- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 9, 2019

ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith blasted Wizards owner Ted Leonsis on Monday for failing to name a new president of basketball operations months after firing Ernie Grunfeld.

On his ESPN radio show, Smith tore into Leonsis— saying the situation was “just embarrassing.”  The long-time NBA analyst also expressed sympathy for guard Bradley Beal

The Wizards have yet to name a full-time president of basketball operations or general manager since Grunfeld was fired on April 2. Former assistant GM Tommy Sheppard is running the front office on an interim basis. 

“Ted Leosnis, what the hell are you doing?” Smith said. “What the hell are you doing in the nation’s capital? How do you not have a president of basketball operations all this time after firing Ernie Grunfeld. Who the hell is making the decisions? The search committee? Tommy Sheppard? Somebody else? Who? Tell us citizens in the nation’s capital. It’s just embarrassing!

“You got John Wall there, getting a max deal. You got Bradley Beal, poor Bradley Beal, the only player worth anything right now for ya. You ain’t telling anybody anything. We don’t even know who’s running the team!”



The Wizards have interviewed various candidates for the position, including OKC’s Troy Weaver and former Hawks GM Danny Ferry. Washington even offered the job to Denver’s Tim Connelly, only for the Baltimore native to stay with the Nuggets. ESPN also reported the Wizards were gearing up to make Toronto’s Masai Ujiri a massive offer, though Leonsis denied that report to The Washington Post.

In the meantime, Sheppard has overseen the Wizards through the draft and free agency. 

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