The Washington Wizards may be bad on the basketball court, but they continue to produce viral moments for the internet on a regular basis. One thing you can’t complain about the 2023-24 Washington Wizards is the entertainment value.
In their 130-121 loss to the Atlanta Hawks last night, the Wizards trailed most of the game by double digits. Yet, they still found a way to make the headlines with an eyebrow-raising moment.
While they were down by 21 in the third quarter, the Wizards stole the ball in their backcourt. Kyle Kuzma threw the hit-ahead pass to Jordan Poole, who could have laid the ball in. Instead, he threw a pass off the backboard so that trailing Kuzma could finish with an alley-oop dunk.
It is undeniably a nice play. Yet, it justifiably brought plenty of questions, as plays like this are more commonly seen in an All-Star game, not in a game where you are losing by 21. It is certainly a questionable decision, especially considering how poor of a game Poole was having up to that point. He ended up finishing the game with 13 points and one assist on 5/13 shooting from the field. Kuzma was playing better, but he had his fair share of struggles to begin the season.
This controversial play not only caused boos and jeers from the Atlanta crowd but it also drew the ire of NBA Twitter and pundits.
Unfortunately, it looks like moments like these are going to be what the 2023-24 Washington Wizards will be known for unless they change course. Players and coach Wes Unseld Jr. have talked about competing more and working harder. That is a good place to start, but they also have to cut out unserious plays like this.
Regardless of what the on-court results are, the Wizards need to silence this noise from the doubters by playing the right way.