Michael Winger leaves Clippers’ GM position to lead as new President of the Washington Wizards

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After six years leading as the Clippers general manager, Michael Winger is heading towards the East coast for a new challenge in his career. Monumental Sports & Entertainment Founder and CEO Ted Leonsis has announced this Thursday that the executive has been hired as the Washington Wizard‘s new President. 

“Michael’s vast experience and broad range of executive-level skills will provide stability, accountability and leadership for all of our basketball franchises,” the owner said in a 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.”

As part of Monumental Sports, Winger will guide all operations concerning the NBA franchise, the Washington Mystics and the Capital City Go-Go. He will now report directly to Leonsis.

“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,” the former Clippers executive said.

As they summer is barely beginning, Winger knows his work starts right away as there is much to do for a franchise that needs help reinventing itself.

“There is much work to do,” he expressed. “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.”

Their first mission together will be to start exploring for a lead executive for the NBA franchise, which will be a position that will mostly oversee the Go-Go below Winger’s supervision, next to Mystics GM Mike Thibault’s team.

Michael Winger has 18 season of experience as an executive in the NBA

Winger’s experience in the NBA is not something to be taken lighlty. The excecutive has already been a part of the league during 18 years, helping teams reach two NBA Finals, as well as seven Conference Finals with a 912-528 regular-season record during these tenures.

After six years with the Los Angeles franchise, the general manager was ready for a new challenge, replacing Tommy Sheppard who was released by CEO Leonsis by the end of this current campaign. His best season with the Clippers was 2021’s run to the Western Conference Finals.

Check out the “Locked on Wizards” podcast panel discuss on this new hiring for the team:

“He’s really good at seeing the whole board,” one executive who has worked with Winger said. “He’s super organized and really smart. Process-driven to the ninth degree. He won’t be reckless or let his team make big mistakes.”

Before working for the Los Angeles club, he started his NBA career as the Cleveland Cavaliers’ team counsel and director of basketball operations from 2005 to 2010.

Winger then leaped as an assistant general manager and team counsel in Oklahoma, collectively guiding the Thunder to the 2012 NBA Finals and later four Conference Finals from 2010 to 2018.