Wizards news: Hall of Famer Wes Unseld dies at 74 years old
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Hall of Famer Wes Unseld dies at 74 years old

Wes Unseld, Bullets, Wizards

Bullets legend Wes Unseld has passed away at the age of 74. The Washington Wizards’ Twitter account released a statement from the Unseld family, revealing that the Hall of Famer died peacefully with his family surrounding him:

The statement revealed that Unseld had been battling health issues, including pneumonia, for a while now.

Unseld’s family requested that, instead of flowers and gifts, friends and supporters instead donate to his school:

The Wizards also released their own statement:

The then-Baltimore Bullets selected Unseld with the second overall pick in the 1968 NBA Draft. He was also drafted by the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association.

Unseld’s arrival immediately turned the franchise’s fortunes around, as he helped lead the Bullets to a 57-25 record in his rookie season. Finishing with averages of 13.8 points and 18.2 rebounds, Unseld became just the second player in NBA history after Wilt Chamberlain to win the Rookie of the Year award and MVP in the same season.

An undersized center, Unseld did not let his lack of height hinder him from dominating in the paint. He used his brute strength and determination to battle his much taller opponents down low. Likewise, the 6-foot-7 center became known for his pinpoint outlet passes that often ignited fast breaks for the Bullets.

Unseld became a five-time All-Star in 13 seasons, all with the Bullets. He led the Bullets to their lone NBA championship in franchise history when they defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1978 NBA Finals. He won Finals MVP for his efforts.

Wes Unseld finished his career with averages of 10.8 points and 14.0 rebounds. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988.

Unseld’s son, Wes Unseld Jr., is currently an assistant coach with the Denver Nuggets.