July 21, 2024
  • Losing NBA Wizards fire Unseld and install Keefe as interim head coach.

Washington (AFP) – The NBA’s struggling Washington Wizards fired head coach Wes Unseld Jr. on Thursday, appointing assistant coach Brian Keefe to lead the team for the remainder of the campaign.

After losing five straight games and nine of its previous ten starts, Unseld was demoted to a front office advisory role. However, Wizards president Michael Winger stated that the 7-36 team needed to make a change.

“After several thoughtful conversations with Wes, we determined together that a change was needed for the benefit of the team,” said Winger. “His vast basketball experience will be an asset to the front office as we progress toward our long-term goals.”

Wednesday’s 118-107 home loss to Minnesota marked Unseld’s last game as coach, and Keefe will make his debut on Thursday when the Utah Jazz visit Washington.

Unseld is 48 years old and the son of Wes Unseld Sr., a Hall of Fame center who led the team to its lone NBA championship in 1978—during the team’s era as the Bullets—and who also held positions as vice president, general manager, and head coach. Unseld Sr. was a former NBA Most Valuable Player.

Since assuming the position in July 2021, Unseld Jr. has coached the Wizards for 2.5 seasons, going 77-130.

“I am grateful to have served as head coach of the Washington Wizards,” Unseld Jr. said in a statement. “I look forward to this new opportunity to work toward our organization’s continued progress.”

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