Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 at 12:02 pm  |  47 responses

Washington Wizards Fire Head Coach Flip Saunders

The Washington Wizards are 2-15 to start the season, so it’s not a huge surprise that the franchise needed to make a major change. Unfortunately for head coach Flip Saunders, that change, reportedly, will come at his expense. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports is reporting on Twitter that the Wizards have fired Saunders, and may give assistant Randy Wittman the interim head coach tag. From Woj: “After a 2-15 start to the season, the Washington Wizards have fired Flip Saunders as coach, a league source tells Y! Sports.”

UPDATE: The WaPo‘s Michael Lee has more details on the personnel change in DC today, and things don’t sound like they’re going to get any more promising for the Wizards in the short-term: “League source confirms that Flip Saunders has been replaced by his top assistant Randy Wittman … Blatche when asked if players tuned Flip out, ‘I can somewhat agree with that.’ Source on firing Flip Saunders: ‘It’s like an episode of Hoarders. All you did was take out one item.’ Basically, it’s still a mess … Randy Wittman becomes 4th coach in 4 seasons for #wizards. Eddie Jordan. Ed Tapscott. Flip Saunders. Combined record in that span: 70-193.”

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  • LP

    This had to happen. Wasn’t Flip from the Gilbert/Jamison/Caron era?? he had no business being there with all those fresh faces……..they need an entire culture change, just let Sam Cassell coach them….

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    Well Done(Mortal Kombat voice)

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Normally, 20 games through a season i’d be skeptical of these decisions. But this was overdue. lol

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cheryl

    I saw that coming. He didn’t have the respect of the team. He’s best with a veteran squad. I’m surprised it took this long.

  • MaxIsNative

    Stephen A Smith’s tweet last night was money, like Duncan’s game winner. haha But this was overdue. Might as well try to get rid of Lewis’s contract too.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Abe Schwadron


  • AD

    this team is gonna stary balln now…. there an 8th seed team to me with all that talent

  • Red

    Not an 8th seed just yet but im excited for them.

  • http://counterkicks.com Quinned

    Wow… SLAM gave me this ID? LMAO Anyway, RNG here… Firing FLIP and putting in WHITLESS is a horrible idea. WHITLESS is the guy who wouldn’t let Kevin Love shoot 3s. Go figure…

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Lizard FTL~

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Wojo is the king of scoops. It’s not even a competition.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Randy Wittman is one of the few downgrades from Flip.

  • J.C.

    Way overdue. I didn’t watch their blowout to the Sixers but I caught the second half of their close game against Boston and I was shocked by the absolute lack of direction they had on both ends of the court in the final minutes. Two or three possessions in a row at the end of the game their defense was completely compromised and their center ended up way out of position. I distinctly remember Pierce and KG both beating their men off the dribble and waltzing straight through the paint with no-one else even near them to challenge their open layup/dunk. Offensively it was even uglier as either Flip didn’t draw them up a play or the players completely ignored him which resulted in multiple attempts by the Wizards to go one-on-five against the whole defense and throw up a terrible shot. I remember one possession at the end of the game when no-one touched the ball except Jordan Crawford of all people.
    I was shocked by how the team handled one of the few winnable games they’ve been in this season. Either Flip doesn’t have the coaching acumen to make this team successful or maybe the players don’t respect him and have tuned him out. It’s hard to say which situation is worse, and regardless it’s time to get rid of him. I seriously don’t envy his replacement though…

  • http://slamonline.com Yknot

    They should’ve sent Lewis packing too! Why are they taking so long to amnesty his contract.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Right AllenP, I don’t like Wojaknowigotthescoopskis columns, but he is the best “source” i follow on twitter.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max


  • http://www.twitter.com_dfrance dfrance21

    This was overdue, but it’s going to take way more than a coaching change to get this team on the right track. I question whether Flip is better with a vet squad because the Pistons tuned him out in the exact same fashion. I just don’t think he commands respect.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    The andray blatche curse continues.

  • http://counterkicks.com Quinned

    The firing of Flip Saunders is like a bad episode of hoarders. You’ve only thrown one piece of the mess away.

  • http://www.nbadraft.net showtime

    Pringles is next!!!! it comes in 3′s … Paul, Flip No D ntoni

  • http://www.cnbc.com/ JTaylor21

    Flip Saunders was the best coach the nba has seen since Phil Jackson. Why would the wizards fire a future first ballot hall of famer?

