The 2018-19 season has been filled with trails and tribulations for Wizards head coach Scott Brooks.
After starting the season 5-11, Brooks lost All-Star point guard John Wall to a season-ending heel injury back in December but in return saw Bradley Beal emerge as their newfound leader and young talent off the bench step up.
But earlier this week Brooks was dealt another bad hand when he got word Wall would be out for at least 12 months after tearing his Achilles in a freak fall.
"It was a bad day all the way around," Brooks said on getting the news after Monday's 137-129 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on 106.7 The Fan's Sports Junkies.
"I talked to Ernie [Grunfeld] in the afternoon and he told me the news and it was definitely a punch in the gut. It was a surprise. I mean he was on his way and had the surgery and was on his way to a recovery...just a freak deal. Fell. Slipped."
Exactly what he was doing that caused the slip wasn't something Brooks pressed Wall on. As a former NBA player himself, Brooks knew the point guard wouldn't want to continue to go into detail. Instead, the head coach turned his focus on supporting his player.
"I feel bad for John," Brooks added. "That guy loves the game. He competes. Plays through everything and this one he can't play through, and it hurts him.
I did exchange a bunch of texts messages. I felt bad. He actually apologized. He said, 'I'm sorry, coach.' And I mean that hurt me because he knows he wants to be out there. He knows it's hard on all of us that, you know you're talking about one of the best players in the league, and he can't play. And like I said earlier, he's never been in this position many times where he cant play through everything and this one he's not able to play for up to maybe a year."
Historically, players just aren't quite the same as they once were after coming back from an Achilles injury. Brooks knows there's nothing he can do at this point to change what happened to Wall and that the future of how the team is shaped going forward is in jeopardy. But considering his history of returning from previous injuries, Brooks has faith in him.
"The only thing that I'm going to continue to encourage John and his group of people around him and our staff is just continue to just focus on the day-to-day recovery," Brooks said.
"Continue to be positive and do your job every day and let the outcome remain what it is. One thing about John, he's going to give the effort, he's going to be diligent. Unfortunately for John, he's had a a couple of these knee surgeries so he knows how to rehab. He knows how to come back from injuries and he's just going to have to do it everyday. It's going to be a long process and he's going to need a lot of support from myself, our staff, our organization, the fans, his friend, everything. But John, he's tough. The guy is tough and he's built for this and he's built to be able to handle this obstacle that's in front of him. And once he gets through it, he's going to have some tough days and he's going to have some good days. He's just going to have to keep piling up those good days."
MORE WIZARDS NEWS:
- Wiz-Bucks: Wizards get another crack at Bucks as trade deadline approaches
- Achilles News: What this could do for Wall's future
- Comeback Kid: Bougie Cousins believes Wall can comeback