Scott Brooks supports Casper Ware after Knicks game scuffle
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Scott Brooks supports Casper Ware after Knicks game scuffle

Brandon Jennings, Casper Ware

During Monday night’s preseason game between the Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks, a much-talked about incident with less than a minute to go in the third quarter occurred.

After Knicks guard Brandon Jennings drove to the basket and made a tough floater in the paint, he then went to Wizards rookie Casper Ware and said a few words to him. On the ensuing play, the 27-year-old gave Ware a hard bump that stopped the game temporarily after the two had a confrontation.

Cooler heads prevailed when players from the two teams separated them, and both were assessed with technical fouls.

Jennings’ actions brought him a lot of criticisms. Some thought of it as something he did on purpose to get noticed by New York fans and others believed he went over the top as it was only a preseason game and he did it to an unheralded rookie who isn’t even guaranteed a roster spot.

After the game, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks gave his support to Ware and praised him for the work he’s put in to try and make the team. Per Candace Buckner’s article for The Washington Post:

“I always focus on playing the game the right way and one thing about Casper, he’s trying to make the team.”

“Whatever the other guy wants to talk about and do, [Ware’s] trying to make the team. You’ve got to respect guys like Casper. It’s not easy making this league and he’s putting himself in position to make it in the league. Whatever the other guy was saying — that’s not how we do things. We want to focus on what we need to do and play good basketball and respectful basketball.”

It’s not surprising that the 51-year-old bench tactician stood up for his rookie as he has been known to be a “player’s coach” and has had good relationships with his wards even during his days with the Oklahoma City Thunder. But how he got his message across and defending Ware is very admirable as he was careful with his words and noticeably did not even mention Jennings’ name throughout his statement.

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