Washington Wizards: 3 must-have traits for the next head coach

Washington Wizards. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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Washington Wizards Bradley Beal Russell Westbrook.
Washington Wizards Bradley Beal Russell Westbrook. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

Must-have Trait #2: Relatability

At the end of his five-season stint with the Washington Wizards, Scott Brooks had a winning percentage under 0.500. He hadn’t led the team to 40 wins in three consecutive seasons. But he still had his supporters in the locker room and the front office. Both Russell Westbrook and Bradley Bal spoke highly of Brooks until the very end.

While there’s no reason to believe Beal or Westbrook will outright reject Brooks’ replacement, the new coach will need to win over the respect of the team’s All-Star backcourt if they’re going to have any success in Washington.

This Wizards team is built such that it will only go as far as Beal and Westbrook will take it. So having their buy-in is necessary for success. However, they’re veteran All-Stars, and will realistically only change so much, even under a new head coach. There are plenty of recent examples of head coaches losing the locker room: Lloyd Pierce in Atlanta, Nate Bjorkgren in Indiana, and Jim Boylen in Chicago.

All the strategy in the world won’t mean a thing if the coach can’t get buy-in from the players. So unless the Wizards want to make another head coaching hire in the very near future, they’ll need to make sure the new head coach is one who the players — particularly Westbrook and Beal — will respect and relate to.