The Washington Wizards have lost five in a row and look rudderless. The team that was the league’s darlings early starting 10-3 has gone 13-23 since, falling below .500 and out of even the play-in in the East (they sit 11th in the conference). The seems to be no set rotation. Trade rumors are swirling around the team and Bradley Beal said those are impacting the team on the court.
It’s a team that appears to need locker room leadership.
After the Wizards were blown out by the Grizzlies Saturday, Spencer Dinwiddie was asked about stepping up as a veteran leader and gave an interesting answer, via Chase Hughes at NBC Sports Washington.
Here's video of Dinwiddie's comments. Question from @Tsaltas46 https://t.co/xkCSVaI1FE pic.twitter.com/y2iRJMBsxs
— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) January 30, 2022
“It’s an interesting situation. I spoke up a little bit early on. It wasn’t necessarily welcomed. And so, like I said, I try to do whatever’s asked of me. At the end of the day, everybody has a role to play,” Dinwiddie said. “It’s about being accountable in your role and doing that to the best of your ability. That’s really all I’ve got.”
Wasn’t welcomed by his teammates? Because he was new to the franchise and had just missed a season due to an ACL injury?
This team shouldn’t be leaderless. Beal is a veteran and the best player, he has a role as leader, but other veteran voices should be heard such as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (who has a ring), Montrezl Harrell, and Raul Neto. In the NBA (or on any team in any sport), a coach can demand accountability and set a tone, but ultimately the chemistry and how that works has to come from the locker room itself. There has to be a leader setting the tone. Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett up through guys today such as Draymond Green set that tone, they force accountability among the players. Who is doing that in Washington? Anyone?
Maybe after the trade deadline and an apparent shakeup things feel different in Washington, but it shouldn’t require that to right this ship. The team has more talent than it’s showing.