WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDVM) – The Washington Wizards pick up a big win over the Philadelphia 76ers at home, on MLK Jr. Day, winning 117-98. Wizards overall record improves to 23-21.
Acting head coach Joseph Blair stepped in for Pat Delaney, who entered the league’s COVID protocols today, two days after Head Coach Wes Unseld Jr. entered the protocols.
“Everybody gets into coaching, I’m an assistant coach cause I want to be a head coach.” said Blair, pointing to his preparation leading up to the game. “I think I can say the same about Zach Guthrie, Pat Delaney, everybody that is not a head coach in this league dreams of being the head coach at some point. So you’re always going to just try and be prepared as much as possible – maybe not a couple hours before.”
Blair’s basketball resume spans several years as a player, and as a coach; playing from 1996 to 2009, while he began coaching from 2013; notably spending some time as a Harlem Globetrotter, and as a G-League Head Coach for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
The Wizards’ established a comfortable lead against the Sixers, who entered this game winning the last 11 of 12 games. While they faced adversity early in the second half, their second unit provided crucial production, outscoring Philadelphia’s bench 63-27.
“I’m trying to think of the best way to articulate it, and I don’t think there is one.” said Blair, as he describes his emotions stepping into the head coaching role tonight. “Words don’t do justice. And I think today was one for me. The honor of the experience, and then afterwards then falling into the comfort of being there. Because I did that in the g-league, you get kind of consumed in the game, and at a certain point you no longer care where you’re at, you just do what you need to do to get the team moving forward.”