Washington Wizards hire James Posey as an assistant coach

The Washington Wizards have hired James Posey as an assistant coach.

“We are excited to add James to our staff, as he brings championship experience both as a player and coach,” said Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. “As one of the toughest defenders in the league and a clutch shooter during his NBA tenure, we will be able to lean on his playing and coaching experiences to help the development of our players.”

Posey comes to Washington after spending the 2021-22 season as an assistant coach for the University of Virginia Women’s Basketball team under Hall of Famer Tina Thompson. Prior to his time at Virginia, Posey spent five seasons as an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers where he was apart of the staff that captured the 2016 NBA title while becoming the first team in NBA history to erase a 3-1 deficit in the Finals. During his tenure with the Cavaliers, the team made four consecutive Finals appearances from 2015-18.

A two-time NBA Champion as a player, Posey appeared in 864 games (479 starts) and averaged 8.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game with Nuggets, the New Orleans Hornets, Heat, Grizzlies, Celtics, Rockets and Pacers. Posey was a key contributor for the 2006 Heat and 2008 Celtics championship teams. He averaged a career-high 13.7 points per game during the 03-04 season with the Grizzlies.

A native of Cleveland, OH, Posey played collegiately at Xavier University where he was named 1998 Atlantic-10 Championship’s Most Outstanding Player and 1999 A-10 Defensive Player of the Year.

Wizards sign Taj Gibson

The Washington Wizards have signed 13-year NBA veteran forward/center Taj Gibson to a contract.

“Taj comes to us as a veteran big who will add toughness, experience and physicality to our team,” said Wizards President and General Manager Tommy Sheppard. “We know he will always be prepared and ready when we need him, giving us valuable depth in our frontcourt.”

It’s reportedly a one-year contract.

Gibson (6-9, 232) holds career averages of 9.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game in 896 games (447 starts) with the Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves, and New York Knicks. Gibson has shot .518 from the field for his career and has shot at least 50 percent from the field in each of the past eight seasons, including a career-best .627 in 2020-21. In 52 games (four starts) with the Knicks last season, Gibson averaged 4.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game while shooting .518 from the field.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, the 37-year-old made his NBA debut in 2009 with Chicago and was named to the 2009-10 All-Rookie Team after averaging 9.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in 82 games. Gibson was the 26th overall selection of the 2009 NBA Draft out of USC, where he was the school’s all-time leader in blocks. During his career Gibson has been active in the community, such as co-hosting a rally with NYC to promote Black Lives Matter and gun control efforts in Bedford-Stuyvesant, leading a procession of hundreds of marchers down Fulton Street. He also hosted several host-a-family events and provided school supplies to at-need families in the Chicago area during his tenure with the Bulls.

Wizards re-sign Bradley Beal

The Washington Wizards on Wednesday, July 6 signed three-time All-Star guard Bradley Beal to a five-year contract beginning in 2022-23.

“Bradley has truly established himself among his peers in the NBA, the all-time greats in our team’s history and the leaders who are making a difference in the community over his 10 years with us,” said Chairman and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment Ted Leonsis. “He has set a consistent example of hard work and dedication to develop into our franchise player and we are proud to show our commitment to having him continue to lead us on and off the court as he cements his legacy in Washington.”

The 10-year NBA veteran has spent his entire career in Washington, making him one of six active players to have played 10+ years with the same franchise (Udonis Haslem, Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Damian Lillard) and one of only two players (Wes Unseld, 13 seasons) to play 10+ seasons with the Wizards franchise. Beal is the franchise’s all-time leader in three-pointers made (1,434) and is on pace to pass Elvin Hayes as the franchise’s all-time leading scorer during the 2022-23 season (he is currently second all-time in points scored with 14,321 to Hayes’ 15,551). He ranks third in games played with Washington at 645, trailing only Unseld (984) and Hayes (731). Beal also ranks in the franchise’s top five in minutes played, assists, steals and free throws.

“I have been blessed to call the city of Washington my home and the Wizards organization and our fans my family for the last 10 years, growing as a player, a leader, a husband and a father along the way,” said Beal. “Today represents such a special moment in my life. I could not be more grateful to have the opportunity to continue to partner with Ted, Tommy, Wes and the entire organization in moving forward to achieve our dream of bringing championships to D.C. and, just as importantly, to help our community continue to accomplish amazing things together.”

Beal narrowly lost the NBA scoring title to Steph Curry in the 2020-21 season, where he averaged a career-high 31.3 points per game on a career-high .485 shooting percentage from the field, earning an All-NBA Third Team nod. With the effort, Beal became just the sixth player since the NBA-ABA merger to average 30+ points in back-to-back seasons, joining Adrian Dantley, Michael Jordan (seven straight) Allen Iverson (twice), Kobe Bryant, and James Harden (three straight). Beal’s 34 games with 30+ points that season ranked as the fourth-most in franchise history and his 60-point effort on January 6 at Philadelphia was the second-highest scoring game in team history.

