The Washington Wizards became one of the pleasant surprises of the second half of the 2020-21 NBA season by winning 17 of 23 games to qualify for the play-in tournament and, ultimately, reach the playoffs.
Now that the Wizards have been eliminated by the Philadelphia 76ers in the postseason tournament first-round series, Washington head coach Scott Brooks is set to be out of contract. General manager Tommy Sheppard told reporters Thursday he's made no call on Brooks' future so soon after Wednesday's loss in Philadelphia.
"We are not doing anything about that today," Sheppard explained, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. "We obviously are going to do a thorough evaluation from top to bottom of our whole organization and ways we can get better. But any questions about that stuff, that is not for today."
Sheppard and owner Ted Leonsis haven't yet held season-ending talks about Brooks.
Brooks helped guide the Wizards through a worrisome COVID-19 outbreak during the winter and kept heads held high when playoff elimination appeared certain earlier this spring. Per Fred Katz of The Athletic, star guard Russell Westbrook, who previously played under Brooks with the Oklahoma City Thunder, went to bat for his coach Wednesday night.
"Me personally, I don’t see why Scottie should go anywhere," Westbrook said. "And not just because we’re close, but he’s done a hell of a job with our team, our program since I’ve been here. …
"He’s still the same coach Brooks, and he brings intensity. He brings the effort like he was playing, but he’s a coach. That’s something you can’t teach. That’s something you can’t have. So, if it was up to me, I don’t think he should go anywhere."