When Jason Reid wrote a column this week strongly defending Ernie Grunfeld, Ted Leonsis declined to comment, “saying through a spokesman he would evaluate the Wizards’ entire operation after the season.”
When Leonsis linked to that column on his blog, though, he commented enough, writing that he gives Grunfeld “high grades in executing upon our rebuild to date. I am excited and psyched by our quick pivot into our future. We have developed a strong working relationship. We are on the same page.”
And if that still leaves things vague in your mind, Leonsis was on 106.7 The Fan Thursday morning, when he was asked by the Junkies about the future of both Grunfeld and Coach Flip Saunders. He didn’t guarantee either man a job, but he sure sounded happy.
“You know, I don’t like doing stuff like [talking about job security], because it’s almost offensive to them and the process,” Leonsis said. “You know, why do I have to respond to you or anybody about what our intentions are? They’re both under contract, and I’ve been public in saying that I think they’ve done a really really good job, but if [I] respond to you, then anybody can start to ask, well, what are you going to do?, and it takes you off of what the real business at hand is.
“You guys know me long enough, I am pretty loyal. I believe we’re in it together. And as long as we are on the same page, I think that there’s harmony in the organization. And right now, Ernie certainly is executing what we want to do. And I’m thrilled with that. I said we want to tear the team down and be young and have upside and have cap space. Check.
“I’m very happy with Flip, because he is teaching in an environment of we want you to compete, we want you to play hard, we want you to bring it, because the line between success and failure in pro sports is really small. And effort and teamwork and camaraderie and heart and grit are important. And we’ll tolerate youthful mistakes, but we want people to really want to be here and play here and like playing for one another and being respectful to the fans, and I’m seeing that. I’m really seeing that.
“So I’m pretty happy with where we are. There’s a couple more games that we have to play, we have two more home games, I’d like to win a couple of those games and finish the season so that we can be analytic....But right now Flip and Ernie and me and the organization and all the people in sales and marketing, we’re all on the same page, and it feels pretty good right now.”