Editor's note: Lightly edited, but fronting this one.
I have been a loyal Wizards fan for over 10 years, from afar (Australia). This is by far the lowest point in my fandom and it is entirely due to Ernie Grunfield's incompetence and more importantly this front offices inability to acknowledge reality. I feel terrible for John Wall, I truly hope he bounces back. But let's also not forget he is filthy rich, and his pay cheques (healthy or not) will cripple this franchise for the next four years.
I will say I was optimistic about the season when we accrued this gang of misfit free agents (Rivers, Green, Howard etc.) but it was always with the acknowledgement that the clearly unfocused, overpaid John Wall would show up and elevate. We needed to ensure there was no regression as the East strengthens. Instead we see one of the most tragic starts in the NBA whilst the likes of Sacramento, Brooklyn and the Clippers catapult past us in terms of franchise effectiveness.
Which leads me to the big questions.
At what point, looking ahead at the contracts, projections of talent and the league's future does Ted Leonsis, business mogul(!), acknowledge the crisis? Ted has allowed EG and the gang to amass a hot mess of overpaid assets who haven't improved as a team in three seasons.
Ted give me a job!! Any of us could literally negotiate this mediocrity and I would be willing to do it for a fraction of Ernie's pay packet. I don't even mean the specific deals - but could I enter an interview for the newly open GM position and promise, hand on my heart, 15 years of pure mediocrity?? YES!!!
Side Note: Bradley Beal has been the best player on this team for three seasons!! He is excluded from my slander.
Then we hear strong talks that Wizards should 'BLOW IT UP' as the Ringer's Kevin O'Connor and every ESPN personality would encourage. Instead we see teams like the Trail Blazers and Wizards hold onto hope because they have fringe All-Star talent which everyone knows has no shot at a long playoff run. I have news for you Ernie - BASICALLY EVERY TEAM HAS FRINGE ALL STAR TALENT - ASK BROOKLYN... I mean in what world were either of these teams in 2019 going to the Conference Finals? The window was closed a long time ago, yet they wait patiently for a breeze.
I see what the Knicks have done and whilst it has been appropriately criticised and analysed I am decidedly all in. Finally the front office stares down into the training facility and says (assumedly) "Sometimes nothing is better than something."
As a Knicks fan, accustomed to the warmth of a dumpster fire team I would relish the chance/optimism of a clean slate! Will they get Kevin Durant and a second star? What of the Anthony Davis and Zion Williamson sweepstakes? Sounds fun right! But instead we get to speculate if we re-sign Bobby Portis and Trevor Ariza this offseason.
BURN IT DOWN...
I guess we can leave the physical club house and arena, but let's just call it a day and accept we have a justified two to four years of being terrible. Let's ensure that when John Wall cashes his last cheque we can have one single player who projects as an all NBA guy.
Trade Beal (before he forces it) and amount some picks and young talent. It won't be much, but it's a commitment to trying something new. Oh and yes - FIRE THE FRONT OFFICE AND OFFER JERRY WEST ANYTHING HE WANTS. Let's stop trading our first rounders for rubbish and focus on player development and scouting. I can't attend games, but as a loyal fan I would attend in the name of a rebuild. I would support a franchise that is honest with itself.
Final Thought: We must remember who and what John Wall is to this team. He is a status symbol for this decade, for the standards that we were expected to accept and appreciate. It started fast and exciting and slowed down to an uncomfortable, arrogant halt. Well me personally, as I stare across the league, think we deserve more and they have four years to build it from the ashes.
Go (back to the drawing board) Wizards!!