If Randy Wittman is spending this week around the Verizon Center, tracking down at least one of his starters was a non-issue. As for the others on the worldly roster with their higher-than-average-profile lives and jet set opportunities good luck with that, right?
"Oh, I stay in touch with them," Wittman said. "They know that. They're going to go their separate ways, but they'll be back in town when I pick up the phone and tell them to get back in town here.
"And that'll be throughout the summer that we'll do that, that they are going to come back and spend time with me, that I can personally see where they are at and work with them on a personal basis. So that's how I'm going to keep track of them and see where they are at and what they are doing."
(By the way, in this social media world it's easier to know where anyone is as evidenced above, but the Wizards 53-year-old coach is not exactly a Twitter, Facebook and Instagram kind of guy. Anyway...)
The Wizards certainly progressed as a team throughout the 2012-13 season, from a 4-28 start to a 25-25 finish. However, those individual improvements take a step back without dedicated work on one's game or physical conditioning during the offseason while the youthful frontcourt of Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker, Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton certainly has room to grow.
"Crucial. Crucial. Crucial for our young guys. Not only them, but our veterans, too," Wittman said during his exit interview with the media. "It's a crucial time for Nene to get himself healthy, get himself right, get his body whole. John, continuing to work and do the things he basically did last summer but was halted and our young guys, Kevin, Book, Jan and Chris, those guys, like I said, it's a crucial step for someone to step up out of that group and say, 'I'm the guy.' "
In previous eras, training camp meant show up to get into shape or at least top off one's offseason efforts. With today's honed modern athlete, such options no longer apply.
"Summer time, this game's changed since I played," said Wittman, who played in the league from 1983-1992. "The athlete is so much bigger, stronger, quicker, faster. There's really, if you're a player that takes the offseason off and says, 'Well, I'll see you in September and get in shape two weeks before training camp,' you're going to get passed by. That's the way it is. The great ones, LeBron and these guys, don't take time off and it's going to be important for our guys to follow suit."