Longtime Washington Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld was dismissed on Tuesday in the wake of the franchise’s subpar season, team chairman Ted Leonsis said.
Grunfeld, 63, was concluding his 16th season with the franchise and the team holds a disappointing 32-46 record with four games remaining. He was hired prior to the 2003-04 season.
“We did not meet our stated goals of qualifying for the playoffs this season and, despite playing with injuries to several key players, we have a culture of accountability and a responsibility of managing to positive outcomes,” Leonsis said in a statement. “I wish to thank Ernie for his service to the Washington Wizards. He and his family have been great leaders in our community and have worked tirelessly to make us a top NBA franchise.”
The Wizards had a 568-724 record during Grunfeld’s tenure with eight playoff appearances.
—The Brooklyn Nets are nearing contract extensions for head coach Kenny Atkinson and his staff, ESPN reported.
The Nets are 39-39 ahead of Wednesday’s game against Toronto and vying for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference for the first time since 2015. They’re currently the No. 7 seed with four games to play in a season in which they weren’t predicted to be very competitive.
Nets general manager Sean Marks hired Atkinson in 2016. Atkinson won 20 games in his first season with the team and improved to 28 wins last season.
—The NBA issued a total of $75,000 in fines to three Golden State Warriors players for their criticisms of officials stemming from a loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves last week.
Forward Draymond Green was fined $35,000 for making statements on social media which “impugned the integrity of NBA officiating,” according to the press release from NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe.
Guard Stephen Curry was fined $25,000 for his actions and public statements “impugning the integrity of NBA officiating.” Forward Kevin Durant was fined $15,000 for public criticism of the officiating.
—Cleveland Cavaliers center Channing Frye is approaching retirement with an open mind and a sense of humor.
“Listen, I’m rich, I’m a champion, I’m 35 and retiring and I’m living a great life,” Frye said in an interview with The Athletic. “So if you think I suck, I’ll see you at L.A. Fitness in a year, (expletive).”
It’s easy for Frye to smile after a 14-year career with six teams including the New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers. The Arizona product started the day with 7,771 points in 888 contests for an average of 8.8 points per game.
—Field Level Media