Washington Wizards hire Tommy Sheppard as general manager

By Jake Elman

July 22 (UPI) -- Longtime Washington Wizards executive Tommy Sheppard has been promoted to general manager, the team announced Monday.

Sheppard is entering his 17th season with the Wizards organization. He replaces Ernie Grunfield, who was fired in April.


"My vision leading the Washington Wizards moving forward ... is to always collaborate with everybody in our basketball organization," Sheppard said in a video released by the team.

Former Cleveland Browns general manager Sashi Brown has been hired as the chief planning and operations officer. Ex-Philadelphia 76ers executive Daniel Medina will serve as chief of athletic care and performance.

The Wizards also announced former Georgetown and Princeton head coach John Thompson III will lead a new athlete development and engagement department.

"We have formed a new leadership team with a forward-thinking structure to adapt to the 'new NBA' that requires every possible strategic advantage to compete and win," Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said in a news release.


"We are building a leadership brain trust with deep Wizards/NBA experience and with sports professionals from inside and outside the NBA to challenge our thinking and adapt to an ever-increasing competitive environment."

Washington went 32-50 last season. The Wizards have not made the Eastern Conference Finals since 1979.

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