After several busy weeks in the offices, all NBA franchises have a head coach again. The arrival of Wes Unseld Jr. to the Washington Wizards bench, yet to be officially confirmed, has been the last piece of a very complex puzzle. One that has led to a technical dance, practically unparalleled. Up to seven teams will have a new coach next season. A number that increases if you take into account, for example, the movement of the Hawks: Nate McMillan, after reaching the Conference Finals, will continue four more seasons in Atlanta. Until the end of the course, which he entered at the beginning of March, he was classified as interim, a label that has suddenly been removed; but that, officially, also makes him one of the new coaches in charge. Beyond this formalism, the new faces for the next season are the following. Six of which, in addition, are of African American origin.
Boston Celtics: Ime Udoka
Dallas Mavericks: Jason Kidd
Indiana Pacers: Rick Carlisle
New Orleans Pelicans: Willie Green
Orlando Magic: Jamahl Mosley
Portland Trail Blazers: Chauncey Billups
Washington Wizards: Wes Unseld Jr.
In the case of Unsled Jr., the last to arrive, this is not just any incorporation. Following the departure of Scott Brooks, who had been with the Wizards for five seasons and lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Philadelphia 76ers, the organization has chosen a name that connects directly to its history. The new coach, who had been working as an assistant for 16 seasons in the NBA, is the son of Wes Unseld, an emblem for the franchise. Surely his most important figure. Hall of Fame, Unseld, who passed away in June of last year, played his entire career with the Bullets, first in Baltimore and then in the United States capital. Later, with 5 All Stars, an MVP and the 1978 ring, the only one in the franchise, he would also be a coach and executive within the organization. Unsled Jr., who will try to pick up the baton, comes after serving as an assistant to the Denver Nuggets for the past six seasons. In Colorado, he has been part of one of the most impressive promotions in the competition, earning great fame in his role as a defensive specialist. Previously, he had served on the coaches of the Golden State Warriors and Orlando Magic, an organization for which he was also interviewed in the search for a new coach.
Jamahl Mosley, however, has been chosen for Florida. Not without implications that go further, as in most cases. With so many holes to fill, it was impossible for the stages not to intertwine. Mosley comes to Orlando after seven seasons as an assistant with the Dallas Mavericks, where Jason Kidd has landed. Before, he went through Cleveland and Denver, also with similar roles. In Texas, he was Luka Doncic’s favorite; on the Magic, he will take over an organization that, as he demonstrated in the past market, has pushed the red rebuild button. One that will start, without going any further, in the next Draft (July 29), with picks 5, 8 and 33. Kidd, meanwhile, must lead Dallas on the urgent mission of building the perfect environment for the Slovenian player, who is ready to win. Unlike Unsled Jr. or Mosely, in his track record there are experiences as a head coach. After starting his career on the bench with the Brooklyn Nets, he spent three and a half seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks. In both cases, without much success.
To add insult to injury, the legendary point guard was one of Damian Lillard’s favorite options on the Blazers, where Chauncey Billups has finally arrived. Another earthquake in Portland. While, at first, the new manager was among the franchise player’s preferences, he has finally become a new cause for concern. With the future of the base more in the air than ever, the arrival of Billups has led to a wave of criticism towards Lillard, mainly due to the history of the new coach, accused of sexual abuse in 1997. Along with him, Ime Udoka have arrived Boston Celtics, Rick Carlisle to Indiana Pacers and Willie Green to New Orleans Pelicans. In all cases, with the obligation to take a step forward. Udoka was the first in the string of additions. After the change of Brad Stevens, now president of operations, he must give the final boost to a franchise that fails to complete its rise to glory. Carlisle, for his part, who has given his place, precisely, to Kidd, will try to break the barrier in Indiana: before this season, without a playoffs, the team accumulated five falls in the first round. Willie Green, meanwhile, after Stan Van Gundy’s lonely campaign in New Orleans, will seek to lead Zion Williamson into his first playoffs. The new map of the competition. A dance that, until further notice, ends.