Tuesday must have been an interesting day for Wizards head coach Scott Brooks, as his star point guard John Wall did a series of television interviews in which he addressed criticism of himself and his relationship with teammates out in the open for the public to see.
Wall was characteristically honest and acknowledged that Marcin Gortat had irked him with a tweet and that he wasn't a huge fan of Bradley Beal's "everybody eats" comments. Fans and media took what Wall said as confirmation there were fractures in the Wizards' locker room and that Wall was to blame.
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Brooks, like his players, insists that was all overblown.
"For people to think that we're not better with John, that's for clickbait," he said. "It's unfortunate that he had to defend himself. You wish he wouldn't have to. Sometimes you have to."
Brooks cited specific games with Wall on the floor where they had high assist totals like on Christmas Day against the Celtics when they had 26 assists and earned an impressive road win. He pointed out how the Wizards are fifth in the NBA in assists per game.
Brooks also noted how Wall leads the Eastern Conference in assists per game.
"It's not like we just started passing the ball," Brooks said. "I know John is so unselfish."
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Wall's interview left the impression he has beef with both Gortat and Beal. But Brooks said he's not worried about any division between them because it's nothing out of the ordinary from his long NBA career.
"You're going to have some disagreements with players. It won't be our last one," Brooks said, raising his voice. "You wants competitive guys. You don't want everyone to just get along and have a bunch of High School Harry's. You want to be able to have guys that are competitive that will challenge each other and fight each other in practice in a competitive way. If you're not competitive then you will stink."
Brooks is also used to reading and hearing stuff through the media. He called what Wall did, airing dirty laundry on TV, as "part of being a coach." Clearly the Wizards weren't too worried about team chemistry with how they treated the trade deadline, as they had no major shakeup, just a minor deal that sent second-year guard Sheldon Mac to to Atlanta Hawks.