Last weekend, I wrote up two pieces. First, a list of people inside and outside the box who could be the Wizards’ General Manager. Second, I wanted to quell some rumblings that the Wizards didn’t find their match just yet.
This week, the Wizards finally were in the news as several candidates including Danny Ferry and Troy Weaver interviewed or will interview for the position. Houston Rockets Vice President Gersson Rosas was also on the shortlist but he will be the President of Basketball Operations for the Timberwolves instead.
The Wizards are still thinking about Tim Connelly of the Nuggets who hasn’t denied interest in coming to D.C. And Masai Ujiri of the Raptors is also “intrigued” according to NBC Sports Washington’s Ben Standig.
There are many reasons why the Wizards’ job is in demand by qualified candidates. Here’s why:
- Ted Leonsis is a forward-thinking businessman because he will invest in technology — The Wizards were among the first teams to implement SportVU cameras in their home arena. The Wizards, Mystics and Capitals made use of virtual reality in practice and training before practically anyone else. Leonsis is more of an analytics-oriented team owner than former Wizards President of Basketball Operations Ernie Grunfeld.
- Job security — Cynical fans will point this out as the number one selling point. While security is important, Leonsis is likely to understand that it will be several years before the Wizards have a clean salary slate to work with in light of John Wall’s supermax contract. The new head of basketball operations is only going to be able to do so much in the first four seasons barring Wall bouncing back to pre-Achilles injury form.
- Washington is a basketball city at its core — The Washington area has produced many great NBA players though most of them didn’t play for the Wizards. Though Charlottesville is over 100 miles away, the University of Virginia won the men’s basketball championship this season. Maryland and Georgetown have also won titles back in the day. People here love basketball. They’re just fickle about the Wizards who could fall below D.C. United in the local sports pecking order very soon. So a consistent winning Wizards team should make them more popular than any sports team locally except the Redskins, for now.
- Washington is a great place to live — If you aren’t from the D.C. area, you probably think that the city is a boring place where politics is the only form of entertainment out there. Politics is certainly a form of entertainment in Washington. And yes, the city is elitist: D.C. has the highest rate of tertiary or post K-12 education in the world according to bestcities.org. Though people from outside the area, especially politicians use that as an epithet, natives of the DMV take it with pride. Washington is the most powerful city in the world and we’re PROUD OF IT! The D.C. area has many good schools for the kids, nice neighborhoods, restaurants, parks, museums and everything in between for those who want to experience some of that “Noo Yawk” lifestyle without too much hustle and bustle.
Alright, that’s enough from me. But the Washington Wizards’ search for a new General Manager is going well. And there are plenty of reasons why a great candidate wants to be here in the DMV.