The Washington Wizards won their final game of the season, defeating the Charlotte Hornets to steal the 8th seed they’ve occupied for weeks leading up to the NBA’s final weekend.

The victory felt like the culmination of a months-long journey that the Wizards underwent to become a real threat in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook was asked about the turnaround, and he made sure to point the credit directly to head coach Scott Brooks.

The Wizards coach isn’t exactly the most popular among NBA circles in terms of his play-calling and late game decision-making. There have certainly been an outpouring of criticism towards Brooks from fans and media members alike, myself included, who scrutinize his work with the team.

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But at the end of the day, the words and opinions of any of these external voices hold no true weight for the franchise. Westbrook emphasized that all the slander against the Wizards coach is unwarranted, because people may not truly understand Brooks’ impact “behind the scenes”.

Love him or hate him, Scott Brooks and the Washington Wizards have completed the transformation from NBA bottom-dweller to an overpowered 8th seed. Give credit where credit is due.