Wizards guard Bradley Beal avoided specifically calling the meeting "pointless" but added he and his teammates "didn't accomplish what we needed to accomplish in that meeting":
"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. 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."
According to Buckner, it's unclear when the Wizards players actually held the meeting, but it was at least at some point before Wednesday's 133-109 defeat to the Charlotte Hornets.
Even though players-only meetings almost always occur as a way to address internal issues, players generally try to spin the situation in a positive light. Wizards center Jason Smith did exactly that when speaking to Buckner.
"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."
That's why it was surprising to see Beal be so blunt about how little he believes the meeting helped matters.
Although Beal and Wizards guard John Wall have largely moved on from the tension they shared a few years ago, drama has never been too far behind for the team. Wall was also direct in December about how Washington needs to show more consistent effort in order to truly contend for an Eastern Conference title.
The Wizards are right to feel some urgency about striking while the iron is hot. The Cleveland Cavaliers have never been worse since LeBron James returned in 2014, which should give Washington a genuine shot at reaching the NBA Finals.
Instead, the Wizards are 26-20 and fifth in the East and appear no closer to catching the Cavs, to whom they lost both of their head-to-head meetings so far.
Washington still has a few months to get things right before the playoffs, and general manager Ernie Grunfeld has until Feb. 8 to make a trade that can seriously strengthen the Wizards' roster.
But a fourth second-round exit in five years may beckon if the team can't move past its current issues.