The Wizards confirmed the hiring of Wes Unseld Jr. as the team’s head coach on Saturday. Unseld becomes the 25th coach in franchise history, replacing Scott Brooks, who compiled a 183-207 record in five seasons.
Unseld, who was an NBA assistant for 16 years, including six seasons with the Wizards from 2005 to 2011, has spent the past six seasons in Denver, where he helped Nikola Jokic become the NBA’s MVP with the draft. lowest in history. Additionally, those Nuggets teams finished 10 games above .500 in four of their six seasons there and made the NBA playoffs in each of the past three seasons.
OFFICIAL: We have named Wes Unseld Jr. the 25th head coach in franchise history.
Welcome home, Coach! #DCAboveAll
– Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) July 17, 2021
This will be Unseld’s first time as head coach.
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“I want to thank (Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard) and (Wizards governor Ted Leonsis) for the opportunity to lead this talented team both on and off the court and to continue to move the franchise in one direction. positive, “Unseld said to one team. “Becoming an NBA head coach is a goal that I have pursued my entire adult life and having that dream come true by returning full circle back to Washington is truly special. I look forward to representing the DMV, connecting with our fans, and set a new standard for Wizards basketball. “
Sheppard said: “Wes is one of the most respected assistant coaches in the NBA and clearly separated himself from the large and diverse group of candidates we consider. His strong track record as a tactician in the game coupled with his attention to detail on both sides of the ball, Combined with his reputation for developing as a player and his outstanding character during his more than 20 years as a coach, he left no doubt that he was the best option to guide our team to the next level. “
Unseld had a history with wizards even before he became an assistant coach. After being undrafted from Johns Hopkins in 1997, he went to work for Washington as a scout with his father, Wes Unseld, who was a general manager at the time. The untrained young man served in that capacity for eight years before being promoted to assistant coach in 2005.
In all, the youngest Unseld worked in the Wizards organization for 14 years before moving to Golden State. He will take over a team that has finished below .500 in each of the last three seasons and has not advanced beyond the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs since 2017.