TSN TV Schedule TSN2 TV Schedule
NBA

Team owner Leonsis tempering expectations for Wizards

{eot}
Associated Press
10/4/2012 9:15:49 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

FAIRFAX, Va. -- September wasn't kind to Ted Leonsis.

His successful NHL team, the Capitals, is locked out in a labour dispute. His WNBA Mystics ended the season with a 13-game losing streak and then finished last in the draft lottery. Even Madonna let him down, showing up so late for her concerts at the Verizon Center that he had to pay for the subway system to stay open for fans to get home.

And then came the news, just days before the opening of training camp, that marquee player John Wall would miss the first month or so of the Wizards' NBA season because of a knee injury.

Fortunately for his morale, this is a man who wrote a book called "The Business of Happiness."

"I kind of play the ball where it lies," the former AOL executive said Thursday night during a Wizards training camp practice. "In what other business do pingpong balls drive a lot of your success and make your investment worth more or less? Health? I never once said at AOL or Groupon in a board meeting: 'That JavaScript coder blew his elbow out -- that app that we need is never going to happen.'

"It's why when you overcome all those things and you win, life's so exhilarating."

Because of the NHL lockout, Leonsis limited his thoughts to the Wizards, who have been a test of his patience since he bought the team in the spring of 2010 following the death of longtime owner Abe Pollin. Washington is 43-105 under Leonsis' stewardship, and he said at the draft in June that another appearance in the lottery would be "unacceptable."

Now that camp is under way -- with former No. 1 overall pick Wall on the sidelines nursing the early stages of a stress injury to his left knee cap -- the expectations are a bit tempered.

"We would all find it unacceptable if we finished with the second- or third-worst record in the NBA this year," Leonsis said. "That would be a failure, and the failure would start with me."

The Wizards haven't won even one-third of their games in any season since their last playoff appearance in 2008, although Leonsis is optimistic the club will upgrade from the NBA's group of have-nots to the "haves." He's just not sure how long it will take.

For one thing, there's been a lot of turnover to digest. Only Cartier Martin, who played in eight games at the end of the 2009-10 season, remains from the roster that Leonsis inherited less than 2 1/2 years ago.

"It's very sobering to have to enter a new season basically where John Wall is your most tenured player," Leonsis said. "That was by design. We knew we'd have to rebuild the team and we did it fast, so I'm pleased that we are able to pull the Band-Aid off quickly. Now we have to see how this team jells and what we need on an ongoing basis to keep improving the team."

Leonsis repeatedly referenced the Capitals and baseball's Washington Nationals, teams that went through agonizing building processes to go from bottom to top.

"I know the fan base, and frankly the media, would like the magic wand waved and the team with three superstars here overnight," Leonsis said. "But I lost the magic wand. We're having to do it the old-fashioned authentic way, which is I think the way you're built to last."

Ted Leonsis (Photo: Leigh Vogel/NHLI via Getty Images)

zoom

(Photo: Leigh Vogel/NHLI via Getty Images)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story

Game 1: Nets at Raptors (TSN)

Saturday at Noon et/9am pt

Game 1: Warriors at Clippers (TSN)

Today at 3:30pm et/12:30pm pt

Game 1: Hawks at Pacers (TSN2)

Tonight at 7pm et/4pm pt

Game 1: Grizzlies at Thunder (TSN2)

Tonight at 9:30pm et/6:30pm pt


NBA on TSN Broadcast Schedule


Western Conference

(1) SA v (8) DAL (4) HOU v (5) POR
(2) OKC v (7) MEM (3) LAC v (4) GS


Eastern Conference

(1) IND v (8) ATL (4) CHI v (5) WSH
(2) MIA v (7) CHA (3) TOR v (6) BKN


Playoff Schedule/Game-By-Game Breakdown



Big Tour
Social Media
twitter icon

Follow the Raptors and Raptor play-by-play man Matt Devlin on Twitter! Check out the latest Tweets!

Podcasts

TSN 1050: The Bryan Hayes Show: April 18 - Bruce Bowen

3x NBA Champion and ESPN NBA Analyst Bruce Bowen joined The Bryan Hayes Show to preview the NBA Playoffs.

TSN 1050: The Bryan Hayes Show: April 18 - Greivis Vasquez

Toronto Raptors Point Guard Greivis Vasquez explains what the Raptors mindset is going into the playoffs.

TSN 1050: Macko & Cauz: Ryan Ruocco- April 18, 2014

Ryan Ruocco joins Macko & Cauz to tee up what should be an exciting first round match up between the Raptors and Nets.


More Podcasts

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television