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David Vanterpool joins the Wizards coaching staff

Vanterpool will be an assistant coach on Wes Unseld Jr.’s staff. He was most recently with the Brooklyn Nets but spent most of his professional coaching career with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Brooklyn Nets - Play-In Tournament
David Vanterpool has joined the Wizards coaching staff.
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

On Sunday, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that David Vanterpool will join the Washington Wizards as an assistant coach on Wes Unseld, Jr.’s staff. Vanterpool has 15 years of professional coaching experience, most recently with the Brooklyn Nets from 2021-22, but also with the Minnesota Timberwolves (2019-21) and Portland Trail Blazers (2012-19). He began his coaching career with CSKA Moscow in Russia and the EuroLeague from 2007-10.

Wizards fans will also be quick to note that Vanterpool also had a successful professional career, mostly in Europe and for CSKA, where he won a EuroLeague championship in 2006. But yes, I didn’t forget! He also played 22 games for the Wizards in the 2000-01 season, averaging 5.5 points and 3 assists per game. Vanterpool played college basketball at St. Bonaventure.

When I saw the news of Vanterpool’s hiring, some fans were very excited. I felt cynical because he was a one-time Wizards player and because he is a native of Silver Spring, Maryland, where he graduated from Montgomery Blair High School. Those should be ancillary reasons.

The main reason why you should feel cautiously optimistic (the emphasis is mine) about Vanterpool is the fact that he is an experienced assistant coach on Unseld’s staff. The Wizards in recent seasons haven’t had an assistant coach with a long track record of experience. This article by Dave Deckard of Blazers Edge has more on him.

Let us know your thoughts about his arrival in the comments below.