Tap on Flip

This will be the final night the Washington Wizards don gold uniforms, but this will also be District native Ed Tapscott's final home game as coach of this team. The Wizards are closing in on Flip Saunders and hope to get something done sooner than later. That has moved Tapscott from interim to lame duck, for lack of a better term.

Here's what he had to say at shootaround this morning:

On the Saunders speculation: "I think it would be inappropriate to comment. I've got two games left to finish. I've got tonight and I've got Boston on Wednesday. That's my entire focus at this point, to make sure we finish strongly as a team. Those issues play themselves out."

On whether the Saunders rumors are a hot topic in the locker room: "Team issues always focus on games and performance. I'm not in the locker room with them every minute. But the task at hand -- that's pretty much what we focus our conversations on."

On his personal feelings about possibly coaching his last game at Verizon Center as Wizards interim coach: "I would say I want to win every game I possibly can. I've taken that approach this entire season. I think as a professional team, that's your obligation, to play to win. Whether you do or not, obviously, is depended on a lot of different factors. But your approach, regardless of any circumstances surrounding your team and your franchise, is to go out and play and win. It wouldn't change my approach, if this were my last game or my first game. It would be the same approach. I can only play one game at a time."

And finally, on Flip: "I know Flip very well. Good guy. Good coach. Knows the game. Certainly does his work in the league, in each situation he's been in. He's one of the better coaches in the NBA."

I'm not sure how it will affect anything as far as the timing of Saunders' hiring, but Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld will be in New York on Thursday and Friday for the Board of Governors meetings.

A lot depends on what Saunders wants to do. Saunders certainly isn't in any rush to make to a decision. He's in a position where he can pick his spots, really. He can sit back and select the most ideal situation. But if you look at the teams that currently have interim coaches, you'd be hard pressed to find a better situation to enter than Washington, with three all-stars in tow. Sacramento is a mess with limited talent. Oklahoma City will likely keep Scott Brooks. Philadelphia could easily keep Tony DiLeo with the team advancing to the playoffs. Toronto has had a difficult season, but it has one all-star in Chris Bosh and might keep Jay Triano. Phoenix has plenty of talent, but the Suns appear poised to blow up that whole operation. And, I don't see him going back to Minnesota to replace Kevin McHale. That would just be weird.

This doesn't mean that Saunders won't go elsewhere. Who knows what happens this postseason, or what jobs become available? But right now, the Wizards job is perhaps the best available -- on paper, at least, and if Arenas is right.

By the way, Arenas said he is not going to play tonight against Toronto.

By Michael Lee |  April 13, 2009; 1:25 PM ET
Previous: Gilbert's Vendetta Against Flip | Next: The Other Side: Toronto Raptors

Comments

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Flip is going to coach us, no if's and's or butt's about it.

I am unclear on why Gil wont play, something must be up? let me guess, his knee is busted again and he needs another surgery?

http://www.wizardsextreme.com

Posted by: WizardsExtreme | April 13, 2009 1:42 PM

Come on Gil you said you would play this game, lol.

Posted by: usiel3 | April 13, 2009 1:49 PM

Oh, he's not playing tonight! Wasn't he the one that said he would play just the home games 2 weeks again.. He's too much drama!!

Posted by: brooksan | April 13, 2009 2:12 PM

Is it just me or does anyone else get the feeling that gilsknee is busted again and he does not want to report it to the media for obvious reasons

Posted by: EAllen0723 | April 13, 2009 2:37 PM

Hey Gilbert, I'm sorry you don't feel like playing today. Why don't you just take the day off, in fact, if anyone reading this posting doesn't feel well just email any Washington Post beat writer, tell them you aren't working. And take a the rest of the day off. It's not like you'll be held accountable.

Posted by: RomulusBeatRemus | April 13, 2009 2:40 PM

Yeah, while you at it. Give me some of that 14 million you made this year too!!

Posted by: brooksan | April 13, 2009 2:44 PM

I don't think Flip is a coach who will get us where we want to go. If we wanted to have another playoff run end in a first or second round exit then he's perfect. I thought that with our talent though, that we would want more.

Flip would be crazy not to take this gig. He's almost guaranteed to get at a 20 game positive swing and look like a genius.

