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Tue Jun 2, 2020, 10:40 AM

Wes Unseld, an NBA top 50 honoree, dies at 74

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wes Unseld, the workmanlike Hall of Fame center who led Washington to its only NBA championship and was chosen one of the 50 greatest players in league history, died Tuesday after a series of health issues, most recently pneumonia. He was 74.

Unseld’s family announced his death via a statement released by the Washington Wizards, the franchise he played for throughout his entire 13-season career.

A five-time All-Star and, along with Wilt Chamberlain, one of only two players to win NBA Rookie of the Year and MVP honors in the same season, Unseld instantly made the team then known as the Baltimore Bullets into a winning franchise after it selected him No. 2 overall in the 1968 draft.

A decade later, he was the MVP of the NBA Finals as the Washington Bullets beat the Seattle SuperSonics in a seven-game series best known for coach Dick Motta’s proclamation: “The opera ain’t over until the fat lady sings.”

Listed at 6-foot-7 and 245 pounds, Unseld overcame taller players and bad knees with a strong work ethic and lots of grunt work in the paint. He was a tenacious rebounder and strong passer.

Unseld was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988, his first year of eligibility.

“I never played pretty,” Unseld said on the day he was elected. “I wasn’t flashy. My contributions were in the things most people don’t notice. They weren’t in high scoring or dunking or behind-the-back passes.”


As a young Knick fan, nothing topped the Knick/Bullet wars of the late 60s and early 70s. Bradley/Marin, DeBusschere/Johnson, Frazier/Monroe and at the center of it all, the titans, Willis Reed and Wes Unseld.

RIP, Wes.

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Reply Wes Unseld, an NBA top 50 honoree, dies at 74 (Original post)
BeyondGeography Jun 2 OP
dhill926 Jun 2 #1
Sewa Jun 2 #2

Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Tue Jun 2, 2020, 11:45 AM

1. he was like a brick wall in the paint...

got everything out of his talent...

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Tue Jun 2, 2020, 04:29 PM

2. Sad news

I have always had the utmost respect for Wes. Not just as a player but also as a person. He played a hard but clean game.

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