Home NBA News Wizards Hire Interim Man Brian Keefe As New Head Coach

Wizards Hire Interim Man Brian Keefe As New Head Coach

The Washington Wizards have decided to give Brian Keefe the next crack at their head-coaching gig, removing the “interim” label before his name and making him head coach.Brian Keefe, Washington Wizards, NBA

Keefe, 48, went 8-31 after taking over for Wes Unseld Jr., who was moved to the front office in January. Unseld has since left to become the lead assistant with the Chicago Bulls.

The Wizards players seemed to immediately take a liking to Keefe.

“He really galvanized a tight group,” forward Kyle Kuzma said in April, via Ava Wallace of the Washington Post. “… That first half of the season, there were a lot of games where the game was over at halftime, the game was over the first six minutes into the second half. We started to compete.”

Keefe and assistant David Vanterpool were the only coaches left standing after the front office made changes to Washington’s coaching staff earlier this month.

The Wizards are in a rebuilding phase after finishing last season with a 15-67 record. They haven’t reached 50 wins since 1979, their last appearance in the NBA Finals.

“I think he’s been really good for our young team [with] the detail-orientedness that he brings, the structure that he brings. He loves the game,” guard Jordan Poole said, via Wallace. “That’s something that goes a really long way, especially at the highest level, and he’s willing and very genuine and authentic about putting … guys in positions to be successful and play to their strength, really unlocking them — because he cares about them as individuals. He’s done a really good job.”

Meanwhile, Keefe said in a statement that he looks forward “to continuing to work with our players and helping them grow and develop. As a team, we are committed to a collaborative approach to build an environment of accountability and hard work that allows us to improve every day.”

The Wizards own the Nos. 2, 26, and 51 overall picks in the 2024 NBA Draft.

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