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Kelly Dwyer

Flip Saunders cancels, walks out of Wizards practice

Kelly Dwyer
Ball Don't Lie

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After a tumultuous first season in Washington and a 1-4 start to 2010-11, it seems as if Flip Saunders has had just about enough of his Washington Wizards.

Is he going to quit the team, and hand back all the guaranteed money that's owed him? Of course not. But was he going to stick around for yet another desultory Wiz practice? Hell to the naw.

Bullets Forever's Sean Fagan has the first hand report:

Five minutes after the media was let onto the main court for practice, Flip Saunders walked off the court and canceled practice due to the lack of effort and the barking that was taking place over disputed calls. A second practice was rescheduled for 4PM with no media availability.

Fagan goes on to describe a confusing scene that had Andray Blatche(notes), of all people, exhorting his teammates to get it together:

"Patience is running out. People are getting frustrated. I got no problem with it. Two a day. Training camp in November. It's cool by me. We need it. We losing, so that's what happens when you're losing. You gotta put extra time in."

As to why Flip was upset with his players? Blatche has an idea:

"I think it was not as much as guys not giving there all as much as it was guys complaining. A lot of guys were complaining about the calls, so it turned the game into a whole bunch of talking instead of playing."

This is telling. Because, as it is during NBA or even pickup games, practices are hard to referee. So it's not the strangest thing for players, typically referee'd by coaches during practice, to be upset with the way things are going, same as they are during games. A few missed or needlessly made calls compiled with a 1-4 start and a case of the Mondays? And you have a ticked-off team. Which would lead Flip to be ticked off, and then leave the court.

Fagan came through with a great batch of quotes from the end of that aborted practice, including insight on whether or not a supposed rift between Gilbert Arenas(notes) and John Wall(notes) is brewing (pro hint: there's nothing there, move along).

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