WASHINGTON (AP) — Michael Winger has officially been hired as the new president of Monumental Basketball, overseeing the NBA's Washington Wizards and WNBA's Washington Mystics.
“Michael’s vast experience and broad range of executive-level skills will provide stability, accountability and leadership for all of our basketball franchises,” said Monumental Sports & Entertainment Founder and CEO Ted Leonsis in an organization-issued statement. “His influence on helping to restore and sustain excellence at three different teams aligns with our goal of building championship contenders while his collaborative approach supports our shared services structure.”
Winger, who comes to Washington after serving as the general manager of the Los Angeles Clippers for six years, will also oversee the G League's Capital City Go-Go as part of his new responsibilities, said the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Wizards had not announced the move.
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“I am honored to lead Monumental Basketball, with all three teams standing as proud representations of a unique and powerful region that has shown loyalty and patience throughout various levels of success,” said Winger. “There is much work to do, but I am confident we can build our programs on sustainable principles that will underscore all of our decisions, re-establishing the prestige and status that we can celebrate with our deserving fans.”
Winger is essentially replacing Tommy Sheppard, who was the Wizards' president and general manager until getting fired last month after about two decades in the team's front office.
The Wizards have gone 35-47 and missed the playoffs in each of the last two seasons. Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis could be free agents this summer, so there are roster decisions awaiting Winger quickly, and Washington has three picks — No. 8, No. 42 and No. 57 — in next month's NBA draft.
Winger has also worked for Cleveland and Oklahoma City before joining the Clippers, where he worked under Lawrence Frank.