John Wall told the Washington Post on Friday that the Wizards hired Scott Brooks to win a title, not just to make a run at soon-to-be free agent Kevin Durant.
Brooks, the former Thunder coach, replaced Randy Wittman as this week and helped develop Durant for much of his career in Oklahoma City. He would be part of the team’s expected marketing pitch in the off-season. Durant is a native of the D.C. area.
“We signed Scotty Brooks to win an NBA championship,” Wall told the Post’s Jorge Castillo. “We didn’t sign Scotty Brooks to say, ‘Okay, Scotty, go get him. You got to bring us Kevin Durant.’ We got Scotty Brooks because we feel like he can help John Wall and make him a better player and make our team get to the next step.
“We didn’t get Scotty Brooks just to get Kevin Durant. That’s not what Scott is on board to do. And I hope everybody doesn’t expect just because we got Scotty Brooks, he’s automatically going to get K.D., he’s going to automatically jump.”
Wall told the Post he was in favor of hiring the former Thunder coach and had heard good things from OKC star Russell Westbrook, with whom he shares a trainer. But he reiterated that Brooks was hired to move the team forward, first and foremost.
“I just don’t think it’s fair on [Durant] and I don’t think it’s far on Scotty and our part as a team and an organization,” Wall said. “If that was the case, that’s not a real smart move and I know those guys didn’t [hire Brooks] just for that. It’s about us trying to focus and win, try to take the next step to give us a better team. One step is getting a new coach and now the next step is getting free agents that are going to help the team.”
The Wizards went 41–41 this season and missed the playoffs.