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R.I.P. Wes Unseld 1 month 1 week ago #388819

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Wes Unseld, NBA’s Rookie of Year and MVP in 1969, dies at 74

WASHINGTON—Wes Unseld, one of two players in NBA history to win Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards in the same season, died on Tuesday. He was 74.

Unseld succumbed after a series of health issues, most recently pneumonia, according to a statement from his family released by the Washington Wizards.



Unseld was a powerful, but mobile 6-foot-7, 245-pound center who dominated as a rebounder. He led Washington’s team—then known as the Bullets—to the 1978 NBA championship, earning the Finals MVP honors.

The five-time All-Star who played all 13 of his NBA seasons with the franchise that drafted him in 1968, which at the time was based in Baltimore.


Unseld was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988.
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R.I.P. Wes Unseld 1 month 1 week ago #388820

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RIP Will always recall his battles with Willis Reed and the likes of Kareem. Great rebounder and outlet passer.
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R.I.P. Wes Unseld 1 month 1 week ago #388822

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I had forgotten he had a stint as coach of the Bullets until I saw him on the sidelines in "The Last Dance"

Great, great center, and I believe he was maybe 6'7".

He had this classic move of snatching a rebound, whirling in air and firing an outlet pass to a guard leading the fast break.
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R.I.P. Wes Unseld 1 month 1 week ago #388828

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I remember seeing him at Alumni Hall on the press row scouting for the Bullets.

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R.I.P. Wes Unseld 1 month 1 week ago #388830

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Great player, who played like a true NBA center at 6'7" or 6'8". Those Knick vs. Bullet playoff series in the late 60s and early 70s were some of my favorite NBA moments of all time and the first ones that I snuck into bars to watch because cable hadn't come to Queens yet.
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R.I.P. Wes Unseld 1 month 1 week ago #388831

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great matchups... unseld-reed, marin -Bradley, DeBusschere-Johnson , Frazier-Monroe, later phil Chenier.
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R.I.P. Wes Unseld 1 month 1 week ago #388832

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bamafan wrote: RIP Will always recall his battles with Willis Reed and the likes of Kareem. Great rebounder and outlet passer.

Despite being a diehard Knicks fan (up until Isiah Thomas's reign of terror, that is), Wes was always a special favorite of mine. And as you've noted, bamafan, his battles with Willis Reed were classic, and he was an outlet passer without peer. Saw him play for Louisville only once, but clearly remember seeing him and Butch Beard run the pick-and-roll to perfection. Was very happy for him (and me) when he led the Bullets to the NBA title in 1978 ... and alas, deeply saddened to hear he's no longer with us. RIP, Big Wes.
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R.I.P. Wes Unseld 1 month 1 week ago #388836

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Agree with everyone's comments on here. I grew up on the pre-Championship Knicks of Van Ardsdale, