How new front office could shape the culture for the Washington Wizards

Corey Kispert of the Washington Wizards drives into the lane against the Houston Rockets (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Corey Kispert of the Washington Wizards drives into the lane against the Houston Rockets (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Since the new front office was brought in, one thing has been repeatedly emphasized. The Washington Wizards need to establish a winning culture and an identity going forward.

Now that is something that is far easier said than done. Many have tried and failed to do just that with various teams around the league. Some watched their attempts fail miserably like Steve Nash with the Brooklyn Nets, some saw immediate success like Mike Brown of the Sacramento Kings, and some even saw a slow improvement over the years like Michael Malone of the Denver Nuggets.

What the teams and coaches who have success building a team culture have done every time is focus on defense first. This is almost always the first step to building consistency in winning efforts.

Coach Malone started giving out a chain as a prize to whoever gave the most defensive effort during that game and ensuring that everything from his post game speech is posted on social media.

Coach Brown does something similar, but also wrote a contract that everybody on the team signed at the beginning of the season. His primary focus was on the defensive end which ended up paying off as it led to easy looks for star guard DeAaron Fox.

However, nobody has the culture of the Miami Heat.

The Washington Wizards could base their future on the Miami Heat

One of the biggest things that sets the Heat apart is their culture. It causes less talented players to step up, All-Stars to become All-NBA, and good players to become great players. It has been in place and going strong since basketball legend Pat Riley joined the franchise in 1995.

One of the biggest things that Riley does that really sets the stage for the Heat culture is compete. He competes with everybody over everything. He is also a perfectionist and makes sure everything is exactly as he wants it to be.

On the Pardon My Take podcast, Brian Windhorst broke down the Miami Heat Scale. According to him, Riley not only is the same weight he was as a player, but also has every player in the franchise weigh in on a weekly basis. This even found its way into his free agency pitch to Jimmy Butler.

He pays attention to every detail of every player who works out with the team. From footwork to effort levels to shooting form, he watches everything. Every small thing matters for the players who join the team, that’s a large part of why they have such success in the draft and after the draft.

While the Washington Wizards don’t need to be as extreme as the Heat, they could benefit from paying attention to the small details. Finding even a small amount of success from emulating the Pat Riley style.

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