Snake-loving Indiana Pacers big man Kevin Seraphin told French newspaper L’Equipe that he asked the Washington Wizards to trade him multiple times when former coach Randy Wittman refused to give him consistent minutes. Here’s the quote, as translated by HoopsHype’s Jorge Sierra:
“Every year from my second season, I asked for a trade,” Seraphin said. “And every year it was the same thing: ‘We love you, we do not want to see you leave, you have a lot of potential.’ There was even a point when they said, ‘If we do not get an All-Star in return, we will not trade Kevin.'”
“(The year Paul Pierce arrived) may have been the hardest for me because I was really in shape. My playing time fluctuated without reason. I spoke a lot with Paul (Pierce) and John (Wall). And they did not understand. This summer, I met a staff member of the Wizards in a New York restaurant. He said, ‘Your problem is that you got Randy Wittman.'”
A few thoughts:
- “Your problem is you got Randy Wittman” is a great quote. And, regardless of your opinion of Wittman, it’s instructive. A player is lucky when he enters the NBA and immediately has the trust of his coach. More often, he has to earn it. Sometimes, that proves impossible. It can take a few different teams or coaches for a player to find himself in the right situation. Seraphin is hoping that Indiana will be the best place for him.
- The year that Seraphin mentioned, 2014-15, was probably the best season of his career. He did not play major minutes (he averaged 15.5 minutes), but the fluctuation might be a bit overstated — Seraphin appeared in 79 of the Wizards’ 82 games and generally played 10-20 minutes depending on the matchup. For a score-first big man, that’s not crazy.
- Elsewhere in the interview, Seraphin took responsibility for his poor 2015-16 season with the New York Knicks, saying he was not in shape and was not himself mentally. He also said that this summer was completely different, and he’s on a mission to be better with the Pacers. This is encouraging.
- If Seraphin is going to be a key role player for Indiana or any other team, he still has some work to do. Cutting down on his turnovers, scoring more efficiently and improving his positional defense should be goals. Maybe Wittman was a problem for him, but so were those weaknesses.
Source: CBS Sports / Kevin Seraphin asked Wizards to trade him when Wittman wouldn’t play him