'Just leave me alone and let me coach my team, Mom, JEEZ.' (Getty Images)You guys aren't going to believe this, but getting one win didn't solve all of the Washington Wizards' issues. Following an 84-82 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers that gave the District dozen their first mark on the "W" side of the ledger, the Wiz came out Friday night and promptly got smoked by the New York Knicks, 108-87, running their record to a league-worst 1-13 and ending the team's season-high winning streak at one game.
The Wizards went to battle on Friday without forward Trevor Booker, who had missed the prior four games with a strained right knee that will also cost him "another couple of weeks" and, more notably, point guard John Wall. The former No. 1 overall pick hasn't seen the floor yet this year as he works his way back from a left knee injury suffered in late September; while the Wizards figured to be a middling team that would have a tough time scoring this season anyway, they've been awful without their offensive engine, ranking dead last in the league in points scored per 100 possessions and field-goal percentage, and among the bottom five in 3-point accuracy, share of possessions that end with assists and team turnover rate.
As you'd expect, then, everybody interested in the success and watchability of the Washington Wizards is very eager for Wall's return, and as you'd expect, that leads to head coach Randy Wittman fielding a lot of questions about his recovering point guard ... including some from inquirers you might not expect. From Ben Standig at CSNWashington.com:
"Until the doctor says he's ready to go full bore, I don't know what to tell you guys," said Wittman, repeating his usual mantra about Wall — and done in good spirits despite the bummer of the situation. Clearly, the coach of the 1-13 team wants his fast-breaking leader back. This time, Wittman added a line for emphasis to show he's not simply deflecting.
Wittman said, "I'm serious. I tell my mom, 'I don't know.' She asks me every day, too. 'When's John coming back?' 'I don't know, Mom.'"
It's nice to know that Wittman's mother — one of my favorite iconic American paintings, I'll have you know — is so invested in her son's work and interested in how things are going at the office. My mom says she reads my posts here, but if she's into stuff like "Adventures of Chris Bosh in the Multiverse" or why I think electricity should always be ranked No. 1, she sure isn't asking me about it. And she's definitely not doing it every day.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, Randy Wittman's mom seems — on paper, at least — to love him more than my mom loves me. So he's got that going for him, which is nice.
(I am definitely going to find out if my mom reads these now.)
That said, sometimes moms can be a bit over-the-top. Like, asking when Wall's coming back every day isn't going to help the stress fracture in his left patella heal any quicker, or make him feel more comfortable with lateral cuts, jump-stops and myriad other moves he'll have to be able to perform to get back on the court, Mrs. Wittman. Patience, as always, remains a virtue, even in the midst of a 1-13 stretch that doesn't look like it's going to get much better anytime soon.
I know you're thinking that a speedy return to form from the team's best player is probably your son's best shot at putting together enough wins to hold on to his job, but it's like you told young Randy back when he was a lad: A watched kneecap never re-fuses properly. Chill out and hang in there, Mrs. Wittman. Everybody's doing the best they can, which is all a mom can ask for, right?