the Wizards? We would certainly, if we dont make

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the Wizards? We would certainly, if we dont make

Postby lxt1217 » 14 Jul 2018, 10:37

WASHINGTON -- Ted Leonsis doesnt believe hes getting it done, at least not where it counts the most. The NHL and NBA owner graded himself Tuesday in an interview with reporters and editors from The Associated Press, and the marks reflect the mixed results and shifting expectations regarding both franchises since he took over the Capitals in 1999 and the Wizards in 2010. A "failing grade" for the Washington Capitals, but thats grading on the curve. An incomplete for the Washington Wizards, but its time to take a step forward. A "strong B" for the business side of both teams, even though both teams are still in the red. "When I bought the teams, I said it was a left-brain, right-brain experience," Leonsis said. "Left-brain being about the emotion and the competitiveness and the higher calling of bringing a community closer together by winning a championship and finding some kind of immortality for the fan base and the players." By contrast, the right brain is the nuts-and-bolts: ticket sales, merchandise, ratings, building the "brand." Thats where Leonsis is a natural, bringing marketing expertise honed while he was an executive at AOL. The Capitals are no longer a D.C. afterthought -- they sell out every game and have made the playoffs sixth straight years with three-time NHL MVP Alex Ovechkin. Leonsis said the Capitals have about 15,000 season ticket holders, a long way from the fewer than 3,000 when he bought the team, a statistic that by itself makes a case for the "strong B." But he also notes that a team that has one of the leagues best records in recent years should have success defined whether its won a championship; the Capitals havent even made it past the second round of the playoffs under his tenure. "I have to give us a failing grade, which is rating harshly. ... But were past now saying making the playoffs makes for a successful season, and we want to win a Stanley Cup and we havent done that," Leonsis said. "So I have to say Im failing because thats my and our ultimate goal." Leonsis inherited a mess with the Wizards, and hes embarked on a rebuilding process similar to the one that brought the Capitals out of the doldrums. But the Wizards were a combined 86 games under .500 over the last three NBA seasons, and eventually the longsuffering fans need to get their payoff. Its worth noting that both team president Ernie Grunfeld and coach Randy Wittman are in the final year of their contracts. "I believe that were good enough and now mature enough -- John Wall is our most tenured player, and hes still on his rookie contract -- but its the fourth year of the rebuild," he said. "And were spending right to the (salary) cap and frankly more, since we amnestied Andrey Blatche. ... Now I believe its time for the Wizards to take that next step." 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