The Washington Wizards had a long process deciding what route to take with their basketball operations before deciding to create Monumental Basketball, an umbrella shared services organization that also includes the Washington Mystics, Capital Go-Go and Wizards District Gaming.
In an interview with Candace Buckner of The Washington Post, Leonsis talked to 78people for advice on remaking the Wizards’ front office. They included NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and sports agent Rich Paul. Yes, the same Rich Paul who represents LeBron James and John Wall!
Buckner’s column also gave insight into how Leonsis runs job interview. Silver also noted that Leonsis isn’t someone who interviews someone for an hour or two. That’s probably for an average staff employee. Leonsis really wants to get to know someone.:
“When Ted does an interview,” Silver said, “those are not half-hour interviews or hour interviews. In many cases, I know first-hand … some of those interviews were a full day long.”
It should be noted that before Leonsis hired Mike Thibault to become the Washington Mystics General Manager and Head Coach in December 2012, the two spent a significant amount of time with each other for several weeks. If there is someone who definitely hires slowly, it’s Leonsis.
Leonsis is also apparently quite tight-lipped about “noisy” rumors from the media. Among others, Leonsis reiterated that he never intended to have Masai Ujiri, the Toronto Raptors’ President of Basketball Operations be the final decision maker for the Wizards, Mystics and Capitals.
But ultimately, his discussions with various executives in basketball and outside of the industry altogether (former U.S. President Barack Obama was even asked about this process) ultimately helped him build the umbrella organization he has already.
I like Buckner’s column overall. It certainly gives a bit more insight on how Leonsis makes his hires for the businesses he is a part of. But there’s one part that I still have questions on.
Where do the Mystics fit in the vision of Monumental Basketball? At a top level, the Mystics are probably benefiting from the resources their ownership has compared with almost every other WNBA team.
However, I feel that Buckner could have asked more about where the Mystics fit in Monumental Basketball’s vision. They were already the best performing basketball team under the previous style of management, so how do things change for them?
Anyway, how do you feel about Leonsis’ process to hire slowly? Is it to a fault? Or did he do this just right? Let us know in the comments below.