Timing is everything, and Randy Wittman and Doc Rivers, backcourt mates with the Atlanta Hawks in the 1980s, still have it even though they're competing against each other Saturday night.
As Wittman spoke before his Wizards played a home game vs. the Los Angeles Clippers, he was asked about Rivers, now his coaching counterpart.
"He never passed me the ball. That's the No. 1 thing," said Wittman outside the Wizards' locker room. "I probably would've played three or four more years."
Rivers, walking into Verizon Center and at least 50 feet away, looked over and saw the media horde around Wittman. He couldn't have possibly heard what Wittman was saying but interrupted his train of thought. The shooting guard had set up the former point guard perfectly.
"Hey Witt, pass the ball," Rivers shouted.
Lots of laughter ensued, but if after the game the Wizards (9-12) have lost their fourth in a row or the Clippers (15-8) ended this seven-game trip with a losing record, one of these coaches won't be smiling.
"Of all our group, it was a no-brainer Witt was going to coach," Rivers said. "He used to coach when he played with us. He would always tell us what to do. No one listened. … He's from Indiana, the whole Bobby Knight thing. ... There was no doubt that Randy Wittman was going to be a coach."