I don't think there's a hard-core Wizards fan reading this who doubts Ernie Grunfeld will be back next year. As Amin said a few weeks back, Monumental's stewardship of the Wizards has been plagued by shifting goal posts. A 24-25 finish blurs the Leonsis Line of .500 or bust following John Wall's return ... or does it?
Ted Leonsis is a forgiving sort, especially when it comes to his GMs. Both George McPhee and Ernie Grunfeld have kept their jobs despite long tenures and results a majority of observers would classify as 'unsurvivable'. Therefore, we must take a contextual view when we apply the Leonsis Line because the Line itself was conceived in context.
Stripped down to its core, it boils down to "barring injuries, this team better be a .500 club." Problem is, with Nene, Bradley Beal, Martell Webster, Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor all missing time as the winning percentage dipped, the prime conceit of the Leonsis Line is out the window. Be honest: did anyone think EG's job was on the line with that John Wall three point attempt against the Bulls on Wednesday? Hell, just being that close with so many key pieces out gives "moral victory" new meaning, eh?
Personally, I think this is a subject Ted should remain silent on. Fans expect Grunfeld to be back, the media expects it. More from January:
So we are playing a lot better, but I really want to see what the team's like when everyone's healthy, [when] we add another piece here or there. And my bet is that going into the rest of the year, that we'll be much improved, and we can have a lot of upside for our next season."
Well, here's the Wiz, a .500-kind of team when healthy with upside for next season without an Olympics for Nene to flog himself through. We expect Ernie will be back because the same shifting goal posts that led to the creation of the Leonsis Line have negated it and the Wiz seem to have undergone the organizational shift I wrote about last week. Any comments Ted sees fit to make on the subject will lead to a torrent of backlash, so why make them at all?
This plot line feels way too predictable (TRANSPARENT?) and Ted probably will wind up commenting on the matter at some point to some degree. But no matter how long or thoroughly he discusses the matter, in the end, everyone will be left wondering the same thing: just how much patience does Ted Leonsis have left?