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Washington Wizards Fire Flip Saunders

by Photo of Andrew Lontos

Saunders is out after just 17 regular season games.

Washington Wizards Fire Flip Saunders

In this article…

The Washington Wizards have canned Flip Saunders after an abysmal 2-15 that is actually worse than it looks, according to reports, and top assistant coach Randy Wittman will take over. Based on Wittman's history as an NBA head coach, that shouldn't be terribly reassuring for Wizards fans.

Wittman has had three full seasons as a head coach: from 1999-2001 at the helm of the  Cleveland Cavaliers and in 2007-08 with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Wittman's clubs have lost at least 50 games in each of those seasons, with the higher water mark a 32-50 run in Cleveland in 1999-2000 and the low point a 22-60 mark with the Wolves. He's also coached two partial seasons, taking over the Wolves from Dwane Casey in 2006-07 and getting axed by the very same team after 19 games from 2008-09.

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Saunders is the second NBA head coach to be fired this year. The Sacramento Kings fired Paul Westphal a few weeks ago after a slow start and a dispute with DeMarcus Cousins.

According to reports, there were more issues in Washington than their brutal record.

Washington started the season 2-15, and hit rock bottom Monday night with a 103-83 loss in Philadelphia. Tempers flared during the first half of that game, as players were "upset about being subbed out" when the Wizards were down by as many as 30 points, a person with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com.

"At that point," the person said, "no one had the right to complain about anything."

Players were informed after the loss in Philadelphia that a coaching change was coming, a source said. But the writing had been on the wall since at least the eighth game of the season, Washington's eighth consecutive loss to start the season. After the 93-72 loss to Minnesota, Andray Blatche stated that the players had begun to tune Saunders out.

Hello, Anthony Davis?

SB Nation

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