WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Wizards team President Ernie Grunfeld means well. No, like, he really actually does. Additionally, you can group me with those who supported the Rashard Lewis trade with New Orleans and the selection of Bradley Beal.
But Grunfeld, in charge of the up-and-down franchise since 2003, has always been a master at painting a much brighter picture of where the Wizards actually stand. There was a general amount of optimism spewing from Grunfeld and even reporters who asked if playoffs were realistic expectations.
These were my favorite Grunfeld quotes, and what I think they actually mean.
On Nene's foot injury: "We'll see. We have to be very, very cautious with him. He aggravated his plantar fasciitis situation in the Olympics. He hasn't had much time to rest this summer because of the commitment he had to his national team."
Translation: Nene more than likely is going to miss 30 games this season. This nagging injury could be a blessing in-disguise though, as long as Kevin Seraphin continues to blossom.
On Bradley Beal: "I think Beal is a very mature player. He's only 19 -- his birthday was on draft night actually. He had a very solid summer league for us. He's a very good outside shooter but I think he surprised us with some of the playmaking ability that he had. He's put together very well for a young kid."
Translation: Jordan Crawford may start the season starting at shooting guard but it's only a matter of time before Beal and his "maturity" supplant the talented, yet flawed Crawford. Beal is a team first guy and his halfcourt game is much better suited next to Wall.
On the expectations for Randy Wittman: "He came in and did a very nice job of turning things around for us from a professionalism standpoint. I think we emphasized defense a lot more later in the season. I think that probably is going to be our strength this year."
Translation: Wittman was hired out of desperation, and to keep the expectations low. If Washington would've gone out and splashed for a bigger name (Stan Van Gundy, Jerry Sloan etc.) a disappointing season would not be tolerated by the extremely vocal fan base, or more importantly, owner Ted Leonsis.
On if he's worried about Chris Singleton and Jan Vesely's progression: "In this business you have to earn your time. I think that's only going to help us in the long run. Those players are going to have to come out and earn their minutes."
Translation: Ernie knows he completely botched the 2011 draft, and if he ran with Singleton and Vesely in the starting lineup this season, John Wall and the Wizards would be cellar-dwellers again. Barring any unforeseen changes in their basketball game, Vesely and Singleton will now transition into what they both were always meant to be: backup role players.