The Washington Wizards talk more trash than just about any team in the NBA despite not even reaching the conference finals since 1978-79.
The latest Wizard to make bold comments was point guard Austin Rivers, who Washington acquired via trade from the Los Angeles Clippers in June in exchange for center Marcin Gortat.
In a recent interview with James Herbert of CBS Sports, Rivers talked about how the Indiana Pacers are being underrated, and then boldly stated the Pacers and Wizards are on the same level as the Eastern Conference’s two heavyweights.
“That’s who they just added to the team? And nobody seems to talk about the Pacers because everybody’s so f—ing gassed up on the Celtics and the Sixers,” Rivers said. “And rightfully so: they’re both talented teams. But Indiana is just as good as both those teams. And I think we’re in the same situation.”
The Pacers are good, sure, but they’re not close to the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers or the Kawhi Leonard-led Toronto Raptors.
The Wizards are very talented, but poor coaching and a lack of clutch play have doomed them in recent playoff series. They were eliminated in a six-game first-round series last season by a Raptors team that got destroyed by the Cleveland Cavaliers in a second-round sweep.
The Celtics, before acquiring Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward, beat the Wizards in an exciting Game 7 of the conference semifinals in 2017 when Kelly Olynyk outplayed John Wall and Bradley Beal, Washington’s two best players, when it mattered most.
The Wizards won’t have to wait long to back up their latest trash talk. The 2018-19 NBA season begins Tuesday, Oct. 16.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports Images