The summer of 2019 was one of major change for the Washington Wizards. The most notable change was with the front office as Tommy Sheppard became the team’s new General Manager, replacing his former boss, Ernie Grunfeld.
The Wizards are also sharing more services with the Mystics, Go-Go and Wizards District Gaming as part of Monumental Basketball. These services include players’ career development and wellness.
One of the major differences between Sheppard and Grunfeld is their approach to decision making. Sheppard encourages a more collaborative mindset. Grunfeld preferred a more hierarchical or top-down approach.
Though all of these changes took place, it’s way too early to say whether things will work out for the better. And some Wizards fans are skeptical, or cynical, that anything has changed.
Our own Osman Baig pointed this out last Friday.
Wiz twitter gonna be interesting this year. Ernie's gone but the narratives on twitter still seem to be the same. Mgmt clearly isn't pushing all their chips in for the 8th seed anymore and has big picture in mind yet Wiz twitter is stuck in Ernie mode...— Oz (@OBtoojiveforyou) September 20, 2019
And here are some of the responses. Several of them pointed to ownership as a reason why fans are skeptical.
Definitely fair, but I'd say in this case they've gone from dictatorship under Ernie to a collaborative setting and the volume of new people they've brought in is astounding. Sashi Brown, Johnny Rogers, JTIII, Jamison, Rod Thorn, etc...in all I think 10 new ppl added to the FO— Oz (@OBtoojiveforyou) September 20, 2019
Fair to be skeptical and I'm no fan of how he's done as an owner since taking over but the moves this summer seem to point towards a shift in philosophy.— Oz (@OBtoojiveforyou) September 20, 2019
I’m actually encouraged by Ted. He basically admitted he was absentee by letting Ernie operate unchecked which makes me angry about the past but he seems finally to be paying close attn to his team. It shouldn’t have taken 10 yrs however.— Oz (@OBtoojiveforyou) September 20, 2019
It is fair to hold Ted Leonsis accountable for the Wizards’ mistakes and lack of success the last couple seasons. But he, like anyone else, can change over time. And if you are wishing that he would sell the team (since those tweets and comments happen from time to time), I addressed that last June.
There are also fans who are optimistic about Rui Hachimura’s rookie season and how Davis Bertans will fit in.
Im looking forward to seeing what Rui TBJ and Bertans do in the upcoming season. Can Brooks develop these guys? As in winning Id be happy with no quit all heart b-ball this year. Throw the record out but it would be fun if they surprised us all.— R Ryerse (@RyerseRichard) September 20, 2019
I’m just here for Rui, Brown, & Bryant highlights. And the occasional “IT is back” game. Oh and Beal is better than X player tweets.— Stanford Fraser (@Stanfordfraser) September 20, 2019
There seems to be two camps on how much benefit of the doubt fans should give the Wizards, especially the front office this season? Let us know in the comments below!