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Leonsis on Strasburg and the Nats

Mark Lerner is a partner in Ted Leonsis's ownership group, and he was at Leonsis's I'm-buying-the-Wizards press conference on Thursday. Leonsis mentioned the Nats at least three or four times in his remarks, and even mentioned the championships won by the Washington Kastles and D.C. United. He also, of course, mentioned the Wizards, Caps and Mystics. Georgetown Coach John Thompson III and George Mason Coach Jim Larranaga were at the event. I guess that's just about all the local teams, unless anyone can think of another one....

Anyhow, among Leonsis's thoughts on the Nats were this, when he was talking about building through the draft.

"It shouldn't be lost on anyone what's happening with the Nationals," he said. "That was something the other day, and they got the first pick in the draft the day before. They're gonna be good for a long, long time. The Caps are gonna be good for a long, long time. That's what we need to be able to say about the Wizards and the Mystics....

"[After young players have a chance to grow together], you wake up one day and you're an overnight success. That's my belief. I'm gonna listen to Ernie [Grunfeld] and Coach [Flip Saunders]. They have a lot of experience in the league. But stats don't lie, history don't lie, and the draft is where you start to build ongoing great franchises."

Later, Gene Wang asked about this era of new young stars in D.C. sports.

"I think it's the greatest time in my memory," he said. "I came to Washington, D.C. in 1975, and I don't think we've had as much hope and promise and excitement in the air as we do right now. I just think that what the Nationals will accomplish, what the Caps hopefully will break through and win a Cup and still be competitive, what we can do with the Wizards, I just think it's the greatest time. And again, my outlook is a rising tide raises all boats, that the better every team does, the better our city will be viewed as a sports town."

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 10, 2010; 2:09 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , Nats , Wizards  
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Seriously, can we all just stop pretending the Mystics are a real sports franchise?

Posted by: dpkennedy | June 10, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean we can look forward to the Nats having great success in the regular season, only to choke in the playoffs?

Posted by: JohninMpls | June 10, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

If Ted is smart, which he is, he'll dump the Mystics. I have nothing against women's sports, but the WNBA just seems to have no future.

Posted by: justmike | June 10, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Was the Danny at the press conference?

Posted by: mja712 | June 10, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Are you trying to be funny? Don't see the Terps anywhere in your list and I'm pretty sure they play at the BB&T every stinking year.

Posted by: Terpsrule | June 10, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"[After young players have a chance to grown together], you wake up one day and you're an overnight success. That's my belief."

Well, yes, IF you're lucky enough to have a high pick when a superstar-level talent is available to be drafted, or you're good enough at evaluating talent to spot such a player later on in the draft. Everyone talks, and rightly so, about how Uncle Ted and GMGM turned the Caps around, but there was an element of luck involved in that the year the Caps got the number 1 pick, there was an Ovie there to be picked. In every sport, there are some years in which there is no transcendent talent available for selection in the draft. And sometimes teams collect a group of promising young players, but they never develope into a sucessful team. It just isn't as cut and dried as Leonsis' statement makes it seem.

Posted by: rbpalmer | June 10, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Yes, he was being funny. No Redskins...

Posted by: amorris525 | June 10, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Not funny.

Posted by: dmacman88 | June 10, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Jerk didn't even mention the Freedom.

Posted by: grimesman | June 10, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

What'd Leonsis say about DCU?

Posted by: Juan-John1 | June 10, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"WNBA" sounds like the name of a TV or radio station to me.

Doesn't bother me if the Mystics exist and if people want to watch them, but I snicker every time certain elements of the local media want to act as though the Mystics are an "equal" (or even remotely close to equal) player on the DC-area sports scene. They're not. I think it's fair to say that as things stand right now the Redskins are first by a long margin, the Capitals are second, the Nationals third (due in large part to the Strasburg-induced buzz about the franchise), the Bullets are fourth, DC United are a distant fifth, and the Mystics are a far more distant sixth. I don't count the Freedom or the DC Armor on the list (the Freedom don't even play anywhere particularly close to DC, from what I understand). I think it's fair to say that Georgetown, UVA, VPI, and Maryland all rank ahead of the Mystics, and possibly ahead of DC United, in terms of their place in the local pecking order.

Posted by: 1995hoo | June 10, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Dude DC Armor was disband, like a while ago. Didn't you notice that they are not on TV??? Oh wait, did people not notice they were on TV?

Posted by: alex35332 | June 10, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: BulletsForEva | June 10, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Ted didn't mention the Redskins, and $nyder wasn't in attendance. Ted has mentioned that he knows $nyder, and actually calls him "Dan", which means that he is in $nyder's inner circle. Only his inner circle can call him Dan. The rest of us MUST call him Mr. Snyder.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | June 11, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

How can we consider VT a "Washington" team, then ignore GWU? Given the closeness of downtown Annapolis to this area, what isn't Navy considered part of the local scene? Similarly, Balto. is so much closer than either VT or UVA, why not consider the Oriole, Ravens, etc "local" teams? I guess the definitions are a bit broken.

Seriously, I'm wondering what is a great sorts town? We're Caps fans, not interested in most of the others.

Posted by: hildea | June 13, 2010 2:57 AM | Report abuse

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