Pat Sullivan Rumors
Coach Randy Wittman and Tommy Sheppard, senior vice president of basketball operations, are leaving Friday to visit Gortat who has been coordinating basketball camps across his homeland. Wizards assistant coach Pat Sullivan already has been there assisting Gortat, who is coming off one of his best seasons as a pro — and his first in Washington — with 13.2 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.
Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has promoted Tommy Sheppard to senior vice president of basketball operations. In addition, the team has named Marc Eversley as vice president of scouting, Frank Ross as director of player personnel, Greg Ballard as advance pro scout and Thomas Knox as director of player performance and rehabilitation while promoting Ed Tapscott to vice president of player programs, Pat Sullivan to assistant coach, Brett Greenberg to director of basketball analytics/salary cap management, Bryan Oringher to video coordinator and Ryan Richman to assistant video coordinator.
With Jerry Sichting moving on to Phoenix, the Wizards have promoted former advance scout Pat Sullivan to the role of full-time assistant. Sullivan replaces Sichting, who left two weeks ago to become the lead assistant with new Suns Coach Jeff Hornacek.
Pat Sullivan doesn’t know what to do with himself. He struggles to remember when he wasn’t preparing for a basketball season at this time of year. The NBA lockout has affected Sullivan, a Bogota native and one of the best players in Bergen County history. His contract as a Detroit Pistons assistant coach expired June 30 and wasn’t renewed. Sullivan, who has coached in high school, college and the NBA consecutively since graduating from North Carolina in 1995, hasn’t been able to find work because few teams are hiring during the lockout. “It’s kind of crazy,” Sullivan said. “Now my basketball is talking to coaches, watching stuff on TV, watching old games, going into the driveway and playing and going and helping fifth- and sixth-grade boys.”
“I would love to be here. It’s a great organization. My family’s here, but right now it’s a question mark and it’s up in the air.” Sullivan would appear to have a good chance if either of two of the known candidates — Lawrence Frank or Mike Woodson — is hired. But there are no guarantees. Is this an anxious time? “Not for me — it might be for my wife,” Sullivan said with a laugh. “She might decide to leave me.”
But this is the life Sullivan picked when he decided to become a basketball coach, and the reality is that this comes with the territory. “At the end of the day, the players are paid to have a certain standard of play that they are supposed to be held accountable to, as are coaches,” Sullivan said last month. “This is a win business. Not a I-like-you business or you’re-a-good-guy business. You hope it’s all of that, but at the end of the day and the bottom line is you have to win to obviously keep your job and continue to work.