After announcing the dismissal of longtime President of Basketball Ops. Ernie Grunfeld, the Wizards have gone a complete different direction in terms of the front office staff. Grunfeld’s dismissal led to newly-named President of Basketball Ops. Tommy Sheppard’s promotion.
The Wizards have continued to shake things up in the front office as they gave front office roles to Sashi Brown and Daniel Medina.
Brown’s hiring is the most notable and will now serve as the chief planning and operations officer for the Wizards, according to the franchise. Brown used to work for the Cleveland Browns of the NFL during 2016-2017 before the Browns tore down their entire front office.
Brown was originally hired by Cleveland in 2013 as executive vice president and general counsel, where he served the franchise in both football and business capacities. He was responsible for overseeing the roster and salary cap while also directing the team’s football administration functions, including negotiation of players contracts. On the business side, his duties included insurance and risk management, licensing and intellectual property issues and litigation management.
The Wizards also hired Medina who will serve as the organization’s chief of athlete care and performance. Medina served as the VP of athlete care for the 76ers. Former Georgetown and Princeton head coach John Thompson III will lead a new athlete development and engagement department.
Prior to Philadelphia, Dr. Medina spent over a decade with Fútbol Club Barcelona. Dr. Medina finished his tenure with the team as deputy director of the sports science and medical department, where he managed 2,000 athletes and more than 125 athlete care and performance staff members.
Medina served as team physician for FC Barcelona from 2008-2015 and first joined their medical services department in 2005. He also served as a driving force behind FC Barcelona’s award-winning Barca Innovation Hub according to the press release. Medina was heavily involved in Barca Innovation Hub’s evaluation and research of emerging products, particularly those designed to aid in athlete health and performance.
“We have formed a new leadership team with a forward-thinking structure to adapt to the ‘new NBA’ that requires every possible strategic advantage to compete and win,” Wizards team owner Ted Leonsis said in a press release. “We are building a leadership brain trust with deep Wizards/NBA experience and with sports professionals from inside and outside the NBA to challenge our thinking and adapt to an ever-increasing competitive environment.”
Brown and Medina will oversee the Wizards G-League affiliate, The Capital City Go-Go, and the Mystics of the WNBA while Sheppard will oversee just the Wizards and Go-Go. Sheppard will manage strategy, analytics, player personnel, scouting, and coaching for the Wizards and Go-Go.
Sashia Jones will receive a promotion as she enters her 18th season with the Wizards franchise. Jones has also implemented programs and initiatives for Wizards All-Stars John Wall and Bradley Beal that have led to each winning the NBA’s Community Assist Season-long award. This award is given to an NBA player who best reflects the passion that the league and its players share for giving back to their communities.