WASHINGTON (AP) — Wes Unseld Jr. is out as coach of the Washington Wizards midway through his third season with the team, which has the second-fewest wins in the NBA.
President Michael Winger announced Thursday that Unseld would be transitioning to a front office advisory role. Washington at 7-36 is in 14th place out of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards have lost five in a row and 11 of their past 12 games and host the Utah Jazz on Thursday night.
Assistant Brian Keefe was promoted as the interim replacement.
Keefe joined the team in July after spending the past two seasons as an assistant with Brooklyn. He has also been on staffs with Oklahoma City and the New York Knicks. He started his career as a video coordinator with the San Antonio Spurs, who won a championship in 2007.
The Wizards said they will conduct a search for a full-time replacement in the offseason.
“After several thoughtful conversations with Wes, we determined together that a change was needed for the benefit of the team,” Winger said. “Wes embodies the characteristics we value in our organization, and his vast basketball experience will be an asset to the front office as we progress toward our long-term goals. We are thankful that he will continue his contributions to our organization and community.”
Unseld, 48, is the son of franchise legend and Hall of Famer Wes Unseld, who helped the then-Bullets win the 1978 NBA title. The Wizards went 77-130 with him as coach.
“I am grateful to have served as head coach of the Washington Wizards,” Unseld Jr said. “I look forward to this new opportunity to work toward our organization’s continued progress.”
Unseld is a longtime NBA assistant coach, spending six seasons with the Wizards from 2005-11, one with Golden State, three with Orlando and six with Denver before returning to Washington in 2021.
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