Wes Unseld Jr

Wes Unseld Jr. is the head coach of the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association. He is the son of Wes Unseld, a Basketball Hall of Fame member who was a player, coach, and executive also with Washington. Wes Unseld Jr. is also a cousin of Missouri Sports Hall of Famer and St. Louis American Sports Director, Earl Austin Jr.

The opening weeks of action in the National Basketball Association have been quite entertaining for me.
 
From my perspective, the most pleasing developments of the first month have been happening in the nation’s capital. The biggest surprise in the league so far has been the Washington Wizards. Entering this week, the Wizards are 9-3 and sit atop the Eastern Conference standings.
 
As a fan of the Bullets/Wizards for 52 years , these last few weeks have been like heaven. I know it’s very early in the season, but I’m living in the moment and enjoying this sudden turnaround in my favorite team. I’m not used to seeing my team in first place at this point of the season.
 
The fact that the head coach is a member of my family and the top player is a St. Louis native who I’ve followed since he was in middle school makes this even more enjoyable. It’s the best of both worlds.
 
The Wizards’ first-year head coach Wes Unseld Jr. happens to be my cousin. He is the son of Washington sports legend Wes Unseld, who was the best player in the history of the franchise. Young Wes has grinded for 20 years as a NBA assistant before getting his first opportunity to be a head coach.
 
He has established a defensive presence that has already paid dividends. The Wizards have given up less than 100 points five times this season, which matches the total of five times for the entire 2020-21 season.
 
It is also very cool to see St. Louisan Bradley Beal enjoy some team success once again. During the past three seasons, the Wizards have been struggling through a transition stage and Beal literally carrying the franchise on his back. He averaged 30 points a game last season and became an All-Star Game starter for the first time.
 
Many folks have been telling Beal to get out of Washington and seek greener pastures, but he has stayed committed to the Wizards. So far, that commitment has been rewarded. Beal still averages a team-high 23 points a game, but he has plenty of help this season.
 
With the hiring of Unseld and the acquisition of seasoned pros such as Spencer Dinwiddie, Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the Wizards have become a tough group that is capable of winning close games.
 
The bulk of the NBA season has yet to be played, but I’m having some fun right about now.
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