Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/6/13
As Washington Wizards Coach Randy Wittman headed to his car after watching the Washington Mystics play at Verizon Center last week John Wall’s mother Frances Pulley spotted him in the parking lot and shouted “Your boys better be ready next year!” Since Wittman has been in Washington as both an assistant and head coach the past four seasons the Wizards have gotten off to notoriously slow starts. None were worst than last season when the Wizards lost a franchise-worst 12 games in a row and started 4-28. Injuries — primarily to Wall and Nene — contributed mightily to those early woes and Wittman has implored his players to arrive healthy and in shape when training camp gets underway on Sept. 28. “That’s really important and that’s all we’ve talked about all summer long” Wittman said. “That we come in when we come in for training camp ready to go ready to get after it grow together as a team and when the season starts we’re ready to go. Last year we all the know the struggles we had at the start of the year. This is going to be important for us and for John.” Wall plans to return to Washington later this month to start training after completing a five-year extension worth $80 million last week. He missed the first 33 games last season with a stress injury in his left knee but returned to help the Wizards win 24 of their final 49 games. “John doesn’t have to change who John is because of what happened today. That’s the most important thing. John needs to be John Wall. Continue to do the things he needs to do” Wittman said. “I saw what he endured through last year through the injury sitting out 3 1/2 months being thrown right back into the lion’s den. Sinking a little bit how hard he was on himself the character he showed of fighting through and eventually playing as good of basketball as he’s played. That just shows you the work that he’s going to put in to continue to get better each year. He’s proven over the first three years he’s shown growth not only in his game his maturity and becoming a leader. Like I said he’s not there. I think he recognizes he’s not there. He’s shown that he’s going to work to get there.”
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