Washington Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis spoke with the media for over 30 minutes on Thursday evening from team’s training camp on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. TAI was there. Below is part two of all that (here is part one) — some stuff in video, some in text.
Posts tagged ‘Ted Leonsis’
Washington Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis spoke with the media for over 30 minutes on Thursday evening from team’s training camp on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. TAI was there. Below is part one of all that — some stuff in video, some in text.
TED Leonsis On…
>> TED LEONSIS ON: ROSTER TURNOVER
Media Day has been over for several hours and the Washington Wizards have been officially media’d. Quotes, images and pixels of various natures have been broadcast. Hope has been expressed. Do we have the talent to make the playoffs? Yes. How will we come together as a team? We will see, that’s what training camp is for. Will it be tough without John Wall (and Nene to some extent)? Yes, but we’re going to try anyway.
Could one simply tell, from an affair such as media day, that the Wizards are a more mature, professional team? That’s the gut feeling. Have a conversation with Nene, Emeka Okafor, Martell Webster or Trevor Ariza — there’s a difference compared to other teams in recent memory. Now young Wizards have guys they can look toward, knowing their experience, knowlege, and professionalism will provide answers they can trust. There is still as much uncertainty as to what these 2012-13 Wizards will do on the court as the last couple of seasons, but there’s much more of an underlying sense of confidence that they can stay together and tackle any adversity, that they can deflect any punches instead of simply rolling with them.
Make no mistake, until they prove themselves otherwise in the win-loss column, these are still the same Wizards. But it’s a changing franchise. And this year is a new team – the freshest start Les Boulez have had in about a decade.
ShareBullets: links, shares, stories, and irreverence…
The San Antonio Spurs recently released some new, alternate jerseys, which you can find modelled above by Kawhi Leonard. Here is what the Internet thinks of them:
Rick Pych, president of business operations, Spurs Sports & Entertainment:
The new design simply features our iconic ‘spur’ logo and it is positioned over the heart as it has such enormously deep roots with our team, fans and the entire community. It’s the first-ever NBA jersey logo without any writing or peripheral design on the front of the jersey…
ShareBullets: (basically, they’re pixels)… but also, they’re bullet points from ’round the web about the
>> Ted Leonsis calls Michael Lee’s pixels ‘fair pixels‘ … Question mark pixels, I say. Either way, the Wizards and their direction under a relatively new owner, a ‘been there’ GM/team president, and a ‘wanna be there’ old school coach will be interesting to watch. I’m excited. Question is, will the team marketing slogan be up to par?
>> Again, not much to get excited about with summer pro-am basketball, but do check out new Wizards point guard A.J. Price putting in work at the Hartford pro-am… Nice dimes.
ShareBullets … news, randomness and tidbits from around the web. These involve current Wizards, ShareBullets on past Wizards/Bullets to come…
> John Wall’s New Reebok Zigs
So a sneak peak at Wall’s new Reeboks is out, via Sole Collector. What do you think? (Poll below.) FWIW, in the poll on Sole Collector, which has many, many options, 26-percent currently say that they are “hideous.”
John Wall’s summer league feet game.
Things I learned/witnessed at summer league in Las Vegas, in bullets:
- On Day 1, Chris Webber, an analyst for the games on NBA TV, broke out his pleated cargo shorts. It was a tough day for all of us.
- Bradley Beal can block shots… he averaged one per game over five contests in Las Vegas. Chris Singleton also threw his body around a bunch (“I feel like it’s going to help Chris Singleton out a lot,” said Shelvin Mack about the summer league 10-foul limit during Wizards mini-camp prior. “You know, he likes to foul, so he’s going to play a lot longer, so it’s good for us.”). This clip shows Beal blocking, or rather, thwarting a lob attempt off the backboard, and then Singleton diving over the first row of chairs for the loose ball:
Tags: Bradley Beal, chris singleton, chris webber, earl calloway, george karl, gregg popovich, Jan Vesely, JaVale McGee, jeremy pargo, jerry west, John Wall, jordan crawford, josh selby, kevin mchale, laron dendy, Larry Sanders, Pam McGee, rod strickland, Sam Cassell, shavlik randolph, shelvin mack, Ted Leonsis, tobias harris
LAS VEGAS — Not a secret: The Wizards are content to wait out the free agency process before they make final roster determinations. With the amnestying of Andray Blatche, the Wizards now have 12 contracted players on the roster.
