Connect with us

Phoenix Mercury

Mercury hire Phoenix native and Warriors’ executive Nick U’Ren as GM

Via Phoenix Mercury

The Phoenix Mercury announced today that they are hiring Phoenix native and current Golden State Warriors’ senior basketball executive Nick U’Ren as general manager.

Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!

The news comes after current Mercury general manager, Jim Pitman, announced his plan to retire from the position at the end of this season.

Pitman will remain with the Mercury as their CFO, but U’ren will take the reigns as GM following the conclusion of this season.

In the nine years that Pitman has been the Mercury’s GM, they have won one championship, reached the playoffs in all nine years, won 169 regular-season games, including a WNBA-record 29 in 2014 and had 24 postseason series victories.

“It has been a great privilege to oversee 10 seasons of Mercury basketball and to have had a day-to-day role in the franchise I’ve been involved in since its inception in 1997,” Pitman said in a press release. “There have been extraordinary highs – winning a championship, witnessing Diana Taurasi becoming the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer, and of course watching Brittney Griner’s return to basketball – and I’m incredibly grateful to have been a part of a team that has brought so many people so much joy. I have known Nick for many years and look forward to working alongside him to ensure we are well positioned for success now and into the future.”

The Mercury, who have a current record of 4-14, will look to U’Ren to try to bring the team to the top of the league once again. U’Ren has spent the last nine years in various roles with the Warriors and won four championships with in his tenure. He will report to Suns and Mercury CEO Josh Bartelstein.

“I want to thank Mat Ishbia, Josh Bartelstein and Jim Pitman for entrusting me with one of the WNBA’s most storied franchises,” said U’Ren. “There is a clear willingness to invest the necessary resources to build a winning team and culture in Phoenix. That, combined with the great people on and off the court, made this the right opportunity at the right time for my family and me. I also want to thank the Golden State Warriors for the knowledge, experiences and friendships that I gained during my time there.”

U’Ren, a graduate of McClintock High School, started off his basketball career with the Mercury and Suns from 2009-2014 as their director of video operations. He then joined the Warriors as special assistant to the head coach and director of coaching operations. He spent several years on the coaching staff before serving the last three in their front office as the Warriors Director of Basketball Operations and most recently as Executive Director of Basketball Operations.

The hiring of U’Ren signifies yet another dynamic move in the short tenure of Mat Ishbia as owner of the Suns and Mercury, as he hopes to turn a new leaf with the teams.

“I want to thank Jim for his many contributions to the organization. From our very first meeting, Jim was transparent about his likely plans to retire as general manager at the end of this season, which gave us the time needed to find the right replacement to lead the Mercury forward,” said Ishbia.“We are excited to have Nick, a veteran basketball executive with four NBA titles under his belt, as the Mercury’s new general manager. We are committed to winning on and off the court, and I am confident that Nick will serve our fans, our community and our organization with passion, dedication and a commitment to excellence, in much the same way that Jim has.”

Griner’s Epic Dunk and Taurasi’s Fiery Performance Lead Mercury to 78-72 Victory

U’Ren’s first duty as general manager might be to find a new coach, as the Mercury fired Vanessa Nygaard earlier this season and currently have Nikki Blue as the interim coach. The Mercury recently added ASU women’s basketball coach Charli Turner Thorne to the coaching staff as well.

*Get the BEST Phoenix sports insider information, exclusive content, and access to our seasonal magazines! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our premium content!*

Brendan Mau is a college sports insider and general assignment reporter for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on Twitter via @Brendan_Mau 

More in Phoenix Mercury