Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: dcsportsbog and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Ted Leonsis wants to look Gilbert in the eye

Ted Leonsis has discussed NBA ownership in vague terms since Abe Pollin's death, but he's mostly avoided saying almost anything specific about the Wizards. Now that he has a deal in place to assume ownership of the team, he apparently is more comfortable speaking out.

And so Leonsis chatted with Comcast SportsNet's Russ Thaler on Thursday, and offered I believe his first specific comments about Gilbert Arenas's future.

"I know Gilbert a little bit from seeing him in the hallways and talking to him," Leonsis said, when asked what he would say to Arenas. "He's always been a very, very sweet kid. I like him. And I believe in the best in people. And so I don't think I'll say much. I want to get to know him, but you need to do it in a way that's respectful of the hierarchy.

"And so I've gotten to know Alex Ovechkin, I've gotten to know some of our players, but certainly it's the coach who's most important to the player. The coach is his boss. Then it's the general manager. And then it's the owner.

"And I do want to look Gilbert in the eye and see what makes him tick and understand what he's thinking. I'll probably give him a hug, and we'll kill a couple of aliens with some video games and get to know each other. You have to empathize with people and understand them and what makes them tick, but his boss is Flip and Flip decides what system and how he plays. And I'll never get in the way of that relationship."

Well, it's slightly less vague, anyhow. It also bears a remarkable resemblance to Mike Wise's prediction from late March, when Gilbert was being sentenced. Wise decided to guess how Leonsis would deal with the Wizards' biggest star.

First, I am betting Leonsis gives Arenas a big hug, because he's that type of person and he has always been fond of Gilbert. Next, I wouldn't be surprised if he spent quality time with Arenas and tried to get to know him better as a human being, rather than relying on caricatures that range from big, childish goof to gun-obsessed menace. Then, he will play video games with Arenas (unless they involve guns, I'd imagine).

Why? Because Leonsis knows that's something that would touch Gilbert's hot button, if you will, and the new owner of the Wizards is all about connecting with the people who work for and with him.

Either Wise has a good source, he's an incredible guesser, or Leonsis is taking his cues from Washington Post columnists. I'll go with choice A, I guess.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 29, 2010; 9:03 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , Wizards  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Ted Leonsis reacts to Game 7 loss
Next: Leonsis says it isn't time to blow things up


Nearly 3 months ago the topic of Leonis's thoughts on Arenas came up on the bog:

Arrington interjected to ask whether the mess can be repaired. LaVar specifically asked whether Gilbert's relationship with the Wizards could be repaired, but it sounded like in his response, Leonsis was talking more generally about the franchise's relationship with the community.

"I don't know how the story will end, but I'm certainly someone who deals with things [with] a very open mind," Leonsis replied. "I'm more a healer than I am a breaker-upper, right?

"but it sounded like in his response, Leonsis was talking more generally about the franchise's relationship with the community."-Steinz
And here was my response then, which I'm sticking with:

Not sure I agree with you on this Steinz. Leonsis is a very smart man, I don't think he'd put it in those words if he didn't mean he was talking specifically about Arenas. He wouldn't have gone on to talk about Arenas being a "great person" AND a "great player."

I think we just got our first clue as to what might happen when Leonsis takes over. And I like it.

Arenas stays.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 12, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Barno1 | April 29, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I think I'd avoid any kind of shooting, video games or otherwise. Games are a great way to get to know someone. I had a boss who said you could really get to know a prospect by taking them bowling.

From Ted's book, which I have read and recommend highly, Ted might have Arenas prepare a things-to-do list and see how happy the pursuit of those things might make him in the long run -- that would give Ted a sense of his mind now.

Ted is good for respecting the hierarchy. This is a special case, though, and it is appropriate for him to be involved at this time.

Posted by: RepealObamacareNow | April 29, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

How about a re-branding of the team?

Posted by: sire1 | April 30, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: iubiquity | April 30, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: iubiquity | April 30, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Was this not the perfect interview he could have given?

Posted by: JDP_ | April 30, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Leonsis is a smart, funny, and internet friendly guy. I'd imagine he saw the Wise article and was being funny.

Posted by: Dancy1 | April 30, 2010 1:21 AM | Report abuse

He is a sweet"kid"! Come on, Ted. Gilbert is 26 years old!

Posted by: whitaker200 | April 30, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

"And I do want to look Gilbert in the eye and see what makes him tick and understand what he's thinking."

Be careful, he might poop on your shoe! ;)

- ray

Posted by: rmcazz | April 30, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

To the Shouter, I belive Gil's contract was all Abe.

Posted by: adhardwick | April 30, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: iubiquity | April 30, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Have you ever watched a basketball game before, or is it that you just don't watch the Wizards? Slightly above average? He was the ONLY player in the NBA who was averaging 23 pts and 7 assists at the time of his suspension. And that was after missing most of 2+ seasons with an injury. He is a 3 time all star who is now in his prime. It will be interesting to see how quickly the Gilbert haters jump back on the bandwagon once next season begins.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 30, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

To the Shouter, I belive Gil's contract was all Abe.

Posted by: adhardwick | April 30, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

It was what the overwhelmingly vast majority of Wizards fans wanted at the time. If we had let Gilbert go to Golden State (who offered him a similar contract) all hell would have broken out in the fan base. The Gilbert haters want to re-write history and pretend as if the fans were against re-signing him. It's utter nonsense. Go back and look at the Wizards insider from that time period. I'll post a few in a minute...

Posted by: Barno1 | April 30, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

We need Gil back and we just need abe pollin to open up his check book

Posted by: wizfan | July 2, 2008 1:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm happy to hear the strategy the Wiz took, at first I said to myself "wow they handed the negotiation to Gil in a second" by offering the max contract to start, but their motives were dead on. Gil needed to feel the love and the Wiz gave him an opportunity to be a true hero and take less so the team can spend more.

Just my two cents.

Posted by: Nick | July 2, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Gilby will take the deal, but it's scummy for Abe to ask him to take less so that Abe can pocket lux tax welfare.

Posted by: DC Man88 | July 2, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

GIL IS A MAX PLAYER. Remember that he was in the MVP race in 06-07 putting up 30 and 5 and 5.

Posted by: KeepArenasInDC08 | July 2, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Gil is a franchise-level player, IMO. He is the guy the other team has to account for at all times; he changes the game. Is he a max player? Yes, if he's over his injury concerns. Time will tell. But if the Wiz lose him, they're in dire straits.

Posted by: Keithinator | July 2, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Barno1 | April 30, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert is a money player and is a far better investment than Baron Davis. The Wiz know his knee condition better than anyone and doubt that EG would have made him a max offer if he wasn't expected back at 100% for next year.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 2, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

People who think the Wizards are better off w/o Gilbert are morons. Believe it or not, you need stars to win in the NBA. Jamison and Butler are very good players, but I don't want them taking the last second shot. Also, the Wizards might be able to play good basketball in the dog days of January but the last two years, primarily w/o Gilbert, they were awful against a mediocre Cavalier basketball team. Guess we could go

Posted by: ChairmanD | July 2, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Ernie should of just straight up offered Gil a major contract that would still allow him to use the MLE.

I'm thinking 6 yrs at 102 mil. That's 17 mil a year! I think that would be enough to keep him here.

Posted by: Darnell | July 2, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to Gil for being a man of his word and leaving the Wiz some space under the luxury cap to purse a backup 3.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 4, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Barno1 | April 30, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company