However, it's now time for Pollin to get out of the NBA business that passed his acumen long ago. Pollin, a real-estate mogul, continues to believe in principles that value buildings and property first. Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, a connoisseur of new media, takes a much more fan friendly stance in valuing the team first.
The pawning off of Pollin's neglected step-child of a hockey team came with a promise to Leonsis. Lincoln Holdings would have the right of first refusal when Pollin ultimately decides to sell the Wizards, Leonsis' preferred team to own according to the late-'90s scuttlebutt.
The assumption, given Pollin's age, his interest of focusing on community aid and the cut-throat nature of professional sports, was that ol' Abey would stay in the game for 2-3 more years tops before transferring power.
The promise is left unfulfilled almost a decade later.
Meanwhile, Leonsis has fought tooth and nail to make the best with what he was given and past an initial rift between himself and Pollin, which surfaced in 2003 with what was perceived to be slumlord-like mistreatment of the Capitals.
But all Leonsis has done during his tenure was take a historically inept hockey franchise off Pollin's hands and turn it into the mean, red machine you see rocking the DMV area today. Only 2,000 season tickets, including full and partials, when Leonsis took over? No problem, he's increased that to 14,000 FULL season ticket plans for '09-'10.
Pollin's Wizards continue to be, well, the Wizards -- ranked 19th in the NBA and 82nd overall.
Today, at his induction ceremony to the GW School of Business Sports Executives Hall of Fame, Pollin said, "[My health] is not gonna keep me from winning a championship. Until then, I'm not gonna quit, I'm not gonna quit."
With all due respect to Pollin, the franchise and the denizens of the District will be forever grateful for all he's done. But now, championship hopes will be best served with the reigns of the Wizards firmly in the grasp of Leonsis and Pollin observing from a seat in the fading sunset.