Wizards Coach, President Set New Tone
(Rashard) Lewis said (Wizards president Ernie) Grunfeld and (Wizards coach Randy) Wittman set the tone for a new era during the hour-long meeting before shootaround, as they told the players that they were going to be held more accountable, that minutes weren’t going to given but earned and production — not reputation — would be rewarded. Wittman also told the players that he was upset that he was in the position, reminding them that the came to Washington to help Saunders, not replace him.
For one night the message rang loud and clear. Grunfeld said he dismissed Saunders because the team needed a new voice, but after recording his fourth double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds, Blatche argued that Grunfeld was half-right. “I don’t know, man. I can’t honestly say we needed a new voice. We just needed somebody to actually check us like Wittman did,” Blatche said. “That’s what we needed. He put everybody on front street and tell them about themselves and told them what it’s going to take to win and everybody went out and did exactly what he said.”