The Wizards believe they landed their ideal coach in Scott Brooks, whose success at the NBA level and track record of working with young players appealed to the franchise, relays J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic.com. “We felt like he was the perfect coach for our situation,” team president Ernie Grunfeld said. “His record speaks for itself. He’s been where we want to be, where we want to go to. The other thing we love about him is he developed young players.”
Brooks noted his respect for the team’s roster and stressed the need to establish a new culture, Michael adds. “I’ve been competing against this team for a lot of years,” Brooks said. “This day and age with NBA teams, you need two-way players to compete night in and night out. I have very simple rules and I always establish from the very start, ‘Your job is to play hard every night. The second job you have to do is play hard for your teammates. That’s who you’re playing for every night. You have to establish those goals early on. I believe the character of the group will embrace that.”
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- Team owner Ted Leonsis is glad Brooks has a positive view of Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre, notes Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post, adding that the organization wasn’t pleased with the lack of playing time Porter received his first two seasons and the low minutes Oubre saw this year. Porter “didn’t take that next step” this season, Leonsis said, believing that Brooks will give him a chance to remedy that, tweets J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic.
- The Wizards were compelled to move quickly to hire Brooks because of the amount of teams that were expected to be in the market for new coaches, Michael writes in a separate piece. Brooks had already been contacted by members of ownership from the Rockets and Timberwolves prior to Washington locking him up on a five-year deal, Michael adds.
- Leonsis indicated that Grunfeld’s job was never in jeopardy this season, though matters would have changed had the executive deviated from the team’s plan, Castillo relays in a series of tweets. The plan the owner referred to was one geared toward gaining as much cap flexibility as possible for this summer, Castillo notes. Leonsis did add that he expected the team to be able to make the playoffs while executing this strategy and that missing out on the postseason was a disappointment, the scribe relays.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.