- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 3, 2003

Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin discussed the team’s vacant president of basketball operations job yesterday morning with former Maryland All-American Len Elmore, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.

The source confirmed that while this was a preliminary meeting between Pollin and Elmore, the topic of the discussion was the job from which Michael Jordan was dismissed more than three weeks ago.

Elmore, reached later in the day, did not deny the meeting but would not comment on the specifics.

“I think it’s important to allow the people at Washington Sports & Entertainment to comment on the specifics of the meeting,” Elmore said.

Both Pollin and Washington Sports & Entertainment president Susan O’Malley declined comment.

The source said that Elmore and Pollin “talked specifically” about the president of basketball operations job, not the coaching job, which became open last Friday when the Wizards fired Doug Collins.

Elmore has been away from the NBA for quite some time. Most recently, he has been a lead analyst for ESPN’s college basketball coverage and CBS’s coverage of the NCAA tournament.

However, he is not without knowledge of the workings of today’s NBA. Elmore, who earned a law degree from Harvard in 1987, founded his own sports management company, Precept Sports & Entertainment, Inc. Some of the players Elmore represented included former Maryland stars Walt Williams and Joe Smith. He also represented Sam Cassell of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Elmore, who played for eight years in the NBA and two in the ABA, since has sold his business and now has his own private law practice. In addition, Elmore, who retired from the NBA in 1984, serves as president and CEO of TestU, an online test preparation company.

According to a league source, Elmore has been itching to get back into sports management.

“He has been thinking about it for years, and I think he sees this as one of those opportunities where he can blossom,” the source said. “He knows talent. He’s been on both ends of the spectrum, as a player and as an agent. And he’s got incredible drive and business acumen.

“I think he represents a viable alternative to what’s out there,” the source continued. “Look at all of these recyclable guys out there. They’re on the trash heap and available because they’ve done a bad job, period.”

Of all the openings around the league, the Wizards have the onus of filling two front office vacancies. Jordan’s firing was preceded by Wes Unseld’s announcement that he would take a leave of absence shortly after the June26 NBA Draft to tend to health needs. Unseld ultimately said he would not return as general manager.

Making the Wizards’ predicament more daunting is that they also must replace Collins during an offseason in which as many as nine coaching jobs have been open and competition for the top candidates is keen.

Yesterday Larry Brown, who quit at Philadelphia last week, was introduced as the new coach of Detroit, which fired Rick Carlisle although he led the Pistons to the best record in the Eastern Conference this season. And Paul Silas, also highly regarded by the Wizards, was introduced as Cleveland’s coach.

Carlisle reportedly is heading to Chicago, site of this week’s NBA pre-draft camp, where he has said he “has at least two” interviews scheduled.

It has been reported that the Wizards were considering New Jersey scouting director Eddie Stefanski and assistant coach Eddie Jordan for president of basketball operations and coach, respectively. However, a source close to the negotiations said “it is doubtful” the Wizards will go in that direction.


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