At training camp last year, then-coach Flip Saunders would hand out a hard hat to the player who appropriately worked the hardest in practice. There will be none of that next week when the Wizards open up training camp under new coach Randy Wittman.
Wittman said he's old school so there won't be any props or inspirational slogans when the Wizards start two-a-day practices next week at George Mason University ahead of the upcoming NBA season.
"This team hasn't made any highlights together," Wittman said. "Maybe next year at this time will have a slogan but right now this group hasn't created any highlights."
Wittman is in his first full season as coach of a team that struggled for most of last year, finishing 20-46. Wittman moved up from his assistant role and replaced his friend and the fired Flip Saunders after a 2-15 start.
The Wizards closed out last season with a season-high six-game winning streak, showing perhaps promise for the future.
"I don't want to surprise anybody. I want us to believe in what we can do," Wittman said Wednesday at Verizon Center.
Wittman said he will play to the strengths of his ball club, which is the relatively young team's ability to get up and down the court.
"We are going to play an up-tempo style and go inside out," Wittman said.
Wittman also emphasized over and over the importance of younger players taking that next step this season so the Wizards can be a competitive club, something they were not many times a year ago.
"I ain't going to invent a new offensive or defensive system that nobody's ever seen that will brand me the next genius," Wittman said coyly.