The Washington Wizards promoted interim coach Brian Keefe to the head coaching position for the 2024-25 season. Keefe took over for Wes Unseld Jr. last year after the team had already fallen well out of playoff contention.

“We are excited for Brian to become our next head coach. Brian is a proven motivator and connector of people,” Wizards General Manager Will Dawkins said in a press release. “As a leader in the organization, he will continue to positively grow and invest into the development of our players. His wealth of experience will help move our team forward as we build for long-term sustained success.”

In 39 games as interim head coach last season, Keefe did not do much better than his predecessor with a mediocre Wizards team, going 8-31. Washington finished the season with a 15-67 record, finishing just one game ahead of the Detroit Pistons to avoid earning the league’s worst record.

With this horrendous 2023-24 performance in mind, as well as five straight losing seasons for the Wizards preceding it, not much will be expected of Keefe in the coming season. This team’s problems go much deeper than the head coaching position, and he is likely expected to serve as a stabilizing force while the front office builds a team that can compete in the future.

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Though the Wizards have been outsiders in the NBA for some time, the team still managed to regress last season after trading away big man Kristaps Porzingis and pairing Kyle Kuzma with newly acquired talent Jordan Poole. Neither young star lived up to their potential on a team that was routinely criticized for undisciplined play.

“I look forward to continuing to work with our players and helping them grow and develop,” Keefe said in a statement. “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.”

This will be Keefe’s first full season as an NBA head coach after 17 years as an assistant in the league. His assignment may not be to guide a contending team any time soon, but he and the Wizards’ front office will have an opportunity to build up from rock bottom.

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