Wes Unseld Jr Rumors
“Not many guys could say who they want on their team. Not many guys have the opportunity to have the team build around them. So, you can’t just overlook those things. And then the commitment that you make to the city, the commitment that you make to the community, to your team, those things carry weight.” But that control didn’t reach the Wizards’ recent head coaching search the way Beal wanted, according to sources, one of the reasons he was frustrated when his top choice for the job — 76ers assistant Sam Cassell, an assistant with Washington during Beal’s first couple of NBA seasons — couldn’t land a second interview. Former Nuggets assistant Wes Unseld Jr. eventually landed the gig, replacing the incumbent Scott Brooks earlier this month.
Unseld said he’d already spoken with Beal and Westbrook. “The message was clear that they want to be coached. I think they’re looking for the accountability, they’re excited for this new opportunity, and I think they both know offense is not the issue right now,” he said. “So there’s buy-in right now. We’ll see as we get into training camp and the preseason, there has to be carryover.”
Heading into this offseason, several NBA sources said the expectation was that most of the head coach openings could be filled by African Americans. According to NBA sources, the list of African American assistant coaches who interviewed for jobs included the Los Angeles Lakers’ Jason Kidd and Phil Handy, the Dallas Mavericks’ Jamahl Mosley, the Denver Nuggets’ Wes Unseld Jr., the Golden State Warriors’ Mike Brown, the Philadelphia 76ers’ Sam Cassell, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Darvin Ham and Charles Lee, the Brooklyn Nets’ Udoka and Jacque Vaughn, the Clippers’ Billups, the New Orleans Pelicans’ Teresa Weatherspoon and the Timberwolves’ David Vanterpool. Sources said Dawn Staley, USA Basketball women’s head coach and University of South Carolina women’s head coach, was another African American considered for NBA openings, but she was focused on the Olympics.
Neil Dalal: “I don’t think we’re that far away.” – Wes Unseld Jr. on Grant and Danny. The new head coach re-iterates that it will take a commitment on the defensive end because the offense is already pretty good.
Fred Katz: Wes Unseld Jr. says he’s “extremely happy” to get an opportunity to coach Deni Avdija. says “he’s got a lot of physical tools.” Adds he has to “let the game slow down a little bit…Just from afar, I think he’s got tremendous potential.”