Wizards fans have heard the name Tommy Sheppard a lot since the team dismissed long-time president Ernie Grunfeld on Tuesday.
Here are five things fans should know about the man who will take over Grunfeld's duties on an interim basis (and as NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig wrote could be the permanent choice), all courtesy of his biography on the Wizards' team website.
1. Sheppard has worked for the Wizards for 16 years, as long as Grunfeld had.
In total, he has been working in the NBA for 25 years. He has many responsibilities with the Wizards. Among the most important are player evaluation, contract negotiations and salary cap management.
He also assists with hiring coaches and other staff, organizing the summer schedule and managing the training program and equipment. The man is both busy and important.
2. Sheppard worked for the Nuggets before arriving in Washington.
He joined the Nuggets in 1994 and served as the Senior Director of Team Services and Player Relations. His role entailed all internal and external communications within the club, so he has years of experience interacting with both players and the media.
3. He teaches at Georgetown University in the Sports Industry Management program.
Sheppard draws expertise from not only his career in the NBA, but also from his time working in media relations as a student at New Mexico State University and professionally at UNLV.
4. Sheppard is a family man.
On a more personal note, Sheppard played for the New Mexico State Aggies football team for three years in college. He went on to have seven children, five girls and two boys.
5. He is a real candidate to replace Grunfeld permanently.
As Standig wrote previously, Sheppard should be considered a serious contender for the general manager vacancy. Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said as much in his comments announcing Grunfeld's dismissal.
But the Wizards won't be the only ones considering their interim GM for that permanent role. He has other suitors.
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