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Stern expects Leonsis to take over Wizards "by the end of the month"

NBA Commissioner David Stern was in Cleveland on Monday to present LeBron James with his second MVP award, but he also took some time to address the ownership transfer from the Pollin estate to Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis. Stern said he is "hoping we can get something done by the end of the month. Full speed ahead."

Leonsis signed a purchase agreement on Sunday for the remaining 56 percent of the Wizards and Verizon Center that he doesn't already own. "I'm very happy for Ted," Stern said. "At the same time, I acknowledge the changing of the guard and the transfer from almost one of the NBA's founding fathers, so to speak -- even though Abe didn't buy his team until [1964], but we're very excited about that transaction."

Leonsis has "got a terrific sales, marketing and community organization with the Capitals and he will be able to use that in a relatively simple and quick way to move it over and do the Wizards in a proper way," Stern said. "I think that's a spectacular transition for us."

Leonsis purchased the Capitals and a 44 percent stake in Washington Sports and Entertainment from Pollin in 1999, so the league has already vetted him. "It has to be updated, but that's going to be easy," Stern said, adding that the approval process will be delayed some because some details need to be worked out. "It's a very complex financial transaction that's going to take banks and investors, so it's going to take more time, but I don't expect any issues at all with respect to Ted. That's the easiest part."

Stern, though, admitted some sadness about the Pollins no longer being owners of an NBA franchise. "They are old friends. It's the passing of the torch and the end of an era," he said.

By Michael Lee  |  May 3, 2010; 8:03 PM ET
 | Tags: David Stern, Ted Leonsis, Wizards, ownership  
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Next: Butler looks back, Stern looks forward

Comments

In Grunfeld We Trust!!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | May 3, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

The Godfather has signed off on it...full speed ahead indeed!

Posted by: ts35 | May 3, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I wish the best for Ted Leonsis and the Wizards and will miss knowing that Abe Pollin, who was a great man for all he did and gave to others.

Posted by: moralcompass1 | May 3, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I wish the best for Ted Leonsis and the Wizards and will miss knowing that Abe Pollin, who was a great man for all he did and gave to others.

Posted by: moralcompass1 | May 3, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Ok , Ok, now Patrick to Knicks, Timmy to SA, Lebron to Cavs...Mr. Commish.,,please it's our turn now. #1 or # 2 pick this year and we will be fine with all those other lottery bound yrs., and getting the 1st pick with nobody in the draft that was a difference maker. Oh but this yr., do the right thing and let Mr. Leonsis get off on a good foot.
Thanks in advance..

Posted by: bossclifnpooh2 | May 3, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

PLEASE NEW COLORS TED!!!!! ROCK THE RED PUT THE BLUE AND BRONZE?GOLD TO BED!!!!

THE WASHINGTON MONUMENTS, it rolls off the tongue so easily and doesn't sound as dumb when really thought about (Monuments are large, profound, symbolic and represent this city more than a friggin' bearded merlin!!) The marketing is natural and would really promote the city to the fairweather fans

Posted by: BurgwithaU | May 3, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

BurgwithaU

THE WASHINGTON MONUMENTS would have been a good name for the Gil, AJ and CB team since they all just stood around on "D" like statues?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | May 3, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

THE WASHINGTON MONUMENTS would have been a good name for the Gil, AJ and CB team since they all just stood around on "D" like statues?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | May 3, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------

Now that's funny!

Posted by: bozomoeman | May 3, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

They can't use the name Washington Monuments because it is trademarked by the US Govt and Park Service this has been mentioned before.

I like the name Washington Justice with Red, White and Blue. The team can call the home floor the "Supreme Court." All Rise court is now in session! I like that name it is powerful and dignified. I would also be fine with the return of Bullets.

Posted by: MrWillie | May 3, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm for making the Wiz uni's more inline with the Caps colors and wouldn't be mad if Steady Teddy brought the 'Bullets' back.

I just want him to assemble teams that don't lay down and quit on him. Tired of that...

Posted by: kahlua87 | May 4, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Hey, how bout the Movin' Monuments! (I kid. . . I think.)

The Lobbyists? The K Street Bombers? The Gridlock? The Revolving Door? The Military Industrial Complex?

The Three Branches of Government? The Checks and Balances? The Rule of Law?

I admit the Wizards doesn't have a Washingtonian ring to it, and it seems reasonable that if the team were to be renamed, such would be desirable.

Posted by: 7snider7 | May 4, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Grunfeld and Saunders most go. Both have proven track records of failure here. The new owner must turn the page quickly and get these losers out of here.

Posted by: dandyhuffman | May 4, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Grunfeld and Saunders most go. Both have proven track records of failure here. The new owner must turn the page quickly and get these losers out of here.

