HoopsHype Ted Leonsis rumors

July 2, 2014 Updates

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has previously said the Wizards were not making money; he told Washington Business Journal in November that annual losses were well into the seven figures. Tuesday, ESPN 980's Scott Jackson asked Leonsis about the Grantland report. “You know, I was really disappointed that a league document that just went to all of the owners somehow got into the hands of the media, but sometimes that’s to be expected,” Leonsis said. “And I’ve been pretty straightforward that the team was not profitable and was losing money, and that basically we knew that going in and we would continue to invest. And I believe, just like the Caps, if the team can perennially make the playoffs and we’ll get to a sellout situation, and our ratings will increase and then we’ll be able to get a better TV deal, the financial side of things will take care of itself. Washington Post

“But short term there are losses, yeah,” Leonsis said “The situation is real. Those are audited numbers. That’s what the league sends to all of the owners now in how the league is doing. It’s something we have to work on. But I’m more focused on making the team better and making those investments than I am on ‘Are we making money or losing money.’ ” Washington Post

June 4, 2014 Updates

“And I really didn’t say what they thought I was saying,” he went on. “You know, the game was on ESPN. I was saying ‘Bill Simmons,’ that’s what I was saying. I saw him sitting right across from me. In basketball, especially the playoffs, there’s nothing more exciting than playoff basketball, playoff hockey. And so emotions fly high, and you maybe say some things that you don’t mean, but it’s all a matter of the intensity and how hard and how much you want to win for your fans.” Washington Post

June 3, 2014 Updates

"Randy's leadership and preparation allowed him to implement and build an unselfish team mentality over the last several seasons where defense comes first and every player is held accountable," said Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis. "The result is a Washington Wizards team that proudly represents our fans and our city both on and off the court and has us looking eagerly toward what we can accomplish moving forward." NBA.com

May 27, 2014 Updates
May 5, 2014 Updates

Ted Leonsis joined Scott Jackson and Brian Mitchell on ESPN 980′s “Inside the Locker Room” Monday afternoon and was asked about the the potential scheduling conflict between Game 6 (if necessary) on May 15 and the Lady Gaga concert scheduled at Verizon Center the same night. “I’m wearing my meat suit,” Leonsis joked, referencing the outfit Lady Gaga wore to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. “I’m going to wear my meat suit in homage to Lady Gaga just as I did when I wore the Nene jersey. Free Lady Gaga.” Washington Post

April 27, 2014 Updates

Ted Leonsis: As I have stated, there should be zero tolerance for hatemongering. Hate speech demonstrates an ignorance that is unacceptable, and I implore all of us to help eliminate any form of discrimination. I have full confidence that Commissioner Silver will conduct a thorough investigation and act accordingly upon his findings. Ted's Take

March 13, 2014 Updates
March 6, 2014 Updates

Coach Randy Wittman appears to be on the verge of guiding the Washington Wizards to the playoffs. And if the Wizards get there for the first time in six seasons, Wittman undoubtedly will receive praise. He’d rather receive a new contract. Wittman’s current one expires after the season. Although qualifying for the postseason would be a significant accomplishment for the franchise — especially considering the Wizards’ recent history — owner Ted Leonsis expects the Wizards to be a playoff team. Leonsis has set the bar high, and Wittman realizes he must clear it. Washington Post

January 22, 2014 Updates

Ted Leonsis has talked quite a bit about why his organization created the all-digital Monumental Network, and what that will mean for the Wizards’ and Capitals’ TV rights in the future. But that remains among the most important local sports business stories going, and every time he talks he adds a few details. Thus, here is Leonsis talking about the issue during a recent appearance at the University of Maryland’s Phillip Merrill College of Journalism and the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism. For his thoughts on dealing with official media partners, see here. Washington Post

January 13, 2014 Updates

"We have staff working all day today to make sure this issue doesn't occur again. Our staff worked very efficiently to identify where the leaks were. And we always have staff on hand that are experienced with issues such as this. We also literally had to get atop of the roof outside to see what the issues were. The big freeze this past week might have created a small fissure in roofing materials, and as the rain came on and some ice was melting, some water was able to seep in,"Ted Leonsis wrote on his personal blog. Ted's Take

November 14, 2013 Updates

It doesn’t take much to see why Washington’s Randy Wittman is the guy many see as the coach on the hottest seat. His team is 2-6 but with playoff aspirations. His star player is writing playoffs on his shoes every game (and shooting 37.9 percent). His team’s owner Ted Leonsis has talked playoffs a lot and said injuries are not an excuse. Leonsis has been a loyal and patient owner, but at some point that is going to end because he wants to win, too. On top of it all the Wizards’ veteran players are frustrated with the younger ones. NBCSports.com

Ted Leonsis on his favorite part of ownership: “It’s the fan interaction. I’ve probably exchanged half a million emails. …I’m an extrovert by nature, and I get a lot of energy from that. It’s absolutely amazing. … People will come up to me in a mall or a restaurant and say, ‘Do you remember me? I sent you an email in 1999.’ The passion and enthusiasm fans entrust in you is like no other business.” Sports Business Daily

Then downside of ownership: “In sports, there’s one winner and 29 losers. The assets, from a business standpoint (of the teams I own), have dramatically increased in value … but we haven’t won a Stanley Cup or NBA championship, so I’m a failure. That’s what this business is about. One winner and 29 losers.” Sports Business Daily

Leonsis said his long-term goal is to turn the broadband network behind the Capitals, Wizards and Mystics into a production house with “the ability to show something in our arena, in real time, in all the televisions in the arena and outside on the signs and in those virtual screens on everyone’s site and everyone’s phone.” Leonsis would like to see it broadcasting concerts, and professional, college and high school sports games that take place at the Verizon Center. “We can look at all of that as ancillary opportunity for us,” Leonsis said. The Wizards and Capitals both have long-term rights deals with Comcast Sports Net. The Wizards have seven years left on their deal. The Capitals have three. Leonsis said that he envisions doing one of three things with those rights when they become available. “One would be that we would partner in a big way with Comcast,” Leonsis said. “I certainly believe we should have ownership in that network and a large voice in the programming of that network because we know our fans and our community extremely well. Or we would launch our own network, the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Network, or we’ll partner with some other sports network.” Sports Business Daily

November 12, 2013 Updates
October 7, 2013 Updates

"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 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." -- Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, to local reporters, throwing down the gauntlet for his team to improve upon its dismal showings of the last few years. Both general manager Ernie Grunfeld and coach Randy Wittman are entering the final years of their respective contracts. NBA.com

“We played three kids,” Leonsis said, talking about Washington’s first game of the season. “People talk about how the team is aging. We have the eighth-youngest team in the league. I like when we interject some of the new kids into the lineup….We’re healthy, and my expectation is that this is the deepest team since I’ve owned the team. I don’t see any weaknesses, and I see that we’re prepared for injury. I mean, that’s one of the things in sports that sometimes we under estimate: injuries happen, your second-line guy, your third-line guy. Washington Post

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

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