6:48pm: Wall was fined for cursing at Brooks during the heated practice, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. Wall was upset when Brooks implored the team to turn up the intensity during the practice. Wall apologized to Brooks and the teammates the following day, Wojnarowski adds.
5:40pm: Things are getting very testy around the underperforming Wizards. They had a heated practice recently in which numerous players engaged in verbal spats, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. Exasperated shooting guard Bradley Beal told team officials after that practice “I’ve been dealing with this for seven years,” Charania continues (Twitter links).
Tensions tend to run high when things aren’t going well, so these types of exchanges aren’t unusual, Charania notes. Washington, considered the favorite to win the watered-down Southeast Division title, is slogging along with a 5-11 record amid speculation about potential blockbuster trades and coach Scott Brooks‘ job status.
The players are fed up, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington confirms in a tweet, and Brooks curiously said Monday the team just had one of its best practices this year. It was unclear whether Brooks was referring to today’s practice or the one involving the verbal exchanges.
Short fuses and frustration have been apparent since the first two weeks of the season. Beal and Wall called out teammates late last month for their lack of effort and focus.
Changes could be on the horizon. An ESPN report today claimed that the Wizards’ front office is giving rival executives the impression that they’re willing to break up the All-Star backcourt of Beal and John Wall, though the team’s brass would prefer to swap Otto Porter Jr. or Kelly Oubre.
However, the Washington Post’s Candace Buckner reports that the franchise doesn’t plan to move on from its franchise cornerstones and that there has been little traction in trade discussions involving Porter.
Beal doubts that he or Wall will be wearing a different uniform in the near future, as he told Buckner.
“I’ve heard those rumors weeks ago,” he said. “Then, I didn’t buy into them. Now, I’m still not going to buy into them because if that’s my main priority and focus, then I’m going to be messed up on the floor.”