Do the Washington Wizards Have a Bad Training Staff?
Last week, I linked to Matt Yglesias's question regarding NBA training staffs. Basically, Yglesias pointed out, teams like Phoenix are constantly praised for how they have handled players with injury histories, but why don't we see criticism of the training staffs of teams that have an inordinate number of injuries?
The example Yglesias used of a potential bad training staff was the Washington Wizards, who have not only had serious injuries, notably to star Gilbert Arenas, but those injuries have taken a particularly long time to heal.
Well, it just so happens a former Wizard, Etan Thomas, has his own column for Hoopshype and tackled this subject himself. Here's what he had to say on the subject:
While on the subject of team trainers and doctors, is it possible to impose a fine or forced firing when a team trainer or doctor consistently misdiagnoses numerous players? Not to call out any names but certain teams (not here with the Oklahoma City Thunder) employ trainers and doctors who regularly make medical mishaps (if that’s a politically correct way of saying it).
Now, Thomas doesn't specifically say 'Washington Wizards' in this item, but he did spend the majority of his career in D.C. It's pretty clear he could be talking about that staff.
It raises some interesting issues. Wouldn't a team notice? I mean, if the star players are not healthy and on the court, that's going to effect how much money the team makes, right? Wouldn't it make sense to have repercussions or make changes if a training staff was consistently mis-handling injuries?
And what about the players? They're the ones dealing with the staff, do they complain to team officials? They'd be the first to notice if a diagnosis seemed wrong, I would assume.
Again, it's not necessarily clear that Thomas is talking about the Wizards, but that makes two jabs at the training staff within the last two weeks, and they have clearly been hurt more by injuries than any NBA team the last couple seasons. It would make sense to raise the issue of what the training staff is or isn't doing.