Wizards announce Wes Unseld is no longer head coach, moving to front office role

Washington Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. in action during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

The Washington Wizards are making a big change in their coaching. The team announced Thursday morning that Wes Unseld Jr. was moving out of his role as head coach and would be transitioning to a front office role.

“After several thoughtful conversations with Wes, we determined together that a change was needed for the benefit of the team,” said Michael Winger, president of Monumental Basketball. “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 forward toward our long-term goals. We are thankful that he will continue his contributions to our organization and community.”

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

The Wizards have effectively fired Unseld, who had been coach since July 2021. The team’s interim coach will be announced later on Thursday.

Unseld ends his time as Wizards head coach with a 77-130 record. He had identical records of 35-47 in the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 season, but things took a steep, sharp downturn at the start of the 2023-2024 season. Through 43 games, the Wizards are currently 7-36.

That might not be all Unseld’s fault. The Wizards traded their megastar Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns in June 2023, lowering their talent level significantly. But 7-36 and second-worst in the entire NBA may have been a bridge too far for the Wizards’ brass.

The Wizards play their next game on Thursday night at home against the Utah Jazz.

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