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Statement from Ted Leonsis on Ernie Grunfeld

April 2, 2019
I am writing to share with you – our fans – that today Ernie Grunfeld was relieved of his duties as President of the Washington Wizards.  I met with Ernie this morning and thanked him and his family for his service to the Washington Wizards over the past 16 years.  

Despite our dedicated work this season, we did not meet our goals to win 50 games and make the playoffs. Unexpected injuries in our line up created difficult challenges, for sure, but we have a culture of accountability and of managing to positive outcomes, so now is the time for our franchise to make a change.  I was sad to make this decision, but we began this season with a “no excuses” mindset, and we just simply did not meet our goals. Tommy Sheppard will report to me for Basketball Operations.  Tommy will work to aggressively finish our season and prepare our organization for the draft and free agency.


I plan to take time to better understand our organization’s strengths and possibilities.  We will be running a process to review our structure, roles and responsibilities, and think through how we can build an organization for the next chapter of the NBA demands.   


After our review, we will begin a thorough hiring process for the new General Manager and President of Basketball Operations. We are looking to hire the right person and not just find a quick solution.  Organizational stability is highly valued here – so finding a long-term solution as our leader is our primary goal.


Thank you to our fans for your loyalty, commitment and support of our franchise throughout the years. I am excited for what’s to come in our next chapter and I look forward to one day bringing home an NBA championship to the city of Washington, DC!


 
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