12.15.12

Leonsis Tells Public, “Reports Of My Being A Cheap Motherfucker Are Highly Exaggerated”

Posted in Basketball at 5:23 pm by

Earlier this week, the Washington Post’s Michael Lee reported the Wizards rejected a sign and trade deal to acquire OKC’s James Harden due to ownership’s reluctance to commit to a 5-year, $80 million contract for the reigning NBA Sixth Man of The Year.  Earlier today, Wizards/Capitals owner Ted Leonsis denied Lee’s claims, while also reminding us, “as I look at box scores from around the league, I see many games that can be considered blowouts, but our team has been very competitive and we have had plenty of fourth-quarter opportunities.”

As a matter of principle, I think it is bad form to publicly share trade-related discussions and conversations about players who are under contract with other teams. I would like to debunk though a statement and notion that originated in The Washington Post that a potential trade would have put our team in the luxury tax and thus we “turned down” a deal because we were “unwilling to commit” financially. That is simply not true. First, we would not have gone into the luxury tax – that is simple math. Second, economics were not a factor.

I am not shy about making financial investments in our teams. Simply look at the history of the Capitals and see the progression of our payroll. Additionally, the Wizards used the amnesty provision this past offseason as a financial tool to reconfigure our team. It is public knowledge that we have taken on some of the most significant contracts in the NBA and NHL. We have a track record, and these are concrete examples. Our fans know we will invest in our teams.

I hope this sets the record straight, and if the anonymous sources would like to debate the facts and what I know to be the truth, then I welcome them to come forward. Thank you.

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