Posted by: jon_quest | April 13, 2009 2:51 PM

Bye bye Tapscott!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 13, 2009 3:06 PM

I can definitely see Gilbert deciding that beating Cleveland was proof enough of what our healthy team can do so there is no reason to play another game. That would be annoying, but acceptable.

However, doing this game-time decision thing for every game makes it look like he is basing his decision to play on how he feels each night. And if he does not feel good enough to play after 11 days, then that is a problem.

Posted by: read2 | April 13, 2009 3:16 PM

lol why are yall gettin mad at gil its to games left.come on grow up i dnt blame him for not playing. yall need to get yall head out yall ass. now on flip that would be great with sam an if avery dnt have a job bring him on for the D. first thing yall people must realize we only have one tru D player an thats the first year player D.M gil aj cb are all scorers so we need a great offence of mind u cant teach D if all they kno is O think about the years of makin the playoff the first to years we was one of the high scoring teams once we started thinking of d we lost a step not saying. we dnt need D look at the sun they did the same thing an fall off. the wizards need to play more together ball an stop with so many 3's all good teams play together we dnt

Posted by: SMOKEONLYGREEN | April 13, 2009 3:19 PM

"lol why are yall gettin mad at gil its to games left.come on grow up i dnt blame him for not playing. yall need to get yall head out yall ass. now on flip that would be great with sam an if avery dnt have a job bring him on for the D. first thing yall people must realize we only have one tru D player an thats the first year player D.M gil aj cb are all scorers so we need a great offence of mind u cant teach D if all they kno is O think about the years of makin the playoff the first to years we was one of the high scoring teams once we started thinking of d we lost a step not saying. we dnt need D look at the sun they did the same thing an fall off. the wizards need to play more together ball an stop with so many 3's all good teams play together we dnt Posted by: SMOKEONLYGREEN |"

I think the screen name is very appropriate to the message.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 13, 2009 3:32 PM

I'm thrilled Gil is not playing tonight.

Guys, after that annoying buzzer beater (dagger!), we need to lose this game.

Posted by: iamse7en | April 13, 2009 3:35 PM

Hopefully, Flip Saunders will have the stones/authority to tell Gilbert when he is going to play, b/c it is clear that Tapscott does not...

Posted by: p1funk | April 13, 2009 3:44 PM

the question is whether Gil is sitting out because of discomfort in his knee. He was cleared to play and his last game was 11 days ago.

If he's sitting out because we are 19-61, that's fine. But if he is sitting out because he has not recovered from the Cleveland game, then that is a problem.

Given his recent history of aborted comebacks, that is a legitimate question.

Posted by: read2 | April 13, 2009 3:48 PM

As many of you know, I have been a Gil supporter. But I'm really ticked about him not playing. Unless he is hurt again - and sadly I'm beginning to believe that is the case.

Why even come back and tease us for 2 games if you refuse to even play your last 2 home games (he blew off the Wiz home game against Miami as well)?

Brendan returned and has been playing EVERY game AND increasing his minutes.

Gil owes it to the fans to play this final game.

Posted by: Lisa_R | April 13, 2009 4:01 PM

Gil's not playing? WHATEVER! i mean does it really matter at this point in the season you can take what he says with a grain of salt.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 13, 2009 4:27 PM

By the way, Arenas said "he is not going to play tonight".

I hope they put this quote on their media guide next year and offer a refund to anyone who buys season tickets next year if he does not play more them 25 games. You know the old man has an insurance policy on Gil's salary.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 13, 2009 4:58 PM

So what was the point of Gil playing two games? What did that accomplish? I was a big Gil fan, but I'm starting to get sick of all the b.s. with that guy.

Posted by: sonny2 | April 13, 2009 5:24 PM

Yeah, I thought BUCKHANTZ had lost that annoying signature of his. Guess like an NBA championship for the WIZARDS, it's never to be.

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 13, 2009 6:17 PM

"As many of you know, I have been a Gil supporter. But I'm really ticked about him not playing. Unless he is hurt again - and sadly I'm beginning to believe that is the case.

Why even come back and tease us for 2 games if you refuse to even play your last 2 home games (he blew off the Wiz home game against Miami as well)?

Brendan returned and has been playing EVERY game AND increasing his minutes.

Gil owes it to the fans to play this final game.

Posted by: Lisa_R | April 13, 2009 4:01 PM "

Oh boy...I need to sit down after reading THIS!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 13, 2009 9:13 PM

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