Everything to know from the Monumental Basketball press conference

Everything to know from the Monumental Basketball press conference

NBA

Everything to know from the Monumental Basketball press conference

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The Washington Wizards announced their front office moves with the formation of Monumental Basketball and a leadership group of Tommy Sheppard, Sashi Brown, Daniel Medina, John Thompson III, Sashia Jones, and Brett Greenberg. Here are the key nuggets from the hour-long introductory press conference:

  • Ted Leonsis on Tommy Sheppard: “Congratulate him on executing in a very, very dignified manner in very, very difficult circumstances, but Tommy was able to work with us and work for us, while we were interviewing, while we were doing due diligence, and just the way that he handled himself both professionally and personally was sincerely awesome and it really advantaged him in when we had to make this decision.”
  • Tommy Sheppard: “I really just want to say how incredibly honoring it is for me to have this position, but I want to make it very clear that it’s a team of teams. We have fantastic people that were part of this entire process.”
  • Ted Leonsis on transitioning from Ernie Grunfeld to a more collaborative setting: “That’s probably the biggest cultural difference that we will have as an organization. I want to hear everyone’s voice.”
  • Leonsis first sat down with Sashi Brown a couple of months ago in a non-interview setting. Brown accepted the position 7-10 days ago (early to mid-July) and was offered the job shortly before that.
  • Mystics head coach and general manager Mike Thibault on rebuilds: “Things take time to do right. You can’t piecemeal it, you can’t do it accidentally. There has to be a purpose to what you do and there’s got to be a lot of planning and forethought and there’s got to be a contribution of everyone in the organization.”
  • Ted Leonsis on hiring Dr. Daniel Medina: “I couldn’t be happier with the work that Dr. Wiemi [Douoguih] and MedStar and all of the doctors were giving us and helping us there, but Dr. Wiemi has other clients sad to say and has to deal with lots of things. So I said what we create that takes our great staff and turbo charges it and gets deeper into all of the capabilities that MedStar has.”
  • Ted Leonsis on hiring John Thompson III and Sashia Jones: “Obviously we can pay them the money, but they know that we can have their back. We understand how difficult their jobs are how all the pressures that are on them and their families.”
  • Ted Leonsis on giving back to the community: “We very much intend to launch a very, very robust grassroots basketball operation. It’s obvious when Bradley Beal and John Wall both own AAU teams.”
  • Ted Leonsis on wanting to give the fanbase more to cheer about: “The Wizards deserve to be in service to one of the best, most knowledgeable fanbases in the world and this community loves basketball. I’ve let them down. We haven’t won 50 games, we haven’t competed for a championship since we’ve owned the team. I’ve seen the power of a winning sports team. I saw what happened when the Caps finally won the Stanley Cup. I saw Mike [Thibault] bring his team to the Finals last year and nothing will bring this community closer. Nothing will be a better feeling for every one of us than to be in service to our fanbase and the community than to build a championship and that’s what we’re going to do. No politics involved, no agendas involved, singular purpose.”
  • Tommy Sheppard on analytics talent: “I knew we already had some fantastic people already in-house. We were ready to go so one of the first moves we made was promoting Brett Greenberg to assistant general manager. I can’t say enough about our strategy department. Joe Sill one of the best analytical people you’ll ever meet in your life created a ton of things for us to be more data-driven, value-driven and that’s the way the Wizards are moving forward.”
  • Ted Leonsis on the realization that depth is more important than have three max contract players: “Our highest-paid player, our five-time All-Star, may not play at all next year. He probably won’t play at all next year.”
  • Ted Leonsis on if changes would have been made if the Wizards made the playoffs: “I still think we would have made something to adjust to the new NBA and couple it with John being injured, we had radical change.”

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