HoopsHype Ted Leonsis rumors

October 5, 2013 Updates

“I’m tired of losing,” Leonsis said. “It’s not a lot of fun coming to games knowing, ‘This is going to be a tough night.’ We’re just at that point now, it’s the fourth year, we’ve retained our players, we’ve added players, we’ve spent a lot of money. And I expect us to be a playoff-caliber team. I think our fan base expects that too and that’s the pressure I’ve placed on our organization, that we have to meet the expectations of our fans – and it’s time.” Washington Post

He doesn't want to hear any apologies for his team not qualifying for the playoffs, despite Emeka Okafor (herniated disk) being out indefinitely and Chris Singleton (left toe/foot surgery) on the shelf for almost two months. He wants results. "We have 13 healthy players and the one thing I'm not allowing anybody to do is use injuries as an excuse," Leonsis said at a news conference. "We have 15 players under contract. Two can't start the season. That means we have 13. That's all you can dress anyway. "Last year, there was a pass given. We didn't have Nene and John Wall, our two best players. Understandable." CSNWashington.com

"The fan base's expectation is that we're going to have a better team. I think everybody looks at our team and the other teams in the East and say we should be a team, if we play to our capabilities, be one the teams that qualify for the playoffs. So the fans are setting that expectation. And I'm tired of losing. It's not a lot of fun coming to games knowing this is going to be a tough night. We're just at that point now. It's the fourth year. "We've retained our players. We've added a lot of players. We've spent a lot of money. And I expect us to be a playoff-caliber team. …That's the pressure I've placed on the organization." CSNWashington.com

August 2, 2013 Updates
August 1, 2013 Updates
July 31, 2013 Updates

John Wall: Words can't explain how blessed and happy I am! I want to thank my owner Mr Ted Leonsis, GM Ernie Grunfeld and the whole @WashWizards staff! Twitter @John_Wall

July 23, 2013 Updates

Ted Leonsis already has made public the Wizards’ plan to try to sign Wall to a contract extension, and Wall confirmed his camp has begun discussions but made clear that he will stay out of them. The Wizards know Wall has talent worth a maximum deal, but it’s unclear if they’ll commit that type of money to him. “The organization and front office people do a great job of keeping me there if they want to,” Wall told RealGM. “I leave it up to the [Wizards] and my agent to discuss those businesses, and my job is to just keep getting better on the court.” RealGM

June 27, 2013 Updates
April 30, 2013 Updates
April 28, 2013 Updates

The 12 owners on the NBA's relocation/finance committee will make the recommendation on the future of the Kings: • Peter Holt, Spurs (chairman of the board of governors) • Micky Arison, Heat • Clay Bennett, Thunder • Jeanie Buss, Lakers • James Dolan, Knicks • Wyc Grousbeck, Celtics • Ted Leonsis, Wizards • Greg Miller, Jazz • Robert Sarver, Suns • Herb Simon, Pacers • Larry Tanenbaum, Raptors • Glen Taylor, Timberwolves Sacramento Bee

April 19, 2013 Updates

“A key thing for us is try and keep Martell,” Leonsis said about the small forward who will become a free agent July 1, “and see what we’re going to do with John to keep him with the team for a long, long time. I think the fans would expect that to try to keep the nucleus of the team together and add around it.” CSNWashington.com

April 18, 2013 Updates

The most interesting nugget likely came when he was asked by Chenier about what the team’s focus would be during the offseason. “Well there’s lots of ways to improve the team: trades, free agency,” Leonsis said. “Obviously — unfortunately — we’ll have another high pick. And maybe we’ll get lucky and move up a couple of spaces so that we can pick 1, 2 or 3 again. We see Bradley Beal, he’s a real player, he was picked third. And you’re right, we’re gonna have a really really good backcourt with him and John. “But free agency, I think, is a way that we can use to improve the team,” Leonsis continued. “And probably the key thing for us is to try and keep Martell [Webster], and see what we’re gonna do with John [Wall] to keep him with the team for a long, long time. I think that the fans would expect that, to try and keep the nucleus of the team together and then add around it.” Washington Post

April 5, 2013 Updates

Shortly after taking control of the Washington Wizards and Verizon Center in 2010, Ted Leonsis started asking team employees what he figured was an obvious question with an easy answer: Where’s the trophy? But instead of a simple answer, all Leonsis got in return was a lot of puzzled looks, shrugged shoulders and I-don’t-knows. Nobody, it seemed, had any clue as to the whereabouts of the 1978 Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, symbolizing the lone NBA title in Bullets/Wizards franchise history. But then, finally, there was a breakthrough. Someone recalled someone else saying sometime awhile back that Smokey Bowie, the late building manager/head engineer/jack-of-all-trades who had been with the franchise since the old Capital Centre days until passing away a few years ago, had at some point taken it home with him for safekeeping. And sure enough, a carload of team employees dispatched to Bowie’s old house found the trophy — scuffed up, tarnished and dented — at the bottom of a closet. Washington Post

“They bring it in,” Leonsis recalled this week, “and it’s got dings in it, it’s matted, not shiny. My wife [Lynn] is best friends with the woman who runs Tiffany’s in Tysons Corner, so I asked her to look at it, and I said, ‘Look at this – this is what we spend a billion dollars over our lifetime to try to win, and it’s been sitting in someone’s closet. Can you fix it?’ It took about three months, but it came back perfect.” Washington Post

This weekend, the Wizards are hosting a reunion of the 1977-1978 Bullets NBA championship team, with a private cocktail party and dinner Friday night, a Q-and-A session with season-ticket holders prior to Saturday night’s game against Indiana and a halftime ceremony featuring the unveiling of a new championship banner. Among the confirmed attendees are Irene Pollin, Abe’s widow; Dick Motta, coach of the championship Bullets; general manager Bob Ferry; and at least 10 players from that team, including 100 percent of the acclaimed frontcourt of Bobby Dandridge, Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld. Fans in attendance will receive a replica of the 1978 championship ring. Washington Post

March 5, 2013 Updates

Saunders, now an ESPN analyst, was asked by ESPN 980′s Thom Loverro this week whether the Wizards’ current progress is aided by the roster purge over the last 12 months, in which the “knuckleheads” — to use Loverro’s term — were discarded. (Audio here.) “No question,” Saunders said. “I was a proponent from day one of changing that whole atmosphere. Having been in situations where we had success in both Detroit and in Minnesota, we didn’t have that… When I was there, I made my feelings pretty well known. And actually when I left — and had meetings with Ted Leonsis when I left — I pretty much said the same thing: that the team is not gonna take any type of steps until you clean out some of that knucklehead — like you said — the knucklehead factor and get everyone more on the same page.” Washington Post

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.