Wizards coach Randy Wittman and president Ernie Grunfeld held a news conference to discuss their expectations for the upcoming season and training camp, which begins Saturday at George Mason University in nearby Fairfax, Va. The three of the most interesting answers that came from the 21-minute chat:
Otto Porter is the new Bradley Beal, a rookie who is "scared ----less."
Question: Does Wittman still anticipate backup center Kevin Seraphin will take a major step forward?
Complete answer: "I have high expectation on our all guys that are coming in. This is another year. You can see it. Do I have high expectations for Kevin to have a better year than he did last year? Yes. Bradley (Beal), I'd like to see step up. Where Bradley is today and where he was last year at this time it was night and day. He was scared ----less last year at this time, as Otto (Porter) is right now. Kevin was a little bit like that. His confidence level now, how he holds himself, how he's been here pretty much all summer working on his game to make that next step, so yeah, I expect that from our young guys to continue that growth. I think we saw it with Jan (Vesely). Jan had a good summer whether it was just with us in the summer league or going over and playing with his national team. Those are positive things. You hope now they can carry that over into the season."
John Wall will embrace his greater role now that he has signed a five-year, $80 million extension
Question: How much of a difference will he make leadership-wise as heading into training camp this time as opposed to last year when he couldn't participate because of injury?
Complete answer: "I think you guys know that answer. I think we saw what John means to our team when we didn't have him last year compared to when we did have him. It's a very important part. We showed that this summer with signing him to an extension and I've seen a difference already after that. I think he understands the role he's in now and the expectations that come with that. He's a guy that wants that. That's the good thing. He's not a guy that wants to shy away from being more of a leader ... to try to inspire us to be the best that we can be. John has really jumped on board with that." -- Wittman
Wittman and Grunfeld aren't overly concerned that they're going into the final year of their contracts
Question: Do you feel an extra pressure going into this season knowing this is the last years you guys are under contract?
Complete answer: "Do you think this is the first time I've been on a one-year contract? No, it doesn't mean anything. Thirty years of being in this (as a player and coach), it's just about going out and doing your job and doing it the best you can. I feel like if we do that everything else takes care of itself." -- Wittman
Nodding his head, Grunfeld responds: "I've been in it 36 years" to a room that breaks out in laughter.