From top down – all the way from owner Ted Leonsis to John Wall’s shoes – the Wizards were focused on making the playoffs this season.
It wasn’t just a goal. It was an organizational mandate. Jobs were on the line.
A job at least.
Coach Randy Wittman and general manager Ernie Grunfeld were believed to be in the final year of their contracts, a postseason berth likely to swing whether they would stay or go. But, without announcement, the Wizards apparently gave Grunfeld an extension on the contract that was set to expire this summer.
Mike Wise of The Washington Post on Grunfeld:
Oh, and who knew he had another year left on his deal after this season that no one knew about until now (That’s right, a little news for you.)
By getting the Wizards to the playoff, Grunfeld probably earned more time on the job. By assembling a team that reached the second round – and maybe even the conference finals – he probably deserved it.
But this is not how to build trust with fans.
Grunfeld, who has made plenty of blunders since taking over in 2003, had lost Wizards fans. He got some back with the team’s success this season, but plenty of fans remain ready to move on. Little did they know, that’s not even an option.
And where is Wittman’s trust level? Did he know about the extension, or was he under the presumption – like the rest of us – he and Grunfeld were facing this make-or-break year together?
There’s nothing inherently wrong with extending Grunfeld, but if the Wizards were so proud of their general manager that they wanted to keep him, they should have announced it.
It almost fits the song: “All I wants for Christmas is healthy knees, healthy knees, healthy knees.”
Chandler Parsons took to Twitter to answer questions from fans, and there were a few good answers in there but my favorite was this one:
Parsons has played in just six games for the Grizzlies this season, missing the start of the season to recover from off-season knee surgery, then now he has missed the last eight games with a knee bone bruise. The banged up Grizzlies could really use his shot creation back in the lineup.
As for other good questions/answers there was this combo, with a little help from ESPN’s Zach Lowe:
And then there’s this for the haters.
Who doesn’t love a good dunk compilation?
Well, somebody probably just said “bah, humbug” but is that the person you really want to hang out with?
The fine folks at NBA.com put together the Top 10 dunks of October and November, and when Rudy Gobert dunking over Kristaps Porzingis is all the way down at 10, you know it’s a good list. Put off starting your Christmas shopping, at least for another 2:44, and watch the video.
Want to watch Chance the Rapper throw dodgeballs at mascots? Of course you do. How is that even a question?
Above you can see just that from Chicago Friday night (where Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler and the Bulls knocked off the Cavaliers). Benny the Bull is on his side as well, while the Cubs’ mascot and others try and stay out of the way.
I’ll take this over another kids’ dribbling contest any day.
That’s about the most Spurs play ever.
During the third quarter of San Antonio’s win over Washington Friday night, LaMarcus Aldridge saved the ball from going out-of-bounds on the baseline, he threw it out high to Manu Ginobili, who had to leap and save it from going into the backcourt. Two hustle plays. From there the Spurs whipped the ball around the perimeter, and it ended up back to Aldridge on the baseline, where he nailed the 12-foot jumper.
Eventually, the Spurs would get a Kawhi Leonard jumper to give them the victory.