“You know, it’s like any bad habit we have,” he said then. “If you’re a smoker, you ain’t gonna drop those cigarettes the first day, all right? I’ve got to help them kick some of these bad habits that we’re into. That’s all it is. We’ve fallen into playing a way that is not conducive for us to win. So when I see them pull out a cigarette, I’ve got to take it out of their mouth. That’s basically what I’m trying to do.”
And for a while, it seemed to be working. Players seemed to be sharing the ball more, seemed to be more accountable, seemed to be putting forth greater effort and responding to coaching and not huddling in small groups outside the Verizon Center employee exit, taking quick drags while making plans to sneak cans of Natty Bo into the prom.
Friday was a bad day, though, with a blowout loss in Toronto, as the Raptors set a franchise record with 61 rebounds. See image above.
So on Saturday, Wittman brought back the metaphor.
“Last night was last night,” Wittman said before facing the Clippers, via the Washington Examiner’s Craig Stouffer. “It’s not who we’ve been the five previous games. I told our guys, in your personal life, think of the worst habit you have. We didn’t do it for two weeks, and then all of a sudden we fell off the wagon, put that cigarette in our mouth and took a puff of it. We were back on the cigarettes, and I told them I’m pulling that cigarette out tonight. We gotta get back to fighting our old demons and habits.”
Anyhow, then the Wizards went out and binged on tobacco for two straight hours, detonating a huge nicotine cloud inside Verizon Center and leaving a giant pile of butts and ashes underneath their bench. Metaphorically speaking. They lost real bad to the Clippers. Real, real bad.
Which is why Wittman looked like this during that game. This image came shortly after the Wizards botched a 3-on-1 break and followed that up with a Nick Young airball. Which is the equivalent of chain-smoking Pall Malls during a rain storm in a gas station parking lot.
Actually, Kyle Weidie put it best:
Forget smoking cigarettes, Wizards have awoken from all-night bender drinking can of PBR full of butts that was sitting next 2 bed.
But they could always get back on the wagon Monday night.