Posted by: dandyhuffman | May 4, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Abe may have been a great man..but he was not an effective owner..and this sale should have happened when Ted bought the Caps.
You can be the greatest marketing person in the game..but if you do not start winning..the fans will not come. Management has been dysfunctional for many years..hopefully, Ted can finally hire the right people to get the Wizards moving forward.
BTW..Ernie is not the guy for GM..but Leonsis is stuck with him because the draft will be here about the time Ted get`s official control.

Posted by: blazerguy234 | May 4, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

In Grunfeld We Trust!!

Posted by: melodious_thunk

NOT! NO REASON TO KEEP THIS PERSON UNLESS TED IS GONNA BE DUMB AND CHEAP LIKE ABE - WE ARE THE NATIONAL JOKE UNDER HIS "LEADERSHIP" WITH GANGSTERS AND IDIOTS IN THE LOCKER ROOM, HOW MANY REASONS DO YOU NEED TO FIRE AN INCOMPETENT. WHAT WAS DONE (AND NOT DONE) THIS SEASON (AND LAST) UNDER THIS PERSONS WATCH AND THE RECENT FIRE SALE TO SAVE HIS ASS DOES NOT HAVE ANY OTHER NAME - EXCEPT RIDICULOUS! START OVER TED OR YOU WILL BE VERY VERY SORRY: AND MELO (DOIUS) YOU ARE YELLOW!

Posted by: habari2 | May 4, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Grunfeld MUST go. End the culture of mediocrity, poor player development,risk-aversion, and the selling of draft picks.
..........................................................
2009-10 T-Mobile NBA All-Rookie First Team
Player Team First (2 pt) Second (1 Pt) Total
Tyreke Evans Sacramento 29 -- 58
Brandon Jennings Milwaukee 29 -- 58
Stephen Curry Golden State 29 -- 58
Darren Collison New Orleans 20 6 46
Taj Gibson Chicago 15 11 41

2009-10 T-Mobile NBA All-Rookie Second Team
Player Team First (2 pt) Second (1 Pt) Total
Marcus Thornton New Orleans 6 19 31
DeJuan Blair San Antonio 6 18 30
James Harden Oklahoma City 4 14 22
Jonny Flynn Minnesota 4 14 22
Jonas Jerebko Detroit 2 18 22

Posted by: closg | May 4, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

BulletsFan,

Dats a good one hahaha!!! Wolverines would be rad and was my HighSchool mascot

Posted by: BurgwithaU | May 4, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Seems unlikely that Ernie and Flip won't be here next year (contracts, financial obligations, timing of the sale, Ted's history with the Caps).

Although most Washington-themed names sound pretty lame, how about The Power?

Posted by: MinuMang | May 4, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Leonsis, Grunfeld and Saunders.

Leonsis has turned the Caps into a winning franchise. His team is young and you know they're going to get better. Grunfeld has turned around and won with three franchises. He brought three guys to the Wizards who had never accomplished anything and watched them blossom into all stars who gave the city hope. That's vision, folks. Saunders has won with two different franchises. Toward the end of the season you could see that the players finally understood that playing time is earned with hard work (something that the fans appreciated) and leaving it all on the floor. We have a top-notch coach now, as opposed to a coach who regrettably has done nothing but lose when he wasn't in Washington benefitting from the low-hanging fruit provided by one Ernest Grunfeld.

Just think about the possibilities with that trio. The future is bright indeed!!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | May 4, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: closg | May 4, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

only 2 out of those 10 went before the 5th pick. go figure.

btw, could we keep the name and just change th unis? there's nothing red,white, or blue about a bullet.

How can we get Ted to make a change, realistically? Petition's, webpages,facebook. i think if we're really serious we should look into how we can make it happen.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 4, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

How about the Washington Wolverines or is that too similar to the Timberwolves?

Posted by: jefferu | May 4, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

How about the Washington Ramparts? Too over the heads of the general public maybe.

Posted by: agclaston | May 4, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

We have found out folks, that melodious_thunk of the "In Ernie We trust" propaganda rants, works in Wiz front office with all the other "In Ernie We Trust" clowns. From what we understand folks, this is how they all keep their jobs. By continually trying (sometimes succeeding) to blow smoke up our a**es.
Hey melo give it a break, you are being like, NO! you should be ON! FOX News. You are in the same ballpark as Bush! and so is your boss. Trust that.

Posted by: habari2 | May 4, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

@habari2,

LOL. You're worse than anyone on FOX with your rhetoric aimed at the ill-informed and gullible.

Let me give it a try:

"We" have uncovered and confirmed with absolute certainty that habari2 is a sniveling crybaby who feels compelled to label as propaganda any view that is different from his own. When his rants (which he usually, and quite annoyingly, writes in ALL CAPS) fall flat, he resorts to name-calling and more ranting which he announces with a plural pronoun to give it gravitas.

How's that?

