Standing on the Wizards practice court at the Medstar Wizards Performance Center on Saturday night as his newest sports franchise, the Capital City Go-Go, were set to play their very first game, Wizards owner Ted Leonsis went through a series of media interviews alongside NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
As Silver was asked about the increase in scoring in the NBA this season, Leonsis interjected with a quip about his own franchise.
"They just have to play us," Leonsis said.
It was a joke, but clearly Leonsis is not happy with his team's 1-7 start. Before the season began, he told NBC Sports Washington there were "no excuses" this year after he had laid the foundation with all the resources an NBA team could ask for: a top-five payroll, a well-paid head coach and now a pristine practice facility with all the bells and whistles.
Leonsis, who sat courtside as his Wizards were demolished by the Oklahoma City Thunder the night before, is bothered by their inability to defend.
"When you score 125 points and you're losing by 25, it usually says you need to play a little bit of defense," he told NBC Sports Washington. "Right now, we really have to get a structure in place and especially defend the three-ball."
Leonsis cautioned that it is a long season, how the team is not even 10-percent through their regular season schedule. Turnarounds can happen, and his team made a remarkable one just two years ago.
In the 2016-17 season, head coach Scott Brooks' first in Washington, they began the year 2-8. They then rallied to win 49 games, their most since the 1970s.
Leonsis has seen it before, but does not want his team to expect that to happen again. He has heard plenty of talk about the team's comeback two seasons ago and does not believe it should provide any real reassurance.
"I hope the team isn't looking at the precedent we set when we started [2-8] a couple of years ago and went to Game 7 against the Celtics and almost went to the [Eastern Conference] Finals. We won 49 games that year. You don't want to just fall so far behind and more importantly, you don't want to fall into these bad habits," he said.
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