Monumental Sports & Entertainment announces promotions and contract extensions for Sheppard & Brown
Duo’s Leadership in Basketball Operations/Team Logistics Follows Wizards’ Upward Trajectory Since 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Monumental Sports & Entertainment announced today that General Manager Tommy Sheppard has been promoted to President and General Manager of the Washington Wizards and Chief Planning and Operations Officer Sashi Brown has been promoted to President of Monumental Basketball and Special Advisor to the Office of the CEO at Monumental Sports & Entertainment.
Since Sheppard was named general manager and Brown was brought onboard in July 2019, the Wizards have shown continued improvement every season with both leading their respective areas. The team made the playoffs last season for the first time since 2018 and currently sits at 10-3, their best start since the 1974-75 season. Sheppard and Brown, who have also been signed to multi-year contract extensions, both report directly to Monumental Sports & Entertainment Founder and CEO Ted Leonsis.
“Tommy has effectively improved our team each year of his tenure by following the plan he laid out to us as his vision when we hired him as general manager and Sashi has been instrumental in making us a leader in analytics, research and player engagement while efficiently streamlining operations across all of our basketball teams and venues,” said Leonsis. “Their combined efforts have put us in a position to compete now with an exciting and hard-working team while also having the flexibility to execute our long-term strategy of building a championship program that is a leader in the community.”
Sheppard will continue to be responsible for all basketball decisions for the Wizards, the G League’s Capital City Go-Go and the NBA 2K League’s Wizards District Gaming. The coaching staff, front office, basketball analytics staff and scouts for all teams will report to Sheppard and he will continue to be the sole point of contact for player negotiations.
Brown will lead various operations for the Wizards, Mystics and Go-Go, including research & information systems, technology, equipment, team communications, finance, facilities, security and player engagement and will also oversee Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s venue operations. Chief of Athlete Care & Performance Daniel Medina and his staff as well as Mystics Head Coach/General Manager Mike Thibault (who have both also received contract extensions) will now report to Brown (who will work alongside Vice Chairman and Partner, Monumental Sports & Entertainment Managing Partner, Washington Mystics Sheila Johnson) with Thibault continuing to be responsible for all Mystics basketball decisions.
Sheppard has nearly completely revamped the team over the last three seasons, using data-driven decisions and placing an emphasis on character and development to acquire numerous young players while also bringing in winning veterans to play alongside franchise cornerstone Bradley Beal. Only Beal and Thomas Bryant remain on the roster from when Sheppard assumed general manager duties, and the Wizards currently have an average player age of 25 with no players over 30 years old. Notable transactions under his leadership include signing Beal and Bryant to contract extensions, acquiring Davis Bertans and Daniel Gafford via trade (and later signing both to contract extensions), acquiring Russell Westbrook and later trading him for Spencer Dinwiddie, Aaron Holiday, Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Isaiah Todd in a rare five-team trade, signing Raul Neto as a free agent in consecutive seasons and drafting Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija and Corey Kispert. Sheppard has also restructured the Wizards’ front office and coaching staff, hiring Head Coach Wes Unseld Jr.
“I am honored to represent this organization and tremendously grateful for the opportunity to continue building this team in order to use what we accomplish both on and off the court to uplift the community,” said Sheppard. “Our staff, and their dedication to working together, has been essential to our success, and we will continue to work hard, follow our plan and make our fans proud of the team we put on the floor.”
Brown has been responsible for creating and overseeing shared services for the operational and athlete services catering to the Wizards, Mystics, Go-Go and Wizards District Gaming under Monumental Basketball since joining the organization. Highlights of his tenure include the creation of a robust research department (led by Dr. Katherine Evans, the first woman to head the research or analytics department of an NBA franchise), the renovation of the MedStar Health Performance Center (the training facility for all of Monumental Basketball’s teams and the only facility to house an NBA, WNBA, and G-League franchise under one roof) and leading social justice efforts for the players and organization in the summer of 2019 and beyond.
“Working collaboratively, strategically and efficiently has been key to elevating the operations of all of the teams within Monumental Basketball, which in turn allows to provide a higher level of care and commitment to our athletes,” said Brown. “We are focused on creating competitive advantages and moving closer to our shared goal of bringing home championships to our great fans.”
Sheppard is currently in his 28th year in the NBA and his 19th season with the Wizards organization. Prior to being named general manager, he served as senior vice president of basketball operations from 2013-2019 and as vice president of basketball operations from 2003-13. Brown is in his third season with Monumental Sports and Entertainment, joining the organization after more than a decade of work in the NFL. He had previously worked for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns, working on both the football and business side of the franchises’ operations.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment also announced today that Zach Leonsis was promoted to President of Media & New Enterprises. In that role, he will expand his work launching and incubating new businesses that leverage MSE’s core properties, investing in new high-growth companies that create value for MSE and conducting due diligence on larger merger-and-acquisition targets to accelerate MSE’s goal of eclipsing $1B in total annual revenues.