Jan 24, 2012

Time to Go

Flip is out! That's right, the Washington Wizards have fired head coach Flip Saunders. Say it with us: about damn time.

Flip came to the Wizards three summers ago, on the heels of a 19-63 campaign that saw long-time coach Eddie Jordan axed after a 1-10 start. Going in to his first year, Flip was supposed to be an offensive genius who knew just which buttons to push to get a veteran group over the top. At the start of the '09-'10 season many (ok, maybe just some) considered the Wiz a dark horse contender, and Flip's arrival was  a part of that. We all know what happened next. The group never gelled and one day Gilbert showed up with some guns and shortly thereafter the Wiz blew it up, packing off Caron and Antawn and Deshawn and Brendan and eventually even Gilbert, in exchange for little more than shipping and handling.

Since then Flip has had to make to do with mostly spare parts. And, given a difficult situation, he has done a horrible, horrible job. It's not just the awful record (26-56 in Year One, 23-59 in Year Two, 2-15 to start Year 3). It's not just the painful struggles on the offensive side of the ball under an offensive coach (25th in Year 1, 28th in Year 2, dead last and chasing history in Year 3). It's not even the depressing downward trends. It's the way this team, largely the same group of guys for nearly two seasons, still plays like they just met this morning at the gym.

Coaching is teaching. And watching the Wizards, there's one word that comes to mind over and over: dumb. Constantly blowing rotations. Running into each other on pick and rolls. Dribbling out the shot clock and forcing up shots. Goaltending freethrows. Goaltending everything.

Flip had over two years to change that. Nick and Andray and JaVale, the Zards who make everyone mad, the guys Jason Reid singled out as the problem, the ones Flip's defenders will blame for getting him fired, they've been here the whole time. Flip had two years to teach these young players something, anything, and he failed. For that he deserved to be fired.

Now the Randy Wittman Era begins, and it probably won't be fun. Wittman's lifetime record as a head coach is 100-207. That's a .326 winning percentage, the fourth worst of any coach with at least 300 games (h/t : Tom Ziller). Here at ZardsALards! we think Sam Cassell would have been a far more inspired choice (seriously though). But hopefully Wittman does some teaching and plays whoever listens. In the offseason the Wiz will have another high draft pick and we can go after another coach. We know who we'd like to see:

What do you think?


  1. i liked randy wittman as an assistant, didnt know about his head coaching record though. Sam cassell would be good but isnt he already beefing with half the team

  2. How much money would Teddy have to put up to court John Thompson Jr.? Big JT not current Gtown coach JT3. The Wizards pretty much have a college squad averaging 21.1 years of age if we let go of Blatche, Evans,Lewis and Mason. You saw what happened when the Marine came and said some words, why not have someone that warrants that type of repect year round for these Wiz Kids?

    1. It looks like D'Antoni is going to get the ax (no fault of his own). Why not him? His run n' gun system would probably work well for John Wall (although we would definitely need better three point shooters).