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Grunfeld remains in control, will lead Wizards' coaching search

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Grunfeld remains in control, will lead Wizards' coaching search

For weeks, the discussion about the job security about Randy Wittman was certain -- he was on the way out -- and that the Wizards' front office was more likely than not to stay in power. Thursday, team president Ernie Grunfeld confirmed it.

Grunfeld, who CSNmidatlantic.com has reported on several occasions and most recently last week, remains under contract with the Wizards.

"I"m here. I'm going to be heading up the coaching search," said Grunfeld, who has been with the organization since 2003. "We're going to be here. I think we had a plan in place. We followed that plan. Obviously there was a bump in the road because of not being able to make the playoffs because part of the playoffs was to get back and be a playoff team. I think we carried out that plan. This didn't happen over night. This has been a three-year process to put together a group of solid, young players that have proven themselves in this league as legitimate starters and still have some substantial flexibility to add to that roster. So what we set out to do from that standpoint, I think we're right there. We accomplished what we wanted to accomplish as far as putting a solid core together."

In other words, Wittman was given the pieces to succeed even with all the injuries and at best could field a 41-41 team that had massive internal issues. And John Wall, Markieff Morris, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Marcin Gortat and likely Bradley Beal (restricted free agent) are locked in while the team still is a major player in the free-agent market this summer.

The front office, Grunfeld is implying, did its part. The coaching staff, most of whom are unlikely to be retained by the new coach, did not. And as usual in these circumstances, coaches are the first to go.

Majority owner Ted Leonsis issued a playoffs-or-else verdict to his staff and they responded with a 44-win season that led to Wittman's three-year extension. The pressure is back on the front office to produce for 2016-17.

"I've been in this league for 40 years. I was a rookie in 1977. Every year brings their own set of pressures. When you're a player you have the pressure to make the team and produce every night you're other there. I went through all those kinds of things," Grunfeld said. "These are the jobs we all have and it's competitive and it's fun and it's what we like to do. We want to get back to where we belong. We feel like we're a playoff team and a team that when we get there we can do some damage. This year we didn't accomplish that and that's disappointing."

MORE WIZARDS: Wizards pay Randy Wittman on the way out?

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Bradley Beal eliminated in first round of three-point contest

Bradley Beal eliminated in first round of three-point contest

It was a short night for Wizards guard Bradley Beal in the 2018 All-Star three-point contest on Saturday, as he was eliminated in the first round.

Wearing the Wizards' new 'The District' white alternate jersey, Beal shot a 15 and fell short of the top three spots to qualify for the second round. Suns guard Devin Booker won the contest with a 28 score in the final, beating out Klay Thompson of the Warriors and Tobias Harris of the Clippers.

RELATED: BEST WIZARDS/BULLETS MOMENTS ON ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

Beal's was undone by a slow start. He missed all five shots on the first rack and made just one on the second. He began to heat up at the third rack, but by then couldn't recover.

Here is Beal's full round:

This was Beal's second showing in the three-point contest. He finished second back in 2014 and this year said he was motivated to avenge that loss. He should have plenty more opportunities to participate in the future if he chooses.

The NBA's All-Star Saturday night began with Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie winning the skills competition. He beat Bulls big man Lauri Markkanen in the final round.

RELATED: LATEST 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT

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2018 NBA All-Star Saturday night: TV and live stream info, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

2018 NBA All-Star Saturday night: TV and live stream info, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

The 2018 NBA All-Star Saturday Night is here with the three-point contest, dunk contest and skills competition set for Los Angeles.

Here is all you need to know: TV and live stream info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

2018 NBA ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

Where: Staples Center
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: TNT
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)

PODCAST: ALL-STAR WEEKEND PREVIEW, WIZARDS AT THE BREAK 

Skills competition

Participants: Lou Williams, Clippers; Jamal Murray, Nuggets; Al Horford, Celtics; Spencer Dinwiddie, Nets; Joel Embiid, Sixers; Buddy Hield, Kings; Lauri Markkanen, Bulls; Andre Drummond, Pistons

What to know: This year's crop has a fascinating mix of guards and big men and don't sleep on the seven-footers. Embiid in particular has a unique skillset for his size. Still, it's tough to beat the guards. Watch out for Dinwiddie, who is the best passer of the bunch.

RELATED: BETTING ODDS FOR DUNK CONTEST, THREE-POINT CONTEST

Three-point contest

Participants: Klay Thompson, Warriors; Eric Gordon, Rockets; Devin Booker, Suns; Paul George, Thunder; Wayne Ellington, Heat; Bradley Beal, Wizards; Kyle Lowry, Raptors; Tobias Harris, Clippers

What to know: Thompson and Gordon enter the contest as past champions, as Thompson won it in 2016 and Gordon took it home last year. Thompson has the best three-point percentage among the group and is the favorite, but watch out for Beal, a past runner-up, and George who has the second best percentage. Also, Booker is one of the game's best young players and has a very smooth stroke from three.

RELATED: WIZARDS/BULLETS HISTORY ON ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

Dunk contest

Participants: Dennis Smith Jr.; Mavericks; Donovan Mitchell, Jazz; Larry Nance Jr., Cavaliers; Victor Oladipo, Pacers

What to know: This is all about the rookies, Smith and Mitchell, who most are predicting to win. Oladipo has been in the contest before, but didn't win. He's also the only All-Star of the bunch. Nance is the only guy who isn't a guard and his father won it back in 1984. It will be interesting to see if he does some sort of nod to his old man, now 34 years later.

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