The Washington Wizards began the 2021-22 season on a high note with fans hopeful that new head coach Wes Unseld Jr. would turn the team into a contender. However, the team is currently in a freefall of sorts which was clearly reflected by the actions of an assistant coach hopping into the stands to confront a fan.
As reported by ESPN, the outlet covered the actions of assistant coach Mike Batiste as the team hosted the Miami Heat at Capital One Arena on Monday (Feb. 7). During the last minute of the game, a fan heckled the Wizards while sitting behind the team’s bench. Whatever the fan said is up to heavy speculation online but it was enough to get under Batiste’s skin, who nearly made contact with the fan until Montrezl Harrell intervened.
The frustration is high in Washington after off-season moves to ship Russel Westbrook out west to the Los Angeles Lakers was supposed to signal a culture change. The reality is that the Wizards lost nine of their last 11 games, including winnable contests given their level of talent. In some circles, many feel that it’s time to trade team star Bradley Beal while he still has value.
There was also some talk that the team would trade for Domantis Sabonis, although that deal is clearly off the table as the former Indiana Pacers big man is reportedly heading to the Sacramento Kings.
At this rate, the Wizards wouldn’t even get a play-in game berth, something Beal said he desperately wanted to avoid. Now, the team’s front office needs to make some decisions and figure out the future of the team.
It hasn’t been revealed yet if Batiste will face disciplinary action from the NBA.