Pro Basketball

Wizards' V.P. Passed Over; Ex-Bullet Dies

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Wizards vice president of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard will not be the next general manager of the Seattle SuperSonics, according to a league source who said Seattle will soon announce that it has chosen San Antonio Spurs assistant general manager Sam Presti for the position.

Sheppard, who has been with the Wizards for four seasons, interviewed for the job last week and was a final candidate along with Presti, according to the source. . . .

Charles Johnson was with the Washington Bullets for only 1 1/2 seasons, but his impact on the history of the franchise is indelible. Johnson passed away last Friday at the age of 58 following a long bout with cancer. He helped the Bullets win the 1978 NBA championship with a strong performance in the team's Game 7 win over Seattle.

Johnson averaged 8.1 points during a seven-year career and won championships with the Bullets and the 1975 Golden State Warriors. Three seasons after helping the Warriors sweep the Bullets in the 1975 NBA Finals, Johnson was traded to the Bullets midway through the 1977-78 season. In the team's 105-99 Game 7 win over Seattle, Johnson scored 19 points.

Former Bullet Phil Chenier, who also played with Johnson at the University of California, called the 6-foot Johnson "the strongest player I ever played with."

-- Ivan Carter

© 2007 The Washington Post Company