This has been the busiest of offseasons for Monumental Sports & Entertainment. And for me.
It has been a full on sprint for the last 100 days.
At the Capitals, with big changes to management and then hiring new staff and leadership.
And then on to the draft, free agency, and development camp.We drafted and made the most moves ever in our history at the draft table. We are very happy with our picks and just signed a few players to deals this week.
We were very active in free agency. Adding to our goal tending and to our defensive corp. As I have noted - I do believe now we have the most depth on defense that we have had in the last ten or fifteen years as a franchise.
We made dramatic changes this offseason. This is what happens when you don't qualify for the playoffs.
I am also very happy with the working relationship I am seeing between our new GM, head coach and assistant coaches and staff. I am also thrilled that we have re-bonded with our partners in Hershey and that we can restock the Bears with some dynamic young players and they can build a great team again in partnership with the Caps.
The Wizards have also had an incredibly busy offseason.
We have re-signed our head coach and staff after a very successful season that included a playoff appearance and a series win.
We also resigned our big man free agent in Marcin Gortat. We added Paul Pierce to the lineup via free agency. We enter next season with a very solid starting 5, including Gortat, Pierce, Nene, Wall and Beal. I believe that is a very good mix of young players and veteran players. I believe Paul Pierce is a future Hall of Fame player and he is the leading scorer in Boston Celtics history.
Perhaps equally important, we have signed many vet free agents and also made astute sign and trades to add to our depth as a franchise. I am very pleased that we have built an organizational structure and changed the culture so that terrific and talented and experienced players now want to come play in DC and for the Wizards and for our growing fan base.
We will have a very big, tough, and talented team come next season. We will have a fine mix of young players and vet players. We are a team constructed to win now and to have flexibility to win in the out years too.
We have made many changes to improve the team for the coming seasons, but also have been astute in managing our salary cap to give us flexibility in future off seasons. And we have done so in a very straight forward and honest way.
I believe we have acted with integrity, without grandstanding , and we did the right things in the right way; for today and with an eye out for tomorrow. I believe we have had a very successful off season.
I also am quite happy with our Summer League play to date and with how Otto Porter and Glen Rice are performing.
I also have been very involved in NBA matters and serve as Chairman of the NBA Media Committee. We have done much work here and I am honored to contribute to the league in this manner.
We also are in planning stages on a new practice facility for the Wizards and we are in early discussions regarding the D league and what we should do here as a part of our basketball operations and the new NBA landscape.
All good things come to those who wait. I believe we have prioritized our work in basketball matters in the correct fashion.
I am also pleased that our WNBA franchise has been rebuilt quickly and that we are competitive and are in the mix for a playoff spot even though we had dramatic player personnel changes entering this season. ESPN is being a fantastic partner to the WNBA. I am very happy with the leadership Mike Thibault is exhibiting here for us as our coach and GM.
I also want to add that there has been new work done to enhance Verizon Center for our fans, we do this kind of upkeep on an annual basis, during the off season. This ongoing refreshing of our building helps us to continue to be a world class venue.
Plus, we have been working very diligently on DC 2024 - our collective work to bring the Summer Olympics here to DC. I am very excited about this grand vision of what our city can become and hope sports can play a central role in our collective community identity. I am serving as a founding member of this team and as Vice Chairman of the effort.
We are here to serve.
We love our community and believe it is a great time to be a basketball and hockey fan here in the DMV.