“I don’t think you can tell a staff, ‘Don’t try to win,’” owner Ted Leonsis said. “I will never do that.”
The Wizards plan to compete for every win possible.
Washington has struggled for much of the season and holds a 19-26 record after a last-second win over the Knicks in London. However, it is just two games out of the final Eastern Conference playoff spot and owner Ted Leonsis said Thursday the team will do whatever it can to reach the postseason.
“We set out goals and you got to meet the goals,” said Leonsis before the victory over New York (via the Washington Post). “And the first goal is to make it into the playoffs and to do better than we did last year, and to me that will make for a successful year.”
Leonsis said he has been “encouraged” by the Wizards’ recent play.
“Guys aren’t feeling sorry for themselves,” Leonsis said. “In fact, they looked at it now as an opportunity. They’re getting more minutes and everyone wants to make the best of their time, but to meet the goal of making the playoffs, not for individual stats and accolades. This is a team, collective goal.”
The Wizards lost star guard John Wall for the season after he had heel surgery in late December. Washington could have attempted to tank to get a higher draft choice, but Leonsis said that was never a consideration.
“We will never, ever tank,” Leonsis said. “I don’t think you can tell a coach, I don’t think you can tell a staff, ‘Don’t try to win.’ I will never do that. So, if this team makes the playoffs on its own, that’s fantastic.”
The Wizards will host the Pistons on Monday.