- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Randy Wittman and the Washington Wizards are close to a contract extension that would keep the coach in D.C. another three seasons, according to a report.

Yahoo Sports cited league sources for the news Tuesday afternoon, hours after Wizards owner Ted Leonsis sat at a Verizon Center podium for the introduction of a new coach for his other team, the Washington Capitals.

“Now we’ll move forward to the Wizards, and the first order of priority is the coach,” Leonsis told NBC Washington on Tuesday afternoon. “I thought the coach did a very fine job for us, and we’re sitting down and talking to Randy and his people, and Randy did a very fine job for us.

“We did all the exit interviews. I’m finding that doing some of the exit interviews are a very good process for us. You learn lots of stuff. The players respected the coach and they played hard for him, so I think he deserves the opportunity to come back and lead us even deeper in the playoffs next year.”

Wittman led the Wizards to a 44-38 regular season and a first-round playoff upset of the Chicago Bulls before falling in the Eastern Conference semifinals to the Indiana Pacers.

Despite the best campaign of his NBA coaching career, his overall record stands at 191-329 (.367) in parts of eight seasons as coach of the Cavaliers, Timberwolves and Wizards.

But Wittman, 54, didn’t sound like a man spending too much time worrying about his job security after the Wizards‘ season came to an end.

“I always anticipate on being back until someone tells me I’m not,” he told reporters last week.

The Wizards‘ players stepped up on behalf of their coach, too. Veteran guard Andre Miller, who previously played for Wittman in Cleveland, paid tribute to the job the coach did this season.

“This is probably the best I’ve been prepared going into games, going into playoffs,” Miller said. “The passion of the coaching staff filtered through the players and the players wanted to perform and work hard for the coaches. That says a lot.”