The Washington Wizards are once again horrible, but this time it is not entirely their fault. The team has battled injuries all season long, the most significant of which caused John Wall to miss the first 33 games of the season. During that stretch, the Wizards compiled a record of 5-28. They started out the year by losing their first 12 games.
Since Wall’s return on Jan. 12, the team has gone 6-5. Washington has managed no more than 26 wins in a season over the last four years, so a 6-5 stretch is somewhat of a rarity. However, the Wizards’ abysmal start has essentially eliminated them from playoff contention. And for that, team owner Leonsis would like to apologize.
“You can communicate to the fans and say nobody can plan for the loss of five of eight players, especially when you’re in the midst of a rebuild,” Leonsis told WTOP on Wednesday, via D.C. Sports Bog. “We weren’t a veteran team to begin with, that had a strong foundation. But no one wants to hear that. And so, as you communicate that, really it sounds like spin and hype and justification for starting 0-12. We didn’t win a game in our first dozen games. And the fans, they’re bottom-line oriented. They want you to win. And again, I apologize. There’s nothing we can do about that one.”
In other words, I’m sorry but I’m not really sorry. Numbers don’t lie. The Wizards are a better team with Wall. His injury crippled the team through the first two months-plus of the season. That being said, Washington is not a playoff contender, which falls on the owner’s shoulders. If you ask Stan Van Gundy, he’d tell you Wall isn’t even a good enough player to build a team around. With the way things have gone over the past couple seasons, it’s tough to argue against that.