Wizards not looking around?

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,Craig Stouffer
He's the one coach who always eats his pregame meal in the media room alongside the reporters who cover him. At least, that's what Jerry Sloan used to do before he abruptly resigned from the Utah Jazz last year after 23 seasons.

Sloan is itching for a return to the NBA sideline, but it doesn't appear Verizon Center is on the list of places that could feed his desire to coach again -- or his belly.

In fact, there's no indication that the Wizards are in the market for a coach at all. While the Charlotte Bobcats try to interview every possible candidate -- including Mike Malone, Patrick Ewing and Nate McMillan -- and more openings (such as Orlando) become available, 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 the way Randy Wittman handled the team. He went 18-31 after taking over for 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 one.

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 the Wizards have 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 Wednesday, and the draft itself is a little more than 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 would 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.

- Craig Stouffer

cstouffer@washingtonexaminer.com

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Craig Stouffer

Staff writer - sports
The Washington Examiner