Washington Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld and interim head coach Randy Wittman spoke to reporters on Tuesday following the team's decision to fire Flip Saunders. In the press conference, Grunfeld said the team's rebuilding plan will not change, but he did think the new coach will need to do a better job taking advantage of the talent on the roster.
"It was cumulative," Grunfeld said about the decision. "Last night, obviously, nobody is happy with, including players and everybody. We all felt it was time for different voice and do some different things to take advantage of the talent on the team."
Speaking about that different voice, Wittman said his top priority is to make sure the players are held accountable for poor effort.
"You have to prove that you deserve to be on the floor and continue to develop," Wittman said. "There becomes a point where if you know you're going to be out there, you'll play however you want to play. We've got to change that."
He also said that he wants to make the team more of an up-tempo squad and challenged star John Wall to accept coaching.
"John's a big part of this. John has the ability i think to be a very, very good player," Wittman said. "John has to now take what he has and not just think it's given to him. He is a talented player that I think I need to coach. He has to be willing to be coached. If he does that, that's where good players become great players."
Grunfeld, meanwhile, continued to reiterate that while things are tough now, the Wizards are following their plan and he expects things to turn around. He said this is a "process most teams go through" and ended his remarks by saying "[the players] are losing right now, but just because you're losing, you're not a loser."
Wittman echoed that optimism, but said change was needed.
"I would have walked with [Saunders] if I didn't believe this team could be better than what we are," he said. "There's got to be change. We've got to change. I'm not the miracle-worker here. We've got to change our outlook on how we play."
(All quotes via CSN Washington's live stream).