The Washington Wizards managed to navigate through the tricky waters of the NBA Draft and the focal point of the free agency period without a proper front office in place but now, we’re finally seeing some notable names be added to their staff.
Just last week, Owner Ted Leonsis removed the interim tag from General Manager Tommy Sheppard, making him the successor to the recently fired Ernie Grunfeld. Now, the Wizards have added two others to their formerly depleted front office staff. According to a release from the team, Washington has hired Sashi Brown as their chief planning and operations officer while John Thomspon III will head their new athlete development and engagement department.
Sashi Brown will serve as chief planning and operations officer for Monumental Basketball and Daniel Medina will serve as chief of athlete care & performance for Monumental Basketball… Brown will manage efforts relating to technology, finance, communications, security, research and player engagement and Medina will head up medical, training, mental health, strength and conditioning, nutrition and physical therapy/recovery.
Leonsis also announced a new athlete development & engagement department which will be led by former Georgetown and Princeton Head Coach John Thompson III. Thompson will use his vast experience to lead a team that will focus on maximizing player potential both on and off the court for all Monumental Basketball athletes. Employing a holistic development approach, the department will focus on financial literacy, post-playing career opportunities and the overall empowerment and development of the athletes.
Both Sashi Brown and John Thompson III make for intriguing additions to the Washington Wizards front office staff. The two are unique and out of the box in the sense that neither has much true, hands-on experience with the NBA.
Sashi Brown is a brilliant football and business mind, who was first hired into the professional sports industry by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2005 as senior vice president. From there, Brown was hired by the Cleveland Browns in 2013 as Executive VP and is now branching out into the NBA world six years later.
For John Thompson III, though he is one of the more recognizable names in the basketball world, his expertise comes in the NCAA realm where he coached for 17 years. Thompson III first coached Princeton in the early 2000s before being hired by Georgetown in 2004. Thompson shattered nearly ever Georgetown coaching record besides those held by his father John Thompson Jr., who worked for the university from 1972-1999.
Now, two interesting skillsets will come together and hope to bring the Washington Wizards back into contender territory. Though there’s a long road back to competitiveness for the Wizards, Tommy Sheppard along with Sashi Brown and Thompson III figure to bring excitement back to Washington’s inevitable rebuild.