The Wizards could use another another big man for depth. Nene, Emeka Okafor, Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker, and Jan Vesely form a solid core, but…. For instance, I’m hearing that the Wizards would love to bring back James Singleton, but the courting process might take some time to develop, if it does at all. With the roster changes thus far, the minutes that Singleton could get have dried up a bit. Just like the Wizards, he has to let some free agency dominoes fall before being able to decide on the best option for him.
The more glaring need, however, is finding a backup point guard.
“We’re looking for somebody who can run a ball-club,” said Sam Cassell on Sunday. “We’ve got John Wall, but after John Wall, we need to figure it out. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
On June 28, NBA Commissioner David Stern strode across the Prudential Center stage to the podium and announced that Florida guard Bradley Beal was coming to play for the Washington Wizards. Prior to the draft, he became the most coveted prospect not named Anthony Davis. ESPN’s Andy Katz reported that the Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder and Cleveland Cavaliers all were willing to trade up to get Beal. None did, and the Wizards selected their man with the third pick.
Besides football toughness and high character, Beal brings sorely needed shooting and rebounding to the Wizards backcourt. Former guard Nick Young was a legitimate scorer, but did little else. Incumbent guard Jordan Crawford is also blessed with the scorer’s gene and the knack for an occasional timely pass, but defense, rebounding, and consistency are not parts of his repertoire.
Beal’s arrival, combined with the acquisitions of Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor, gives Wizards fans and coaches every reason to believe that change is coming. Those three combined with the still-maturing John Wall, a couple of promising kids in the fold, and a steady Nene for an entire season represent a new beginning … again.
In case there is any confusion, this 2012 version of “new beginnings” is slightly different than the one we saw in 2009. Then, Ernie Grunfeld and Abe Pollin tried to generate enthusiasm with the arrivals of Flip Saunders, Mike Miller and Randy Foye on top of a retread roster (Foye specifically said it was a “new beginning” for him at media day — it always is). The luster drastically wore off after uneven play, a gun incident, and trades that caused the Wizards to finish 26-56. The very next season, a game-changing new beginning was offered up by new owner Ted Leonsis in the form of number one draft pick John Wall, who received the limousine and red carpet treatment from the Wizards brass. Wall showed flashes of speed and brilliance during his rookie year, but his lack of a strong supporting cast was exposed, and by his second year, it was clear that more change was needed. This planted the seeds for this current version of a new beginning.
“Right now, I see the draft and trades as the best way to use cap space to rebuild or replenish with certainty. I am hopeful we can use free agency as well—time will tell. But it may be that having cap space is a bit over-valued in free agency.” —Ted Leonsis, on the thing about cap space.
That’s a bit of wisdom shared by the Wizards’ owner at a time when the contracts being thrown at some of the NBA’s available talent pool leave you scratching your head—it’s seems to be more about dollars than sense.
Restricted free agents Roy Hibbert and Eric Gordon are set to make max-contract money (nearly $60 million in Gordon’s case), though the teams they’ll be playing for are still in question. Crash Wallace, 29, will earn about $10 million per year as a member of the Brooklyn Nets. Wallace’s teammate Deron Williams, a stud, inked a five-year $98 million (!) contract.
Tags: atul gawande, Bradley Beal, chris singleton, deron williams, emaka okafor, eric gordon, gerald wallace, henry abbott, horst rittel, Jan Vesely, John Wall, jordan crawford, jrue holiday, kevin seraphin, landry fields, melvin webber, new yorker, roy hibbert, shelvin mack, steve nash, Ted Leonsis, trevor ariza, trevor booker, Washington Bullets