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With Ernie Grunfeld gone, uncertainty surrounds job status of Wizards head coach Scott Brooks

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With Ernie Grunfeld gone, uncertainty surrounds job status of Wizards head coach Scott Brooks

The firing of team president Ernie Grunfeld has left the Wizards head coach in limbo. Scott Brooks is nearing the end of his third year in Washington with no certainty about whether he will be back for a fourth.

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has indicated that Brooks' future will be left up to the team's next general manager and that is despite the fact he has two years and $14 million remaining on his contract. A new regime could choose to part ways with Brooks and start over from scratch.

It's possible that a new GM without any ties at all to Brooks could choose to retain him, at least for another year to evaluate his job performance along with the rest of the organization. But it would seem much more likely Brooks sticks around if the team's new architect has a history with him.

If interim GM Tommy Sheppard is given the job on a full-time basis, that would be very good news for Brooks. Sheppard was part of the brain trust that hired Brooks in the summer of 2016. He helped conduct the hours-long interviews before he was offered the job.

There are other possible candidates for the GM position that have a prior relationship with Brooks. Troy Weaver, for example, is the No. 2 guy in Oklahoma City and was with the Thunder during Brooks' entire head coaching tenure there.

Brooks has been in the NBA as a player or coach for 25 years. He knows many people in the game of basketball, is well-liked and respected.

That, of course, alone will not save Brooks' job. Leonsis was non-committal about Brooks' future this week when asked what Grunfeld's departure means for the head coaching position.

"Well, right now all I've done is remove Ernie from the day-to-day," Leonsis said. "I've spent one-on-one time with Scott just to tell him that I expect us to work hard and play hard and continue to give the fans their money's worth."

When asked about Brooks, Leonsis gave a long and winding answer about how every part of the organization will be evaluated and that includes how much money they have allocated to certain areas. 

"Maybe I made mistakes in the ways we spent and invested our money. I have to be open-minded," he said.

That could be taken as a nod to the investment he's made in Brooks, who signed a five-year, $35 million contract to join the Wizards in 2016. At the time, that made him one of the six highest-paid coaches in the NBA.

Now, there is no turning back on that contract at this point. In order to fire Brooks, the Wizards would have to buy him out. But it's possible the new GM advises Leonsis to put fewer financial resources into the head coaching job and that could lead to an early dismissal of Brooks. Also, if they determine a roster rebuild is necessary, it could make sense for both sides to part ways.

Brooks understands all of the potential scenarios and has been fired before. He is not naive to the fact his future is currently up in the air.

"I've been in the league long enough to know that your job is to do your job until you don't have the job," he said. "I know in this league it's a result-producing job."

Brooks, of course, would like to stay and see this job through. He said after Thursday's practice he looks forward to building a relationship with the new GM in the coming weeks and months.

Whether he will get that opportunity remains to be seen. For now, all he can do is keep doing his job and operate as if he will be back.

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Isaiah Thomas shows off impressive collection of signed jerseys

Isaiah Thomas shows off impressive collection of signed jerseys

Like most sports fanatics, Isaiah Thomas has accumulated quite the jersey collection. The difference between him and the rest of us? He met all the people who's signed jerseys are hanging on his wall. 

Thomas showed off his collection to Chris Miller (watch above) as a part of his interview on the Wizards Talk Podcast, and we're going to go through it with him. 

First, he showed off his non-basketball collection, featuring Ken Griffey Jr., David Ortiz Tom Brady and Sidney Crosby. It's anyone's guess how he came across a dreaded Crosby jersey, but it's safe to assume he got the Brady and Ortiz jerseys from his time in Boston and his Griffey from his roots in Seattle. 

Continuing with the Seattle theme, Thomas turned to two Sonics legends in Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp and Kevin Durant. Thomas has been one of the biggest advocates for the NBA returning to Seattle, and bringing up the days of Payton and Kemp would make anyone miss the Sonics. 

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW BELOW

Next up, former Wizards teammate John Wall, Derrick Rose, Vince Carter, Muggsy Bogues, one of the best small guards to ever play, Brandon Roy and Jamal Crawford. 

Then, Thomas moved to his "Hitter List." It's a wall consisting of Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Garnett, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Damon Stoudemire and James Harden. 

"Those are killers right there," Thomas said.

So, the main takeaway here? Thomas has a jersey collection that would make anyone jealous and he still has plenty of time to add to it before his career is over. That's when we might need a follow-up video to see the complete collection. 

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Relive the best games of Bradley Beal's 25-point scoring streak

Relive the best games of Bradley Beal's 25-point scoring streak

With the 2019-20 season on hold due to the coronavirus, we thought it'd be a good time to re-live some of the best moments the Wizards had before the league suspended play.

From January 20 to March 6, Bradley Beal put on one of the best scoring stretches in Wizards history. He scored at least 25 points in 21 consecutive games, good for the longest such streak in franchise history and the longest in the NBA all season, beating out the likes of James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo. 

Over that 21-game stretch, Beal averaged 36 points and 5.6 assists while shooting 48.6% from the floor and 40.7% from three on nine attempts per game. He only scored less than 30 points five times throughout the course of the streak. 

30+ points: 16 games
40+ points: 6 games
50+ points: 2 games

Oh, and those 50-pieces came on back-to-back nights, which is something nobody in the NBA had done since Kobe Bryant in 2007. 

All-day Sunday, you'll be able to re-live the best games from Beal's streak on NBC Sports Washington. Here's a look at what you can expect. 

When: Sunday, April 5, 9:00 a.m.

Where:

  • NBC Sports Washington (channel finder
  • Any of our 24/7 authenticated streaming platforms

9 am -- Pistons @ Wizards from January 20, 2020: Beal starts off his streak by scoring 29 points in a much-needed win over the Pistons. This game also featured Beal crossing center Andre Drummond out of his shoes. 

11:30 am -- Wizards @ Hawks from January 26, 2020: In a trying day for the entire basketball world, Bradley Beal scored 40 points just hours after Kobe Bryant passed away in a helicopter crash. 

2 pm -- Mavericks @ Wizards from February 7, 2020: Beal scores 29 and hits the game-winning layup off a perfectly executed pass from Troy Brown Jr. 

4:30 pm -- Wizards @ Bulls from February 23, 2020: Setting a new career-high with 53 points, it's hard to look at Beal as a reason the Wizards lost this one. 

8 pm -- Bucks @ Wizards from February 24, 2020: One night later, Beal sets a career-high again by scoring 55 points in what he described was the most fun game he'd ever played in. 

11:30 pm -- Nets @ Wizards from February 26, 2020: Beal gets the Wizards back on track following a three-game losing streak post All-Star break with a 30-point night against the Nets at home. 

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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