In a recent interview with FastLifeShow.com, veteran swingman Maurice Evans spoke highly of his former teammates and the overall direction of the Wizards’ movement.
Part of a brief exchange regarding the immediate outlook of the team, Evans downplayed assumptions of player immaturity and defended the underachieving squad he had been a part of for the past 2 seasons, claiming they were just victims of youth.
“I wouldn't characterize it in that way. For me personally, the players there were just growing and maturing in the league and being young, there are a lot of things that they just don't know,” Evans said.
Evans landed in DC during the 2010 season as part of the Kirk Hinrich/Jordan Crawford trade. His production on the floor was limited for most of his time here, but his veteran presence and leadership was always vital.
Evans also disregarded any notion of retirement and apparently had declined Ernie Grunfeld’s job offer in the front office, claiming that he still “has a lot to give on the court as a player and in the locker room."
"I just spoke with Ernie Grunfeld last week and they offered me a job in management," revealed Evans who declined the front office position citing the belief of, "still having a lot to give on the court as a player and in the locker room," adding, "it's not quite time to hang up the playing shoes just yet."
A few other excerpts from interview...
Fast Life: Your Wizards this past season struggled again. Didn't make the playoffs and I understand that it is a very young and rebuilding team. Your thoughts pertaining to this past year?
Evans: Just had a really young team. Our inexperience, we just couldn't overcome that. A lot of mistakes cost us, especially early in the season. Unfortunately, I won't be a part of the organization as they have set their roster for the upcoming season. I wish them nothing but the best.
Fast Life: Can you clear the air concerning the reports coming out of Washington pertaining to the Wizards players as far as their immaturity,not taking their job seriously,not caring. Did you witness any of that last season?
Evans: I wouldn't characterize it in that way. For me personally,the players there were just growing and maturing in the league and being young,there are a lot of things that they just don't know. As young men, you make a lot of mistakes. I think it's kind of unfortunate that our players in general are put on a pedestal because we are so talented on the court. In reality,we're not role models because we are so talented in what we do. A lot of us come from broken homes, a lot of guys struggle with their decision making concerning money and this fast paced life. That is why I'm proud being a part of the Union because now we can tap into what is really going to help guys grow as young men,to have a sense of purpose and really grow on and off the court.
Fast Life: Having played with both Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard, will it work out for the best down in LA now that they are teammates?
Evans: Yes. I couldn't see why it wouldn't. Kobe is a great player. I'm sure that he will help Dwight reach his full potential.