The Washington Wizards have no intention of giving up on the current season despite being several games under .500 and without John Wall for the remainder of the season.
“We set out goals, and you got to meet the goals,” Ted Leonsis said. “And the first goal is to make it into the playoffs and to do better than we did last year, and to me that will make for a successful year. … What I’m encouraged by is that guys aren’t feeling sorry for themselves. In fact, they looked at it now as an opportunity. They’re getting more minutes, and everyone wants to make the best of their time, but to meet the goal of making the playoffs, not for individual stats and accolades. This is a team, collective goal.”
Leonsis referenced the way the Philadelphia 76ers tanked several seasons to build their current team and that it is not a path the Wizards will take.
“We just played Philadelphia, and they have shoes that say ‘Trust the Process,’ ” Leonsis said. “And they were really, really bad for seven years. And I looked when we beat them at home, they had two guys that they picked in the first round in the lineup. So, you know, that process is pretty risky in and of itself. I don’t think you can tell players, coaches, staff: ‘Don’t make the playoffs and tank!’ We will never, ever tank.
“We had a strategic plan when I first bought the team to trade our all-star players and get under the cap and get high draft picks, and we did that. We were able to keep those high draft picks with second and sometimes third contracts. So that’s been our process. But I don’t want to do that process anymore. And I don’t think you can tell a coach, I don’t think you can tell a staff, ‘Don’t try to win.’ I will never do that. So if this team makes the playoffs on its own, that’s fantastic.”