He’s the one coach that always eats his pregame meal in the media room alongside the very reporters who cover him. At least, it’s what Jerry Sloan used to do before he abruptly resigned from the Utah Jazz last year after 23 seasons.
Sloan is now itching for a return to the NBA sideline, but it doesn’t appear that the Verizon Center is on his list of places to potentially feed his coaching desire and his belly.
In fact, there’s no indication that the Wizards themselves are in the market for a coaching change at all. Instead, while the Charlotte Bobcats try to interview every potential candidate that exists – including Mike Malone, Patrick Ewing, Nate McMillan – and more openings become available, like Orlando, Washington has remained quiet and content since the end of the season.
It’s clear that owner Ted Leonsis and team president Ernie Grunfeld were impressed with Randy Wittman’s handling of the team, going 18-31 after taking over for fired Flip Saunders in January. Washington also has the rest of Wittman’s staff under contract for another season. From the Wizards perspective, they have a coach so there’s no need to search for a coach.
The last time there was this much radio silence, Leonsis re-signed the embattled Grunfeld.
"The way they're acting, one would think they're sticking with Wittman," one league source said.
It doesn’t mean they will. It could be that Indiana assistant Brian Shaw is on their list, and he won’t interview with anyone until the Pacers’ postseason is over. Perhaps they’ve been waiting to see what would happen with Stan Van Gundy.
But it is surprising that there haven’t been more hints of at least a process. The NBA draft lottery is in seven days, and the draft itself is just over a month away. That means that workouts and player evaluations will be a busy part of the next few weeks, the responsibility for which will fall to Wittman, who said when the season ended that he'd assume the job was his until told otherwise.
Here’s a novel thought: If he’s going to stay, the Wizards ought to endorse him and say so.