WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDVM) – After making an official announcement on Saturday, the Washington Wizards introduced their new Head Coach, Wes Unseld Jr. to the fans, and media on Monday afternoon.
The Unseld name is back in the Wizards franchise; as whispers of Wes Unseld are brought back into the forefront of conversation. Wes Unseld is one of the organization’s greatest players, leading the Bullets to a world title in 1977-78, and was the team’s former head coach, and president.
His son, Unseld Jr., spent his formative years with the Wizards organization; playing multiple roles for 14 years, before moving on to become one of the league’s rising stars as an Assistant Coach, most recently with the Denver Nuggets.
“Literally its like you’re frozen there for a minute, trying to absorb it.” said Wes Unseld Jr. when speaking of the moment he received the call. “And then of course all the emotions, you even think about all the logistics, and family dynamics – all of that kind of rushes in – but for a brief moment – there is a sense of relief. Of joy, of excitement. And a little bit of trepidation, I’ll be honest. This is new, so it’s a new life for me, it’s a new experience, it’s one that I’m doing to grasp and really take hold of.”
In his most recent stint as an Assistant Coach, for the Denver Nuggets; he directly contributed to the defensive side of the ball, and the development of league MVP Nikola Jokic.
“He worked with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson when they were young,” said GM Tommy Sheppard, when speaking to Unseld Jr.’s resume. “With [Nikola] Vucevic, Tobias Harris and [Victor] Oladipo in Orlando, and you look at the MVP season that Jokic had and Jokic was begging him not to leave Denver. Jamal Murray, all the different players that he touched there.”
“When players call you to tell you that you should hire this guy unsolicited, that is pretty impressive to me.” said Sheppard.