Wizards fire general manager Tommy Sheppard after four seasons

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The Washington Wizards fired general manager Tommy Sheppard— marking a major shake-up for a franchise that has been mired in mediocrity. 

Sheppard’s dismissal comes after four seasons at the helm, but he had been with the franchise since 2003. Owner Ted Leonsis made the decision to move on after the Wizards had failed to reach the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. Washington finished with a 35-47 record — the same as last year’s mark. 

“Failure to make the playoffs the last two seasons was very disappointing to our organization and our fans,” Leonsis said in a statement. “A search for new leadership will begin immediately for an executive from outside the organization.

“I would like to thank Tommy for his dedication to the Wizards organization and wish him the best in his future endeavors.” 

Despite the lack of success, the timing of Sheppard’s firing comes as a major surprise. 

Sheppard said in a season-ending press conference this month that Washington’s win-loss record was “disgusting.” But the executive gave no indication that he thought his job was in trouble when he was asked about his status by a reporter.

“Myself?” Sheppard said when asked if he had met with Leonsis to see if he’d be returning next season. “That’s not even been a part of a conversation.”

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