Unseld Jr., Kuzma respond to ex-Wizard Dinwiddie's comments


WASHINGTON -- There has been a lot of talk about Wizards players' roles this season, especially as they have been asked over and over to explain how the team has struggled for the most part since beginning the year 10-3.

There has been so much talk about it, in fact, that it has continued even from Spencer Dinwiddie, who is no longer with the team.

The former Wizards point guard, now with the Mavericks, has been playing very well in Dallas and this weekend shared some details on why he thinks things didn't work out for him in Washington. He said, among other things, this according to ESPN:

"When the role changed and they wanted me to pass more -- they felt like I was scoring a lot -- I did that. I took my foot off the gas scoring-wise because that's what they felt -- the team needed to get [Kyle Kuzma] and [Kentavious Caldwell-Pope] and those guys shots. I said, 'Look, I already got paid. This is about y'all trying to get the shots that y'all need, whatever.'

That prompted some follow-up questions to the other side, that of the Wizards. Head coach Wes Unseld Jr., after all, was in charge of players' roles. He didn't want to go in-depth, but did try to categorize Dinwiddie's rather brief time in D.C. as a moderate success because of how it started.


"I'm not going to get into the accuracy of that statement. It's one of those things where, organizationally, it worked and he was aggressive early. We won a lot of games," Unseld Jr. said.

"Bottom-line, we had to make a change [at the trade deadline] and to get something we had to give up something. He's a really talented guy, he's playing well and he's healthy. We look forward to seeing the benefit of that trade. It is what it is. I think it's one of those things where we just have to move on and get past it."

Kuzma was mentioned by name in Dinwiddie's quote, so naturally, he was asked for his side of things. He, too, didn't really want to go there, at least beyond a quick mention of how he supported Dinwiddie looking for his own shot.

"I'm sure if you go back to tidbits, I know I always said I wanted him to be aggressive, I know Brad [Beal] always said he wanted him to be aggressive. So, I'm just going to leave it at that. We're past that, honestly. We're focused on the guys that are here and we're all motivated to take that next step," Kuzma said.

Right now, both teams are likely happy with how the trade has transpired. Dinwiddie is thriving, while Davis Bertans is shooting better from three in Dallas than he did this season in Washington. Meanwhile, Kristaps Porzingis made his Wizards debut on Sunday night and had 25 points in 21 minutes to lead his new team to a win over the Indiana Pacers.

Time will tell who got the better end of the trade, but guys are playing well and everyone seems happy. Maybe the comments about everyone's roles can finally end.