Posted by: melodious_thunk | May 4, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Ernie and Flip are as good a GM/coach duo as any in the league. Ted will give them a couple of years to prove it with Ernie no longer constrained by Abe Pollin's personal personnel feelings. I think Ted will be well rewarded for such a decision.

Posted by: phil27 | May 4, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

"Grunfeld MUST go. End the culture of mediocrity, poor player development,risk-aversion, and the selling of draft picks. posted by closg"

Risk averse? What risk would you have had him take?

Posted by: Samson151 | May 4, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Here are couple of things that iam thinking about if Leonsis fires Grunfeld after he takes over the team by the end of the next month does he have enough time to find another GM with the NBA draft and the free agency coming up right after one another that is unless he is wheeling and dealing looking for a New General manager without even telling Grunfeld that's a possibility.also what is he gonna do with the coach is he gonna hire someone else and payout the current coaches contract that is one option.

Posted by: rmnkevorkian | May 4, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

If you want to rename the Wizards, please sign the petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/wizards/

The petition is in support of renaming the team, and it does not advocate any particular name. Ted Leonsis is famous for listening to the fans so express your opinion and please spread the word!

Posted by: emmet1 | May 4, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Get ready for a winning team in 2 to 3 years Wizard fans! Ted gets it. He brought in talented youth as the nucleus for the Caps. But not just talent, talent in key positions. Ted will build a team with guys that want to win and will die trying.

Posted by: bharn | May 4, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

"Grunfeld MUST go. End the culture of mediocrity, poor player development,risk-aversion, and the selling of draft picks. posted by closg"

In Grunfeld We Trust!!

Posted by: melodious_thunk
Not on your life melodious_thunk!!
Not on your life!!

melodious , you seem to be missing the point and by far. Any smart businessman would (unless otherwise constrained by a contract) change the responsible people who made the Wiz the gangsters of the NBA. They have wasted our money, our time, hopes and dreams. That is a fact! Every bad thing that has happened over these years shows that Mr. Grunfeld has lost touch with the game and his own team / locker room. From what I've been told he did not feel it necessary to even travel with the team. Fights on the airplane, guns and threats, jail time, buy outs, player exhibitions of indiscipline (see Blatche), bad trades, losing draft choices, making poor picks in others (see Pecherov)are among the signs of his incompetence or unwillingness to work. But of course, our children like to read about guns and ugly threats made by their favorite team. So in the past and right up until the very last games of this sorry season we had a circus an example of what a professional organization should not be all about.(see San Antonio, Utah)

Posted by: yetanotherpassword | May 4, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

1. GMs don't routinely travel with the team.
2. The fight, gun indicent and legal problems are on Arenas and Crit, not Grunfeld.
3. Blatche getting his feelings hurt is on Blatche and Saunders learning how to communicate better.
4. What draft choice did Grunfeld "lose"?
5. Show me ONE GM who has never made a bad pick.
6. The buyouts were for players who were not going to be here in the future. The buyouts saved the Wizards money.

The next time someone you supervise does something wrong at work, you should resign your position immediately. That's what your moral code requires, right?

Posted by: gimmedat | May 4, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Actually gimmedat it was reported in the official affidavit that Grunfeld was on the transponder when Critt and Gil were going at it.

Maybe he should have layed down the law when he had the chance.

Posted by: elfreako | May 4, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

1. GMs don't routinely travel with the team.
2. The fight, gun indicent and legal problems are on Arenas and Crit, not Grunfeld.
3. Blatche getting his feelings hurt is on Blatche and Saunders learning how to communicate better.
4. What draft choice did Grunfeld "lose"?
5. Show me ONE GM who has never made a bad pick.
6. The buyouts were for players who were not going to be here in the future. The buyouts saved the Wizards money.

The next time someone you supervise does something wrong at work, you should resign your position immediately. That's what your moral code requires, right?

Posted by: gimmedat
--------------


Actually gimmedat it was reported in the official affidavit that Grunfeld was on the transponder when Critt and Gil were going at it.

Maybe he should have layed down the law when he had the chance.

Posted by: elfreako
---------
you just don't get it do you gimme? or you just like to play with words?

Posted by: yetanotherpassword | May 4, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

So gimmedat just for you we will say: The Wiz are just as well run as the Utah Jazz and the SAS among many others; and where all the negative things that happened here did not happen on Grunfelds watch, just for you they have had a winning record and are NOT one of the worst run franchises in the NBA. Better for you? Happy ?

Posted by: yetanotherpassword | May 4, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Remember, resign your position immediately or get fired and go away quietly when someone you supervise does something wrong/illegal at work. Deal, Mr. Moral Compass??

Posted by: gimmedat | May 4, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

gimmedat- you don't even know what you are talking about. Grow up.

Posted by: yetanotherpassword | May 5, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I know that you have one standard for yourself and another for everybody else. You needed a dose of reality and I gave you one. That grown enough for you?

Posted by: gimmedat | May 5, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

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