Mercury GM Pitman stepping down from role at end of season, Warriors’ U’Ren taking over

Phoenix Mercury WNBA basketball All-Star centre Brittney Griner, right, talks with Mercury general manager Jim Pitman prior to a news conference Monday, June 26, 2023, in Phoenix. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)

Phoenix Mercury general manager Jim Pitman is retiring at the end of the season but staying on as the chief financial officer, the team announced Monday.

Pitman, who also is an executive vice president and CFO of the Phoenix Suns, took over as the Mercury’s GM in 2013 and during his tenure the team won the WNBA championship in 2014.

“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. “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 return to basketball.”

Pitman will be succeeded by Nick U’Ren, who spent the past nine years with the Golden State Warriors in basketball operations. Before his time in the Bay Area, U’Ren was with the Phoenix Suns for five seasons.

“I want to thank Mat Ishbia, Josh Bartelstein and Jim Pitman for entrusting me with one of the WNBA’s most storied franchises,” U’ren said. “There is the clear willingness to invest the necessary resources to build a winning team and culture in Phoenix.”

Phoenix won 169 regular season games under Pitman, including a WNBA-record 29 in 2014. The Mercury also have 24 postseason victories. 

It’s been a season of change already for the Mercury, who let go of head coach Vanessa Nygaard last month and promoted assistant Nikki Blue to an interim position. The Mercury sit tied for last place in the WNBA with a 4-14 record.

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