“Bradley’s level of talent, character and work ethic combine to make him one of the most remarkable players and people I have been privileged to work with over my career in the NBA,” said Wizards President and General Manager Tommy Sheppard. “We have built our roster to complement his all-around game and couldn’t be more excited to have him make the commitment to keep our franchise moving in the right direction.”

The 29-year-old holds career averages of 22.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. Beal is one of six D.C. athletes to be with their respective team 10+ seasons, joining Capitals Nicklas Backstrom (15), John Carlson (13), Dmitry Orlov (10) and Alex Ovechkin (17), and National Stephen Strasburg (13). He is coming off a 2021-22 campaign cut short due to a wrist injury which saw him average a career-high 6.6 assists in 40 games played.

Wizards sign Delon Wright

The Washington Wizards have signed seven-year NBA veteran guard Delon Wright.

“Delon’s versatility as a playmaker, scorer and defender will help us solidify our backcourt rotation,” said Wizards President and General Manager Tommy Sheppard. “His size allows him to play and defend both guard positions and will give us flexibility with our lineups.”

Wright’s deal with the Wizards is reportedly a two-year, $16 million contract.

Wright (6-5, 185) holds career averages of 7.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in seven seasons and 411 games (70 starts) with Toronto, Memphis, Dallas, Detroit, Sacramento and Atlanta. The 30-year-old played in 77 games (eight starts) in 2021-22 with Atlanta, posting averages of 4.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. In his eight starts in 2021-22, Wright averaged 10.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game while shooting .492 from the field and .440 from three. Wright averaged career highs in points (10.2), rebounds (4.3), assists (4.4) and steals (1.6) per game in 2020-21 as a member of the Detroit Pistons and Sacramento Kings.

Originally from Los Angeles, Wright was selected with the 20th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors. He played collegiately at the University of Utah, where he was twice named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team (2014 and 2015) and became the first player in men’s basketball history to be named to the first-team All-Pac-12 in consecutive years (2014 and 2015). During the 2014-15 season with the Utes, Wright was teammates with current Wizard Kyle Kuzma. He attended Leuzinger High School in Lawndale, California, which also produced Russell Westbrook, and is the younger brother of former NBA champion Dorell Wright.

Wizards re-sign Anthony Gill

The Washington Wizards have re-signed forward Anthony Gill, bringing him back for his third season with the team.

“AG provides us with additional frontcourt depth and is the epitome of the type of player we look for in building our team,” said Wizards President and General Manager Tommy Sheppard. “He is a true professional, a leader in the court in the community and is always ready to contribute on the court in a variety of ways when his number is called.”

Gill has appeared in 70 games (four starts) in his two seasons in Washington, averaging 3.7 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. In his 10.5 minutes per game in 2021-22, Gill shot .569 from the field and .538 from three. He scored a career-high 15 points in a win over Brooklyn on February 10, going 6-7 from the field while adding two rebounds and a steal.

Gill was named the recipient of the inaugural Washington Wizards E.B. Henderson Team Award in April. He received the honor in recognition for his work in the Washington, D.C., community.

The native of Charlotte, NC, played the previous three seasons before signing with Washington with BC Khimki in Russia, compiling overall averages of 10.5 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting .572 from the field and .406 from three-point range. He was undrafted out of the University of Virginia, where he played from 2013-16 after transferring from the University of South Carolina. He finished his career as the Cavaliers’ all-time leader in field goal percentage at .582 and averaged 13.8 points and 6.1 rebounds while shooting .580 from the floor as a senior. Gill was named All-ACC Third Team as both a junior and a senior and was named to the All-ACC Tournament Team as a senior.

Bradley Beal to stay with Wizards

Per ESPN.com, “All-Star guard Bradley Beal has agreed to a five-year, $251 million maximum contract to stay with the Washington Wizards, his agent Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports tells ESPN as NBA free agency opened Thursday. Beal, who has played his entire 10-year career with the Wizards, has now committed himself to the franchise for the duration of his prime.”

With 10th pick in 2022 NBA draft, Wizards selected Johnny Davis

The Washington Wizards selected Johnny Davis from the University of Wisconsin with the 10th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft and selected Yannick Nzosa from Unicaja (Spanish ACB) with the 54th overall selection.

