The benefit of the often dreaded players-only meeting can be debated forever, especially when it comes to trying to identify the tangible benefits of said meeting. Without the instant gratification of an extended win streak or a visible uptick in a team's play, it's hard to know if the session had the intended result.
That might explain the conflicting post-meeting views of the Washington Wizards, who had a recent players-only meeting that didn't exactly bear the expected fruit of the team leaders who organized the affair. In fact, as Candace Buckner of The Washington Post reports, the purpose of the meeting wasn't exactly received the same in all corners of the Wizards' locker room:
On Sunday, several teammates shared their thoughts about the closed-door gathering for the first time. Although no one seemed to remember the date of the meeting — a telling fact to how fruitless the session turned out to be — players recalled feeling as if not every topic had been addressed.
“It was tough. I try to keep all our stuff as personal as possible but I think in a way not everybody got a chance to speak whenever they wanted to,” Bradley Beal said. “They didn’t want to bring up an issue or something they had a problem with on the team. Regardless of what may be going on, as men we’ve got to be able to accept what the next man says, be respectful about it and move on from it. I think it was one of those situations where we didn’t necessarily get everything that we wanted to get accomplished.
“Honestly, it was probably — I won’t say pointless,” Beal continued, “but we didn’t accomplish what we needed to accomplish in that meeting.”
Jason Smith, a 10-year veteran skilled in locker room diplomacy, admitted to feeling less than hopeful that the team issues had been rectified. But Smith said he believed the meeting was necessary, even if it turned unproductive at times.
“Sometimes you need those moments to just get everything out in the air,” Smith said. “Just like any family. You got to let things out. You can’t hold it in and let things fester.”
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