In a recent development, the Washington Wizards are reportedly offering the head coaching position to Wes Unseld Jr. The next step in the process is to finalize a contract, but the decision to hire Unseld has been made. The news was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
A Remarkable Homecoming
As Woj tweeted later, this is a remarkable homecoming for Wes Unseld Jr. His father, the late Wes Unseld, was a Hall of Fame basketball player who spent his entire career with the Washington franchise. The Wizards were the Baltimore Bullets when he was first drafted by them in 1968. He then stayed with the franchise when it moved to Washington. The team was known as the Capital Bullets in the 1973-74 season. Afterwards, they were known as the Washington Bullets. They rebranded in 1997 and took on the Wizards name.
Wes Unseld Jr. as a Coach
Unlike his father, Unseld Jr. never played in the NBA. However, he was hired right out of college by the Washington Wizards. He started out as a scout, working under his father who was the general manager at the time. After eight years as a scout, he was promoted to assistant coach. Reportedly, his offensive scheme is responsible for the Wizards’ three straight top-10 offense between 2004-2007.
Unfortunately, Unseld was unable to secure a position as a front row bench coach with the Wizards. Only three are allowed per team, and the Wizards did not offer him one of the exclusive roles. As a result, he left Washington in 2011 to be an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors.
After one season with Golden State, Unseld was hired as an assistant coach for the Orlando Magic. He spent over two years with the team until he was fired along with head coach Jacque Vaughn in 2015.
From Orlando, Unseld went to Denver as an assistant coach. As an assistant in Denver, he was credited with developing Nikola Jokic into a MVP player. In addition, stars Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. credit Unseld with their development.
Previously, Unseld had interviewed for the Cleveland Cavaliers head coaching job. However, he was passed over for that job as well.
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