Wizards’ Michael Winger Talks New Role, Clippers Tenure, Beal, More

Having handed on the chance to interview for a normal supervisor function with no less than one different NBA crew prior to now, Michael Winger tells Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times that he had begun to wonder if he’d get a chance to grow to be the lead govt in a entrance workplace. That was the impetus for his determination to pursue the job because the Wizards‘ president, a place he formally secured on Thursday.

“Seldom, I think, in pro sports do those opportunities come along where almost all of your boxes, if not all of your boxes, are checked,” Winger stated. “And this was I think the rare and supremely fortunate opportunity for somebody like me to check all the boxes: ownership, market, fan base, already a talented team.”

Winger has some familiarity with the Washington space already, as Greif notes. The former Clippers normal supervisor lived in Baltimore throughout his ultimate 12 months of regulation faculty and infrequently visited buddies in D.C. throughout that point.

“I just felt like if I’m ever going to challenge myself, now’s the time and (Wizards owner) Ted (Leonsis) is the right person,” Winger stated. “I think D.C. is the right fan base.”

Here’s extra from the brand new Wizards govt on the challenges that await him in D.C. and the six years he spent in Los Angeles because the Clippers’ GM:

  • According to Winger, he achieved most of his targets with the Clippers over the past six years, having helped flip the franchise right into a fascinating vacation spot for stars. Of course, there’s one notable purpose that may go unresolved. “I would have liked to have won one or more championships in the four years that we’ve had Paul (George) and Kawhi (Leonard), but every team that tries to win a championship and doesn’t wishes that they would have won a championship,” Winger informed Greif. “I mean, certainly winning at the highest level would have been awesome. What else? That’s really it.”
  • Winger added that he nonetheless has full confidence that George and Leonard are a “championship tandem” able to main the Clippers to a title: “I believe that to my core that those two guys when healthy can absolutely win a championship, so I’m a little sad that I’m not gonna be there when they finally do.”
  • Most of Winger’s conversations with Leonsis in the course of the interview course of targeted on a “big-picture vision” for the Wizards reasonably than on particular roster strikes, writes Greif. The plan is to dig deeper into particular plans for the roster as soon as Winger brings in a second govt who will focus solely on the Wizards in a GM-type function.
  • Winger stated he’s thrilled concerning the prospect of getting Bradley Beal because the cornerstone of Washington’s roster: “His former coaches, his former teammates, they all have extraordinarily high regard for him, and he is unequivocally a superstar. The hardest thing to do in the NBA is acquire a superstar talent and it’s even harder to acquire superstar talent with his level of character. And so, I think it’s an extremely, extremely fortunate starting point. So to me, that’s really exciting to have somebody like Brad on the team.”
  • Winger is assured that Leonsis will “put forth both the resources and the patience” to construct the Wizards into a corporation with a profitable tradition, pointing to Leonsis’ work with the NHL’s Washington Capitals as proof of his means to steward a profitable franchise. “It’s just a matter of taking some of those principles, injecting the equivalent of the NBA’s nuances into those principles, and hopefully building something that is sturdy, sound, attracts good players, attracts good staff, keeps good players, keeps good staff, and ultimately wins basketball games,” Winger informed Greif.

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