Frustrated over his team's 1-4 start, two losses in a row and his players' poor response to it at practice today, Wizards Head Coach Flip Saunders kicked his players out of practice and told them to come back at 4 PM with a better attitude. "We're not going to beg guys to play hard...You can't coach effort," an annoyed Saunders told the media. [Watch video of Flip explaining why he did this.]
Injured forward Josh Howard agreed with Saunders' move, criticizing the team's focus at practice and lamenting the fact that he's not healthy enough to run with the rest of the team right now. [Watch video of Howard discussing this with the media.]
Forward Andray Blatche joked about the "two-a-day" and "training camp in November" nature of being kicked out and then called back to practice later in the day, but added, "We need it." Blatche added that he thought Flip broke up the practice not because of a lack of effort but because players were talking and complaining during practice. [Watch video of Blatche discussing today's practice.]
Center Hilton Armstrong agreed, saying some players were complaining too much about calls made by coaches during practice. He included himself in that. [Watch video of Armstrong discussing today's practice.]
We will see how the team reacts to Saunders' anger. Clearly, something needs to change because the team isn't just 1-4, it has really collapsed at key times in games against Atlanta, New York and, most embarrassingly, Cleveland.