Kevin Durant Praises Wizards’ Interim Coach Brian Keefe

Kevin Durant, Wizards, NBA
May 13, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) during the post game interview of game four of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum. Memphis Grizzlies defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-97, and lead in the series 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

There haven’t been many teams as disappointing as the Washington Wizards during the 2023-24 NBA regular season. They are one of only three teams who have yet to win double-digit games this season, along with the Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs.

However, out of the three, the Wizards are the only ones to make any major changes to this point. On Thursday morning, it was announced that they would be removing Wes Unseld Jr. as head coach and placing him somewhere else within the organization.

Unseld and Wizards president Michael Winger have discussed the head coaching job extensively in recent days. The organization wants to keep him with the franchise in some capacity long-term, but he will not be the head coach.

That role will now fall upon lead assistant Brian Keefe, who takes over on an interim basis. The job will be his through the remainder of the regular season and a full-blown search will be underway during the offseason.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Brian Keefe, Kevin Durant, Washington Wizards Updates

Keefe is in his first season on the Wizards’ coaching staff but has extensive experience on the sidelines in the NBA. This is his 14th season as an assistant in the league, as he also carried the title of player development with the Los Angeles Lakers from 2016-2018.

Along with the Lakers, Keefe has made stops with the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets before landing in Washington. However, his longest-tenured job was with the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he was from 2009-2014. He came back for the 2019-20 season before taking a season off.

Keefe was part of the staff with Scoot Brooks who helped lead the Thunder to the NBA Finals in 2012. One of the stars on that team was Kevin Durant, who had some very nice things to say about Keefe when he learned his former coach was taking over the Wizards’ job.

“He wouldn’t take any credit for it, but he taught me everything I know…

“He’s easily one of the most influential guys that I know in this business, in this game, and in life… I got nothing but love and respect for BK,” Durant said when talking to reporters on Thursday morning via Will Clayton on X.

That is some incredible praise for Keefe from Durant. It is clear that he had a major impact on the future Hall of Famer’s career. While the situation in Washington is a tough one, this is a great opportunity for him to show what he can do as head coach.

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