  • Riggs

    Larry Brown come on dowwwwwwwwwwn

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    LP no he wasn’t from that era at all, Eddie Jordan was the man behind that era….Flip was from the locker room gun show era…..Riggs please save it, Larry Brown ain’t got an ounce of NBA left in his bones. DC wants Eddie back!!!!! WE WANT EDDIE, WE WANT EDDIE

  • Ldub

    Real talk…someone is definitely using Jtaylor21 tag. This is the second post he has said something so supremely crazy. What about Doc Rivers, G pop, Nelson, G Karl? Those guys arent better the Saunders? Come on now. Team is 2-15! You have a bunch of young talent with an old school coach. It doesnt mesh. They need to bring more excitement and energy to DC. Even when the clippers were losing all those games, they were still exciting to watch because of there temp with Q, Dmiles, Brand, Maggette, & Odom!

  • bike

    I know this type of firing happens all the time at this point in the season when a team is playing this badly, but honestly, who could they possibly bring in that could turn this bunch around now?

  • Heals

    The “Hoarders” line summed it up best…

  • John Wall Jr

    Bout time!
    They need a Jeff Van Gundy kind of coach in their…. And yes..please trade Andrey Blatch

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Keith Smart made a difference in Sac Town, but I would be completely shocked if Wittman had any kind of success.

  • robb

    Rejoice Wizards fans!

  • http://counterkicks.com Quinned

    Calling Kurt Rambis and the Triangle…

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    ^^^ gotta get 3 or more players with a double digit basketball IQ on your roster for that to work…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    triple digit. but you’re right.

  • Trout

    Ouch … somewhere Gilbert Arenas laughs…

  • T-Money

    Needed to happen. I dont care for woj’s opinion but he gets all the scoops and doesnt just throw stuff at the wall like broussard sometimes. Hes the jay glazer of the nba.

  • TP

    Right. Because Flip’s the reason this team’s not winning. Give me a break.

  • Dyce

    You have to fire the coach because you can’t fire the players. I read somewhere that they arent going to amnesty Rashard Lewis because their owner doesn’t want to pay him not to play. Its not like they ahve a direction for right now so let him play it out.

  • http://www.aol.com wagers

    Just gotta make it through this year and pair John Wall with another high round player that can actually play (no offense Jan Vesley, but that was a bad pick IMO)i.e Andre Drummond/Anthony Davis just someone we can confidently put beside Javale McGee, then you think about it we have John Wall/Nick Young/(maybe Jan Vesley/Chris Singleton plays through)/Future first rounder/Javale McGee sounds like a good team to me, and that’s not considering if we could get a older Free Agent. I think we can be right there as a 7th or 8th seed next year. Like the direction of the team at this point, have to be patient as a fan when rebuilding.

  • Dyce

    Wagers no way can you pair Drummond or Davis next to Mcgee…They are all just about the same player….Maybe Perry Jones or somebody.

  • blakos

    1. The JTaylor troll is getting old
    2. Flip fired next up. Trade Blatche.
    3. Continue season tank and get Davis with lottery pick.

  • blakos

    Oh and is jerry Sloan willing tomove to Washington?

  • jacuuli

    Firing him won’t really change anything.

  • http://www.aol.com wagers

    Cosign Jacuuli (at least for this season) and cosign blakos 100%, Dyce Drummond and Davis’ game isn’t that close, and NO ONE in this league would have a better front court than LA Lakers/LA Clippers/New York but Pau and Stat aren’t really even playing that well and they are aging, 2 young athletic men down low is dangerous. Get Davis to bulk up some and him and McGee would monstrous.

  • iLLwiLL

    Sam I Am! Bring in Cassell!

  • Madterps

    As a Wiz fan, I realize this season is hopeless and lost with clowns like Blatche on the court. So get rid of that clown Blatche, let go of Rashard Lewis at the end of the season, get rid of Grunfeld, get some defensive free agent and draft a nice no. 1 talent like Anthony Davis or someone that is very smart like Harrison Barnes that actually wants to work on his game. Play as a damn team come next season and maybe the Wizards can actually compete for the 8th seed.

  • MikeC.

    Amnestying Rashard won’t get the Wiz under the cap, so they’re not going to cut him. That was the logic in the pre-season anyway, I assume it still stands.
    Firing Flip won’t change anything. That team has a couple good players with losing habits and the rest are just losers. At this point, is Wall the next great PG, or just a really fast guy that can get in the lane? Is McGee a solid C with great defensive instincts, or just a tall guy that can jump high? The coaches play a role in developing players, but the players have to improve on their own too. Flip got fired because his contract is easier to eat than any of the players’. The Wiz need a coach with some rings that commands respect.

  • Bt

    Now they just need to rebuild their entire roster (including the PG position)

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    The Lizards seem to have ALOT of fans on here…. ?