“I wasn’t,” Wittman said with a laugh before the Wizards’ morning shootaround on Friday in Houston. “I wore a hat. That’s about it.”
The Bullets drafted Wittman with the 22nd pick in 1983, after Wittman averaged 19 points in his senior season at Indiana and finished as co-Big 10 player of the year. But Wittman never suited up for the franchise as the Bullets quickly dealt him to the Atlanta Hawks for veteran forward and former Maryland star Tom McMillen and a 1984 second-round pick that turned out to be Tony Costner.
Wittman joked that he was with the Bullets for “10 minutes, maybe…Back in those days, I was in New York, they still brought first-round picks in and stuff. I caught a flight after the draft, but by the time I had landed back in Indiana, I was traded.”
But now that he has assumed the position as the 23rd coach in franchise history, Wittman doesn’t necessarily believe this is a homecoming but thought his new role could possibly be everything coming full circle. “Absolutely, I did,” he said. “When I took the job here, you reminisce about things like that and think, maybe fate had a little part in that.”
Wittman played his first five season with the Hawks and retired after nine seasons with Atlanta, Sacramento and Indiana. He averaged 7.4 and shot 50.1 percent from the field in 543 games. McMillen played the final three seasons of his 11-year cNBA career with the Bullets, averaging 8.1 points and 2.8 rebounds in 187 games in Washington. Costner never played in the NBA.
“At the time of being picked, you always have a fluctuation of three or four teams that talk. So it wasn’t a surprise that I got drafted by them,” Wittman said of the Bullets. “The surprise was that I landed and finding out I was traded already. There wasn’t much time spent on thinking about the Bullets.”