NBA community reacts to Unseld Jr.'s hiring as Wizards head coach

On Saturday, the Wizards named Wes Unseld Jr. the 25th head coach in franchise history. Unseld Jr. began his coaching career as an assistant with the Wizards in 2005 after eight seasons with the team as a scout. He then went on to hold assistant coaching roles with the Warriors, Magic and, most recently, the Nuggets. As a DMV-native and son of Bullets legend Wes Unseld Sr., the hiring of Unseld Jr. made waves across the NBA landscape as soon as it was announced.

Unseld Jr. comes to D.C. after spending the last six seasons in Denver, including a season as the team’s associate head coach during the 2020-21 season. In his time with the Nuggets, Unseld Jr. developed a widespread reputation as one of the premier assistant coaches in the NBA. In the Wizards’ announcement of the hiring, general manager Tommy Sheppard said of Unseld Jr.: “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.”

The announcement that he’d been hired as Washington’s next head coach garnered immediate praise and support out of Denver.

In addition to his work with the Wizards in the late 90s, Unseld Jr. spent time on the Mystics staff in 1998.

Unseld Jr.’s ties to the DMV date even further back than his time with the Wizards and Mystics. He played college basketball at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, played high school basketball at Loyola High School in Towson, Md. and grew up in Catonsville, Md.

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