WASHINGTON - Wizards coach Randy Wittman signed a contract extension Tuesday after leading the team to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Jimmy Butler Jersey . With its young backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal, Washington beat the Chicago Bulls in the first round before losing to the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Wizards hadnt won a post-season series since 2005. Wittman was promoted to head coach when Flip Saunders was fired in January 2012, the third rebuilding project Wittman has undertaken. He has the worst regular-season record of anyone who has coached at least 400 NBA games — 191-329, a .367 winning percentage — since the league started in 1946. Wittman, in the final year of his contract, operated under a playoff-or-else edict from owner Ted Leonsis this season. "Its really the players who made the big decision, not only in the exit interviews the last couple of years and this off-season, but the way they responded to him on the court," Leonsis said on the teams website. "They respect their coach, they listen and like playing for him, and it shows." This season, Washington went 44-38, a 15-win improvement from a year ago, to finish fifth in a weak Eastern Conference. "This team and this organization have made significant strides over the last 2 1/2 seasons and Im excited to be a part of the next step in that process," Wittman said in a news release issued by the club. Wittman was scheduled to meet with reporters Wednesday. A day after being eliminated by the Pacers last month, Wizards players were full of praise for Wittman, appreciative of his tough-love tactics, his teaching methods and his game-day preparation. "He gets as much credit as the players," veteran forward Al Harrington said then. "I would really be upset if hes not the coach leading this team out of that locker room next year." Jaylen Nowell Jersey . Or take a relaxing vacation somewhere warm. Brayden Schenn and Scott Hartnell scored, Ray Emery stopped 32 shots and the Flyers beat the Calgary Flames 2-1 on Saturday for their fourth straight victory. Kevin Love Jersey . Niese pitched seven steady innings on a rainy Tuesday night and Daniel Murphy had three hits to lead New York to a 6-1 victory over the Phillies.CLEVELAND - In a switch, Greg Little was dropped by the Browns. The inconsistent wide receiver, whose flashes of excellence were often overshadowed by crucial drops and off-the-field drama, was released on Friday. The 24-year-old Little became expendable after Cleveland added veteran wide receivers Miles Austin and Earl Bennett to its roster on Thursday. Those moves were made for insurance in case Pro Bowl wide receiver Josh Gordon is suspended by the league for failing another drug test for marijuana. Gordon was suspended for the first two games last season, but led the league with 1,646 yards receiving. Last week, Browns general manager Ray Farmer said he believed Little could improve. "The young mans talented," Farmer said during the NFL draft. "The question mark would then fall onto can he be consistent and do the things that he has physically demonstrated he can do at times. If he continues to do those things and add a level of consistency, the difference between being good and great is consistency. "When a guy shows you he can do anything, he shows you he can jump up and make the one-handed catch, he shows you he can break a tackle, the question then is can he repeatedly do that over and over again. Thats the difference between being average or marginal and good or great." Littles departure ends a sometimes turbulent three-year run for him in Cleveland. The Browns drafted Little, a former running back at North Carolina, in the second round in 2011. And while he produced — he led the team in receptions in 2011 and 2012 — the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Little let too many passes slip from his hands and he had his share of other non-football issues. Karl-Anthony Towns Jersey. Last season, Little vowed to act more responsibly after it was revealed that he crashed his car driving 127 mph — more than 70 mph over the legal speed limit. He called his actions "mindless." Little was cited for drag racing and he expressed remorse for putting his life, and the life of a passenger in his expensive car, in danger. Little was reprimanded by then-coach Rob Chudzinski, who did not reveal his punishment. Little joined the Browns with a history of questionable decision-making. He was issued 93 parking tickets on multiple vehicles with nine different license plates while he was at North Carolina. In November, the school sent a letter of "permanent disassociation" to Little and other former Tar Heels football players for his role in the program receiving NCAA violations that led to criminal charges against five people for violating the states sports agent law. Little and others were suspended in 2010 for accepting improper benefits, including cash and travel accommodations. Little acknowledged his actions distressed others. "Theres a lot of people that Ive hurt," he said, "and I think a lot of the blame should be put on me much less than attacking other people." Little was typically candid when speaking to the media and he seemed to be maturing as a person and player. In 41 starts over three seasons with the Browns, Little caught 155 passes for 1,821 yards and eight touchdowns. He had 41 catches for 465 yards and two TDs last season. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL ' ' '
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Jan 2, 2020
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