” toward Brooks, league sources said.
Wall did apologize to Brooks shortly afterward, and to his teammates the following day, league sources said.
Oh, and on top of all of this, Kelly Oubre also reportedly went on an expletive-ridden tirade against Brooks during a game, and Dwight Howard missed Monday’s practice with aggravated gluteal soreness.
The details that have come out in all of today’s reports are certainly interesting, but none of them are really all that surprising. It’s been clear for some time that things have gotten stagnant in Washington and it was going to require a dramatic sequence of events to get the team out of neutral.
As Mike Sykes wrote earlier, everything that’s come out today is the culmination of years of mismanagement finally bursting out the seams at once. Poor roster decisions and a lack of culture development has put Washington in a corner where it’s hard to see a way out other than a total teardown.