To some, the Cleveland Browns’ improved roster is in large part traced back to Sashi Brown, the team’s analytics-based former executive vice president of football operations. Brown was dumped just before his long-term rebuilding plan started to come to fruition.
How much credit Brown really deserves is up for debate. His main strengths seemed to be trading down in drafts and stockpiling salary-cap space as the team went 1-31 over two seasons. The team’s draft record under Brown wasn’t good. But to the “Sashifarians” on social media (h/t to Mike Tanier of Bleacher Report) who treat Brown as a pariah in the analytics movement, he’s bulletproof.
And now Brown will try to work his magic in the NBA.
Sashi Brown lands with Wizards
Included in the Wizards’ front-office reformation was a strange twist: Brown was hired as senior vice president “working with and in support of Tommy Sheppard, their senior vice president and general manager,” according to NBC Sports Washington. The report said Brown and Sheppard will run separate groups under a new umbrella called Monumental Basketball.
Whatever that all means, Brown has had an unusual path in professional sports. He was originally hired as executive vice president/general counsel by the Browns in 2013. When he was on the business side, his duties included “contract negotiation, government affairs, employment matters, insurance and risk management, licensing and intellectual property issues and litigation management,” according to Cleveland.com. He made Sports Business Journal’s “40 under 40” list before being elevated in the Browns front office and being given control of the roster.
Now he’s in a totally different sport.
Brown will help with Wizards’ analytics
The NBC Sports Washington report outlined the unusual arrangement for the Wizards. Brown will be in charge of “mostly strategic, big-picture duties.” Sheppard will be the lead personnel decision maker. Brown will also be a part of recruiting free agents and “selling the Wizards' organization as a whole.”
The story also points out that Brown can help the franchise take the next step in analytics, which is becoming a focus for many teams across all sports.
As the Browns continue to rise, Brown’s role in that will be remembered. If someone wants to find out what Brown thinks of his former NFL employer, they’ll know where to find him now.
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