Here’s a little-mentioned fact about Randy Wittman: he is among the most quotable big-time coaches in the D.C. market. Mike Shanahan has a sense of humor, but usually hides it. Dale Hunter was about as juicy as astronaut food. John Thompson III and Mark Turgeon do not make headlines. Randy Edsall is too besieged to crack wise.
That essentially leaves Wittman, Davey Johnson and Ben Olsen. I would say Davey has the best stories, and Olsen has the best quips, but Wittman wins the prize for the best cigarette jokes, and the best self-deprecation.
And thus, this is what he said Tuesday on the LaVar and Dukes show, shortly after he was named the permanent coach of the Wiz.
“Gentlemen, thank you for having me. I don’t know how I got this job; last time I was on your show we went into New York City and got beat by 45.”
Not a bad line. Then LaVar told him to forget about that [behind] whipping.
“It was one, too,” Wittman said. “Whoooo!”
And before long, LaVar was asking the new coach about fans who wanted a bigger name, or “a coach that has more of a winning record as a head coach.”
“Oh, it doesn’t bother me,” Wittman said. “Those questions are asked no matter what job it is. Whether it’s here in D.C. or not, those questions are always gonna be posed. If you’ve got self confidence in yourself and believe in who you are and the standards that you have, and you go out and work every day to try to implement those things, you can’t listen to what people say.
“Especially in the world today, with Twitter and Facebook, you’d go crazy if I sat at home and listened to some of these knuckleheads out here that get on the blogs and try to do your job. So that’s gonna happen, and it doesn’t bother me. And those questions SHOULD be asked. I mean, those are legitimate questions when you’ve got a business that we’re in.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s basketball; it happens in football, it happens in all professional sports. There’s always a question, and somebody always has a question — is it the right thing? — and you never know.
“We’re gonna find out though. We’re gonna find out if it’s the right situation. I believe it is. I’m confident that we can continue this thing in the direction that I saw it turn when we made the trade and when our young guys started coming into their own, and I saw the belief in their eyes.”
Which is all a fine answer, but to me, it definitely confirms that Randy Wittman reads the knuckleheads who get on the blogs and try to do his job. THAT MEANS YOU! Congrats.
Two more things:
1) LaVar tried to advocate for the Wizards drafting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
“Hey, I’m gonna tell you what, you can name them all,” Wittman said. “I’m being serious. You pick any one of the ones that you’ve been hearing since the lottery last week, and they’re gonna make this team better.”
2) LaVar tried to ask about New Orleans winning the lottery.
“Now listen guys, I just got this job today,” Wittman said. “I don’t want any kind of heavy fine coming down on me, and I don’t want to be fired tomorrow. I’m gonna say you know what? It’s a lottery, just like if you’re gonna stop at the grocery store on the way home and throw down some money. It’s all fair, isn’t it?”