After the Wizards lost to the Kings last week, torpedoing Washington’s already-slim playoff chances, Bradley Beal had harsh words.
“We didn’t have any sense of urgency. To me it felt like we just gave up,” Beal said after a 120-111 loss in Sacramento, the Wizards’ fourth defeat in five games in which they allowed 56% shooting to a 29-win team. “We’re just not hungry enough.
“I guess we kind of figure we’re already in the playoffs for some reason. It’s either that or we just want to get to the offseason. As far as why I have no idea. If guys don’t want to play they need to sit down.”
“We bark too much. We say what we need to do. We scream at one another. We can even try to blame Witt if we want to but at the end of the day we still the ones playing,” said Beal, who has had heated exchanges with Nene on the bench. “We still beat ourselves. We do dumb stuff on the floor like just not having a man in transition or not knowing where a guy is at half court or not knowing personnel. We just do dumb mental lapses that just mess up the game and end up hurting us in the long run. Everybody is a grown ass man, you either want to play or you don’t.”
Marcin Gortat, in a since-deleted tweet, responded to a Twitter poll about Beal’s comments:
“I do not regret what I said at all,” Beal said. “I meant what I said and I said what I meant. I’m not going back on it.”
Beal said nobody approached him about his candid stance.
That saga provides insight into Washington’s underwhelming season. If the Wizards don’t look excited to play together during games, this is another sign they’re not.
Beal’s remarks provide an implicit defense of Randy Wittman, who has clashed with Gortat. That’s probably the source of their disconnect. Beal is blaming the players for not playing hard enough, which somewhat absolves Wittman. Gortat has been the team’s most outspoken questioner of the coach.
Interestingly, Wittman has also publicly criticized Beal this season. Apparently, the players took Wittman’s messages differently.
The bigger question: Do the Wizards also need to move players to fix chemistry?