“Johnny proved his scoring capability and showed the ability and willingness to defend at a very high level at Wisconsin,” said Wizards President and General Manager Tommy Sheppard. “His versatility, toughness and extraordinary basketball IQ stood out during our evaluation process and we’re excited to have him join our team.”

Davis (6-5, 196) earned the Big Ten Player of the Year accolade after averaging 19.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 31 games as a sophomore with the Badgers in 2021-22. Davis scored in double figures in all but one game, topping 20 points in 16 games, as he improved his scoring average by 12.7 points per game in his sophomore season. He also averaged 24.1 points in eight games against top-25 opponents.

In addition to his Big Ten Player of the Year honor, Davis also earned the 2022 Lute Olson National Player of the Year, Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year, was a consensus First-Team All-American and was a finalist for the Naismith Trophy and Wooden Award. He was also selected as the Big Ten Player of the Week three times and was the Naismith National Player of the Week for the week on January 10. The La Crosse, Wisconsin, native also won a Gold Medal with USA Basketball at the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup in Latvia.

With the 54th overall pick, the Wizards selected Yannick Nzosa (6-10, 200), a Congolese center who spent the past two seasons with Unicaja in the Spanish ACB. In 68 total games with Unicaja, Nzosa has averaged 3.5 points and 2.4 rebounds while shooting .534 from the floor. An 18-year-old with a 7-4 wingspan, Nzosa played for Stellazzurra Basketball Academy in Rome to begin his amateur career.

Former NBA All-Star player and Coach of Year Gene Shue passes away

Gene Shue has passed away. Via the Washington Times:

Gene Shue, the former Maryland Terrapins basketball star who went on to coach the [Washington] Bullets for 13 seasons, died on Sunday. He was 90.

The NBA announced Shue’s death with a statement on Monday.

“The NBA family mourns the passing of Gene Shue, a 5x NBA All-Star, 2x All-NBA selection and 2x NBA Coach of the Year,” posted the league’s official Twitter account. “Gene dedicated his life to the game and left an indelible mark as a player, head coach and executive. We extend our deepest condolences to the Shue family.”

Shue is the franchise’s leader in wins with 522 and is the only bench boss in team history to win the NBA Coach of the Year Award, doing so in 1969 and 1982.

Per the AP, “a five-time All-Star as a player for the Pistons, Shue went on to coach for more than two decades. He took the Baltimore Bullets to the NBA Finals in 1971, ​​then did the same with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1977. He is still the record holder for the Washington-Baltimore franchise with 522 victories.”

Washington Wizards will host Hall of Fame Night on April 1, 2022

In a celebration honoring DMV NBA Hall of Fame members, the Washington Wizards will host Hall of Fame Night on Friday, April 1 when the team hosts the Dallas Mavericks at 7:00 p.m.

The first 7,800 fans attending Friday’s game will receive a Wes Unseld bobblehead featuring the classic white with red stripes Bullets jersey that launched in 1974. The championship trophy will be on the base to represent winning the 1978 NBA Championship.

This celebration caps off the September induction of former Bullets/Wizards players Bob Dandridge, Paul Pierce, Chris Webber and Ben Wallace and locally affiliated members of the NBA into the Naismith Hall of Fame. Select members of the NBA Hall of Fame from the DMV and their families will be present for a special halftime ceremony including Dave Bing, Bernard King, Spencer Haywood and Rod Thorn.

In addition, numerous Bullets/Wizards alums will be in attendance, including Phil Chenier, Drew Gooden, Harvey Grant, Jason Smith, and many more.

2022 NBA Japan Games, Sept. 30 and Oct. 2, feature Wizards vs. Warriors

The NBA and Rakuten Group, Inc., today announced that the Washington Wizards and Golden State Warriors will play two preseason games in Japan in 2022.

The NBA Japan Games 2022 will take place Friday, Sept. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 2 at Saitama Super Arena outside of Tokyo, marking the Wizards’ first trip to Japan and the league’s 15th and 16th games in the country.

“We are so honored to represent the NBA and the wonderful game of basketball in front of an audience of Japanese fans,” said Ted Leonsis, Founder & CEO, Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “We are particularly excited to watch Rui Hachimura play in front of his fellow Japanese citizens. We were proud to welcome him into the DC Family nearly three years ago as a dynamic young talent and have only seen his growth as a player since. And our fans across our home market in Washington D.C. have a special connection to the Japanese people – marked by our annual celebration of the gift of cherry trees given to our city by the Mayor of Tokyo over 100 years ago. Celebrating American and Japanese cultures further strengthens our bonds and so we look forward to taking on the Golden State Warriors and growing new fans of the sport we all love.”

“I am very excited to bring Wizards basketball to Japan,” said Hachimura. “I cannot wait to see the arena filled with fans getting to see NBA basketball in person.”