Sashi Brown Rumors
Monumental Basketball announced the hire Friday, saying Katherine Evans would oversee its research department, supporting the Wizards, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, the G League’s Capital City Go-Go and Wizards District Gaming. Her new title is vice president of research and information systems. “Dr. Evans is an exceptional talent with a true passion for the game of basketball and is widely respected within the league and academic circles,” said Sashi Brown, Monumental Basketball’s chief planning and operations officer. “She brings innovative approaches and perspectives and will be a great leader of our research department, which is charged with identifying competitive advantages for all of our athletes and our athlete care and performance team.”
The moves come under the jurisdiction of Chief of Athlete Care and Performance Daniel Medina. The Wizards’ front office is set up with three decision-makers, all of whom are equal in the organizational hierarchy. General manager Tommy Sheppard makes the basketball verdicts. Chief Planning and Operations Officer Sashi Brown runs the administrative side for Monumental Basketball, which includes not just the Wizards but also the Mystics. Medina runs the medical side.
And because of that, even describing his role can seem vague and nebulous. When it comes to the Wizards in particular, the bottom-line is that general manager Tommy Sheppard makes the basketball decisions while Brown and his staff do whatever they can to help make those decisions better reasoned and informed. “I provide Tommy and [head coach Scott Brooks] and [assistant GM] Brett Greenberg and the rest of that staff as much support as we can through a player development and engagement function. Also, team operation as well and then certainly on the research and strategy side. They really could operate on their own if they absolutely needed to. We’re here to supplement and enhance,” Brown said.
Much of what Brown will do to lift Monumental Basketball’s teams is still in the works, he says. The Wizards, for instance, have made strides with analytics including with the hiring of assistant coach Dean Oliver. But more can be done both for them and the other franchises. Brown said there are plans to build out a more robust analytics operation for the defending-champion Mystics. “Having data be part of the information that we consider when we are making these really important decisions and complex decisions, is I think a wise practice and something we fully embrace from Ted Leonsis and his partnership group all the way on down,” Brown said.
Sashi Brown understands how he gets to be labeled “the football guy” in Washington Wizards managing partner Ted Leonsis’ unorthodox, revamped front office that features three basketball lifers and a longtime soccer trainer who most recently worked in the NBA. After all, Brown’s highest-profile and most recent job before joining the Wizards was serving as either the visionary or overmatched executive vice president of the Cleveland Browns. While Brown isn’t running from and takes pride in his past, attaching an all-encompassing label isn’t all that fair to someone who used his smarts and a lifelong passion for sports to make a remarkable and rapid rise up an NFL that kept providing impossible-to-resist opportunities. It doesn’t fully capture a 43-year-old Harvard law alum who didn’t grow up in Boston limiting his love to just one game — he wanted to be both Darrell Green and Isiah Thomas.
“I don’t think anybody likes being put in boxes,” Brown said, “and there is nothing wrong with being a football guy. But I think we can all be greater than one thing and I think as distinct as we think these sports are, there are a lot of commonalities between them. That’s what my experience has been.”