Wes Unseld Jr. is the Wizards' next head coach, the organization announced Saturday.
“Wes is one of the most highly-regarded assistant coaches in the NBA and clearly separated himself from the large and diverse group of candidates we considered,” Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard said in a statement. “His strong record as an in-game tactician along with his attention to detail on both sides of the ball, combined with his reputation for player development and outstanding character during his 20+ years of coaching left no doubt that he was the best choice to guide our team to the next level.”
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that it's a four-year deal. broke the news Friday that the franchise was nearing an agreement to hire the Nuggets assistant.
Unseld has been with Denver since 2015. He was elevated to associate head coach in December 2020, and has been credited with overseeing the team's defensive game plans. Unseld had previously worked as an assistant coach with the Wizards, Warriors and Magic after beginning his NBA coaching career in 2005.
“I want to thank Tommy and Mr. Leonsis for the opportunity to lead this talented team both on and off the court and to continue moving the franchise in a positive direction,” said Unseld in a statement. “Becoming a head coach in the NBA is a goal that I have pursued my entire adult life and to have that dream realized by coming full circle back to Washington is truly special. I look forward to representing the DMV, connecting with our fans and establishing a new standard for Wizards basketball.”
Unseld is the son of Hall of Famer Wes Unseld Sr., who spent his entire career with the Washington franchise. He was the league's MVP in 1969 and was named MVP of the 1978 NBA Finals. A five-time All-Star, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
After his playing days, Unseld Sr. served as an assistant coach for Washington before being promoted to head coach from 1988–94.
The younger Unseld takes over for the Wizards after the franchise parted ways with Scott Brooks. In five seasons at the helm, Brooks led Washington to the playoffs three times, including a first-round exit this year. The Wizards have finished with a losing record in each of the past three seasons.
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