- Unemployment, job creation top biggest problems in America: poll
- Twitter crashes for second time in nine days
- Charles Manson associate Bruce Davis granted parole
- Israeli warplanes pound 29 Palestinian sites in Gaza: ‘Direct hits’ confirmed
- Eric Holder to give thumbs-up to drop jail time for drug offenders
- N.J. Gov. Chris Christie faces fire for Superstorm Sandy dollars: ‘Where’s the governor?’
- Pope Francis shakes Vatican Bank with ‘earthquake’ reforms
- White House: Obamacare didn’t matter in Florida special election
- Last laugh: Marine vet fires off jokes from the grave with own obituary
- Gas blast destroys 2 N.Y. buildings; 6 people dead
Wizards’ Maurice Evans calls players-only meeting
Maurice Evans had seen enough. Evans hasn’t played a game yet for the Wizards this season, due to a sore right knee. But perhaps being able to see every game from the bench gave Evans the perfect vantage point to what was happening on the court. After watching the team get of to a franchise-worst 0-6 start, Evans felt it was time to try and stop the bleeding.
“It was just enough of dancing around the issues, enough of going through the motions,” he said. “It’s just time for us to make a change. We’re going to hold each other accountable, and you’re going to see a different team out there [against the Knicks on Friday].
“It’s one thing to go through a rough stretch, it’s another thing to truly lack an identity,” Evans said. “Everyone has to earn playing time here. We have to be real with ourselves. The sense of entitlement here, I’ve never seen before, and we have to come to these guys and [say] ‘start earning things’. Earn your way into the rotation, earn your way onto the floor. You earn your minutes by being productive.”
Evans believes it’s time to take the focus and the speculation away from the coaching staff and management and put it back where it belongs — on the players.
“We have to look internally as well and find out, who are our leaders? Who are we trying to go to when we need a bucket? Is it Dray [Andray Blatche], is it Nick [Young], is it John [Wall], Jordan [Crawford]? So those are the questions I posed to them and things that we have to know going forward if we’re going to win games, and more importantly, if we’re ever going to compete for anything real.”
Evans, who signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2001 as an undrafted free agent, has played for seven NBA franchises during his 10-year career. The 33-year-old swingman has been on playoff teams his entire career until being traded to the Wizards last season, and he understands how winning franchises operate.
“You can tell just in our actions the guys are competing, and they want to get better, and they want to win, as you can see when we were up by 21 against New Jersey, or when we fight down from 20 to get back in a ball game,” Evans said.
“But one thing goes wrong and we’re so fragile because we’re not on the same page. A lot of people look to me for leadership, but I’m not in the rotation right now. We need leaders that going to be on the floor, that are going to be making decisions.
“When it’s those five guys that are out there for the last few possessions of the game, we need someone to step up and take control, not only vocally, but to lead those guys and give them some confidence.”
Evans said that matchups need to dictate the play calls, not random circumstances, which is one of the things a young team has to learn.
“We’re just battling ourselves, and it’s so frustrating to watch,” Evans said. “There’s so much potential and talent here. We’re trying to establish core values and get back to the basics here.”
Blatche was listening.
“We all pretty much talked it out and basically gave each other roles,” Blatche said. “We’re just trying to hold ourselves accountable. Mo [Evans] brought together to say that the reason [for the 0-6 start] is us. We have nobody to blame but ourselves. We all had a good talk, we all said our peace, and hopefully, all the guys took it in.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Carla Peay keeps you up to date on the Washington Wizards and the NBA.
- John Wall’s practice session includes contact
- Chris Singleton falls out of Wizards' rotation
- Wizards can't sustain solid start, fall to Mavericks
- Kevin Seraphin gets some tough love from his 'big brothers'
- Wizards' Randy Wittman desires healthier team in 2013
Latest Blog Entries
By Emily Miller
Obama is losing the debate on gun ownership, concealed-carry permits
- Oil rig worker says he saw missing plane go down: report
- GOP bill tries to pull courts into fight with Obama on executive power, enforcing laws
- Ukrainian PM accuses Putin of wanting war
- Inside the Beltway: A new interest in Rahm Emanuel for 2016?
- MILLER: Law enforcement realizes good people with guns deter crime
- New Benghazi investigation published on the 18-month anniversary of the attack
- NRA shirt gets N.Y. high school student suspended
- Military families would take a $5,000 hit in benefits with Obama budget
- Special ops forces wearing thin from high demand
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again