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Assessing the Washington Wizards Coaching Staff Before the New 2020-21 NBA Season
After finishing first and second in the Southeast Division during his first two years in Washington, Scott Brooks is heading in the wrong direction. The Wiz won 39% of their games in his third year and produced an abysmal 25-47 record this past season.
Now entering year five (the final year of his contract) in the nation’s capital, the head of the Washington Wizards coaching staff needs to make adjustments.
Let’s assess not only Brooks but all of the Wizards coaches.
Scott Brooks – Wizards Head Coach
Let’s not beat around the bush. Unless we see a vast improvement from Washington in the upcoming season, Scott Brooks will be searching for new employment next year. I highlighted the dip in the team’s performance over the last two years, but maybe you want to give him a pass because John Wall was hurt.
Now that Wall has been swapped for Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal is a bonafide stud, there are no more excuses. Davis Bertans was re-signed, Rui Hachimura showed promise, and Deni Avdija fell right into their lap at #9 in the November Draft.
The Wizards roster isn’t built just to make the NBA playoffs. It’s constructed to advance once they get there. Without winning a playoff series, it’s hard to imagine Brooks being retained.
Washington Wizards Assistant Coaches
While most NBA teams carry between four and six assistants, Scott Brooks is at seven – technically eight if you count the associate head coach.
Tony Brown – Associate Head Coach
Take a deep breath before rattling off all of Tony Brown’s previous stops. The Wizards lead assistant/associate head coach was an assistant head coach for Portland, Detroit, Toronto, Boston, Milwaukee, Los Angeles (Clippers), Dallas, and Brooklyn – before winding up in Washington.
Jarrell Christian- Assistant Coach
The former head coach of the Capital City Go-Go – the NBA G League affiliate of the Washington Wizards – was elevated to Scott Brooks’ staff in 2019. Jarrell Christian.
Talk about putting your time in, Christian occupied three jobs during his time at Emory & Henry College. Jarrell served as an assistant head coach for the men’s basketball team while also working as the head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country teams.
Corey Gaines – Assistant Coach
A successful head coach of the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury from 2007-2013, Corey Gaines moved into an assistant role with the Suns following that experience. From there, he coached the Knicks for three seasons (2016-2018) before Scott Brooks brought him on board.
Mike Longabardi – Assistant Coach
A defensive specialist who helped guide LeBron and the Cavs to a couple of NBA titles. Longabardi is a key element of the Washington Wizards coaching staff thanks to multiple years of learning under the likes of Tom Thibodeau, Doc Rivers, and Ty Lue.
David Adkins – Assistant Coach
The Director of Player Development for the Wizards from 2016-2018 spent the last two seasons on the bench as an assistant head coach. Yes, this guy is more than just a former high school coach of Kevin Durant.
Robert Pack – Assistant Coach
Interestingly enough, Robert Pack’s best season during his 14-year playing career was the one year he spent in D.C. with the Washington Bullets (18.1 ppg, 7.8 apg. 4.3 rbg, 2.0 spg).
Pack began his coaching career as an assistant with the Hornets (2009) and has since been an assistant for the Clippers, Thunder, and Pelicans. Hired in Washington in 2018.
Mike Terpstra – Assistant Coach
One of Scott Brooks’ assistants in OKC from 2013-2015, Mike Terpstra, was specifically chosen by Brooks to be part of the Washington Wizards coaching staff. In the event that Brooks is fired at the end of 2021, it’s more than likely that Terpstra will be on his way out as well.
Dean Oliver – Assistant Coach/Analytics
A statistician at heart, Dean Oliver authored Basketball on Paper and has worked closely alongside the front office in Sacramento. His role with the Kings was to promote and integrate analytics into the sport – similar to what he is doing for coach Brooks and the Wizards.
Analyzing More NBA Coaching Staffs
Interested in learning who’s on staff in Miami? How about Orlando or Charlotte?
More NBA coaching staff blogs are features below.