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Thom Loverro: Wizards have been Monumentally bad under leadership of Ernie Grunfeld

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Sports,NBA,Wizards,Thom Loverro

My Twitter tally of Ernie Grunfeld's "Monumental" record as general manager of the Washington Wizards started in the midst of their 0-12 start.

Everyone was having a good laugh over the losing streak -- at least the basketball fans left in this town who still cared were.

I thought anger should have been the proper reaction to a basketball team that got off to an 0-12 start -- especially one that has had five irrelevant playoff appearances in the past 25 years.

0-12 didn't exist in a vacuum. So I thought perhaps a town numb to decades of incompetence by this basketball franchise needed a reminder of how truly bad things have been.

So on Nov. 25, the morning after a double-overtime loss to the Bobcats dropped the Wizards to 0-11, I tweeted the following: "Ernie Grunfeld's record at Wizards GM: 284-449."

It was a simple message that spawned a number of responses, most of which were incredulous at how pathetic the record was for the man who had been in charge of this basketball organization for 10 years -- responses like, "How does he keep his job?"

Good question --and one that Wizards fans should be asking owner Ted Leonsis every time this team takes the court.

The context of this anger goes back long before Grunfeld arrived in 2003. But you can't fire Bob Ferry, Wes Unseld and John Nash again, and Grunfeld, after 10 years, has established a track record that is worthy of asking the question after every game, "How does he keep his job?"

So I continued tweeting Grunfeld's record after every game.

In December, I added a bit to my standard post-game tweet: "Ernie Grunfeld's record as Wizards GM after tonight's win over Magic -- 288-461 -- a 'Monumental' record," in recognition of the name change of Leonsis' organization to Monumental Sports and Entertainment.

There was some backlash on Twitter and fans who responded, "Okay, we get it, you don't like the Wizards. Enough."

But that wasn't the point. It wasn't a matter of liking or disliking the Wizards. It was a reminder of a record of futility that should make fans cry out -- even a fan base as damaged as the Wizards.

The backlash rose as the Wizards started showing signs of life when John Wall returned, as the team played better and posted a record of 24-25 with Wall on their way to a 29-53 season record.

But what does that mean? What is the endgame? Will you be satisfied with a return to the Grunfeld glory days, the four illusional playoff appearances from 2005 to 2008 -- teams reached the second round once and never won 50 games in any season? What makes you believe this will be anything different than what you've seen in the past?

Wednesday night the Wizards season came to an end: "Ernie Grunfeld's record as Wizards GM after tonight's loss to Bulls -- 312-490 -- a 'Monumental' record. Good night and good luck."

Examiner

columnist Thom Loverro is the co-host of "The Sports Fix" from noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on ESPN980 and espn980.com. Contact him at tloverro@washingtonexaminer.com.

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