The NBA announced Monday afternoon that Washington Wizards head coach Randy Wittman has been fined $20,000 for "using profane language" during his post-game press conference after Friday night's 109-102 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
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The profanity in question can be heard in the video clip below, as captured by Truth About It's Kyle Weidie. The clip includes some not-suitable-for-work language, which is the kind of thing that might seem obvious given the very nature of this post, but is also the kind of thing that I have to write in the interest of clarity, because reasons. So, y'know, if you don't want to hear a person curse, don't click play.
Wittman comments came after his team allowed the surprising Sixers to shoot 51.1 percent from the floor, with six Philly players finishing in double figures led by Thaddeus Young's 29 points on 14 for 20 shooting. Brett Brown's team managed 74 points in the paint, which irked Wittman, according to Bullets Forever:
"Well, you tell me what you thought the problem was. You watched the game. Commitment to f****** playing defense. It's what it is," he said. "It's what it boils down to, all right? It's a thing our guys haven't learned and I've got to figure out a way."
He would go on to elaborate:
"You see it coming out of the locker room. You've got to respect the game and your opponent. We came out in the first half and got after it. We created turnovers, held them to 40 percent shooting, and then in the second half, there was absolutely none," he said.
"And I've got to figure it out," he said later. "That's obviously the first question. I've got to figure out how to get these guys to play the right way for 48 minutes, that's what it boils down to."
It's perhaps worth noting that the Wizards have posted the league's third worst defensive efficiency through the season's first week, are the only NBA team giving up an opponent's field goal percentage higher than 50 percent (51.2, to be exact) and have allowed the opposition to shoot 79.6 percent inside the restricted area so far en route to an 0-3 record. Given that, I'm inclined to agree with D.C. writer Kevin Broom here:
League office needs to watch #Wizards play before fining Wittman. Coach deserves a prize for swearing only once.
— Kevin Broom (@Broom_Kevin) November 4, 2013
But, alas, I'm not the one determining NBA crime and punishment.
The Wizards' defensive drop-off was eminently predictable after losing starting center Emeka Okafor, who was key to Washington's rise to top-five-defense status last year, to a preseason neck injury; eventual trade target Marcin Gortat offers an offensive improvement over the likes of reserves Kevin Seraphin and Jan Vesely, but is no great shakes as a defender, leaving Wittman in the unenviable position of having to rejigger a defense that had been expected to carry this Wizards team while also integrating a brand new piece to an offense that has sputtered to start the season.
It's perhaps unsurprising, then, that Wittman's widely considered among the most likely candidates for "first coach fired" this NBA season. Should the axe fall, I bet Wittman's got some choice verbiage primed and ready.
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