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Michael Winger hired as Wizards new President

After a quiet but seemingly intentional search process, Monumental Sports & Entertainment Founder and CEO Ted Leonsis has named Michael Winger President of Monumental Basketball. This is the first step in replacing former president and general manager Tommy Sheppard.

“Michael’s vast experience and broad range of executive-level skills will provide stability, accountability and leadership for all of our basketball franchises,” said Leonsis.  “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 will report directly to Leonsis, will oversee all aspects of operations for the Washington Wizards, Washington Mystics and the Capital City Go-Go.

“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 and Leonsis will immediately begin a search for a lead executive for the Wizards. That position will also oversee the Go-Go and report directly to Winger along with Mystics General Manager Mike Thibault and the administrative, communications, athlete care & performance and strategy & research departments that service all three teams.

Winger has 18 seasons of experience as an NBA executive, working with teams that have collectively appeared in two NBA Finals and seven Conference Finals while amassing a .633 (912-528) regular season winning percentage during his respective tenures. 

He has spent the last six seasons as the general manager of the Los Angeles Clippers, helping lead the team to a 272-200 (.576) overall record and a trip to the 2021 Western Conference Finals.  As general manager, Winger worked closely with President Lawrence Frank on all day-to-day basketball functions. 

He was responsible for developing the majority of operational and roster planning, helped build out departments by identifying and acquiring staff, developed systems to support the players and oversaw all transactional processes.  Winger also assisted in the design of the team’s new training center that is set to open in 2024.   

Prior to his time with the Clippers, Winger worked as an assistant general manager and team counsel for the Oklahoma City Thunder from 2010-11 to 2017-18.  The Thunder appeared in the 2012 NBA Finals and reached the Western Conference Finals four times during his tenure. 

He began his NBA career as team counsel and director of basketball operations with the Cleveland Cavaliers.  During his five seasons (2005-10), the Cavs appeared in the 2007 NBA Finals and reached the Eastern Conference Finals twice.   

With the NBA Draft quickly approaching, Winger have an opportunity to give Wizards fans an initial hint on his vision for the future.