Veteran swingman Maurice Evans has contributed just 73 minutes and 19 points to the Wizards this season, but it sounds like he’s left a far bigger mark verbally. Evans got lots of attention after calling a players-only meeting in early January and then publicly ripping the team’s “sense of entitlement,” and his message has softened much since then.
Friday, before the Wizards split weekend games with the Heat and Pistons, Evans was on ESPN 980’s Sports Reporters, and he got to talking about that meeting again.
“These guys need to learn how to play the right way,” he said. “ I kind of just kept it real with these guys, I spoke to them about what their future will look like in this league. A lot of these guys won’t make it to 10 years, 11 years, etc, playing the way that we play. A lot of these guys are starters here, are playing significant roles here that wouldn’t be playing elsewhere....
“I think that these guys sometimes take it for granted, just because they’re playing in D.C. and because they get to play. The sense of entitlement that we had on this team was unbelievable and it had to change.”
Evans — who wants to work in a team’s front office after his playing days end — said that the sense of entitlement has changed, and he praised Randy Wittman’s attitude. He also suggested that some of the change will be of a drastic sort.
“As we continue to progress, as Ernie Grunfeld continues to lay out his plan, as Ted Leonsis continues to lay out his plan for the future of this organization, we’re gonna get high draft picks,” Evans said. “Some guys that are here in this locker room won’t be here next year. And as a result, I think that’s the only way they’re gonna learn.”
Evans was also fairly morose about the team’s won-loss record — “Hopefully we get some results soon, so that we don’t lose these guys forever,” he said — and refused even to joke about JaVale McGee running in the wrong direction.
“You know, I think with our team right now, unfortunately we’re unable to have fun at moments like that, because there’s so much tension,” he said. “Guys are working really hard, and it’s just frustrating to not get a result....We don’t have a lot of resolve and we don’t have a lot of carry-over. We’re kind of like that team right now that if things don’t go perfect and we hit a little resistance, then it can all just break down at any given moment.”