Mercury Enlists Phoenix Native and Warriors’ Executive Nick U’Ren as GM

Nick U'Ren, new GM of Phoenix Mercury

The Phoenix Mercury made a significant announcement today, revealing the appointment of Nick U’Ren as their new general manager. A Phoenix native and the current senior basketball executive of the Golden State Warriors, U’Ren brings a wealth of experience to the table. This development follows the decision of the current Mercury GM, Jim Pitman, who disclosed his intention to retire at the conclusion of the ongoing season. Although Pitman will continue his association with the Mercury as their CFO, the reins of the GM role will be handed over to U’Ren post this season.

Over the course of nine years under Pitman’s leadership, the Mercury enjoyed remarkable success, clinching one championship, securing playoff berths every season, capturing 169 regular-season victories (with an impressive 29-win streak in 2014, setting a WNBA record), and securing 24 postseason series victories.

Reflecting on his tenure, Pitman shared, “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. 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 much joy to people. 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.”

With the current record of 4-14, the Mercury now turns to U’Ren, hoping he can elevate the team back to its previous heights. U’Ren boasts an impressive resume, having spent the past nine years serving in various capacities with the Warriors and winning four NBA championships during his tenure. As he assumes the GM role, U’Ren 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,” expressed 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’s association with the world of basketball traces back to his days at McClintock High School, where he kick-started his career with the Mercury and the Suns, serving as their director of video operations from 2009 to 2014. His journey then took him to the Warriors, where he initially assumed the role of special assistant to the head coach and director of coaching operations. Over the years, he transitioned into their front office, culminating in the positions of Director of Basketball Operations and, most recently, Executive Director of Basketball Operations.

The decision to hire U’Ren underscores yet another bold move made by Mat Ishbia, the owner of the Suns and Mercury, as he seeks to revitalize the teams and usher in a new era of success.

“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,” remarked 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, much like Jim has.”

As U’Ren takes on his new role as GM, one of his primary tasks will likely be to secure a new coach. The Mercury previously dismissed Vanessa Nygaard, and presently, Nikki Blue is serving as the interim coach. Recently, the team also welcomed ASU women’s basketball coach Charli Turner Thorne to their coaching staff, adding further expertise and experience to the mix.

 

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