The Washington Wizards started the 2020-21 NBA season off in extremely impressive fashion, but have cooled considerably since.
After at one point sitting atop the Eastern Conference, Washington is now 3-7 over the last 10 games.
Understandably, frustration is building.
And one of the issues that many in the locker room apparently have is the fact that Bradley Beal and some of the team’s bigger stars are refusing to get everyone involved in the offense.
“At the end of the day, it’s like the old saying, ‘You’ve got to throw a squirrel a nut,’” center Montrezl Harrell said, per Josh Robbins of The Athletic. “We’re not saying throw it to us and let us clear out and iso and go and do our thing. No. But at the same time, let us feel it, not just off rebounding and then giving it to a guard. No, let us get a touch early to get a shot. Let’s give us something to let us feel like we’re involved in the game as well.”
It’s not hard to read between the lines there. And Harrell is not alone.
“The Athletic has learned a central issue is that at least several players have concerns about the direction and structure of the team’s offense, particularly whether they as individuals, and by extension the team as a whole, are being put in the best positions to succeed,” Robbins continued.
“As confidence in the offense has diminished, players have exerted less effort and exercised less attention to detail on the defensive end, the area the coaching staff has emphasized since the start of training camp.”
Harrell is obviously something of a prickly character, but it’s hard to blame him for being annoyed. He went from being on a winning team and on the verge of breaking a 36-year-old record to being on the same old laughing stock Wizards that have sat at the bottom of the East for years.
The perks of being a star NFL quarterback. https://t.co/41jjiHQn7C
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 15, 2021
Last year, Atlanta Hawks players rebelled in similar fashion against Trae Young in the first half of the season. By the second half – they turned into a legitimate playoff squad.
Will something similar happen with the Wizards? Time will tell.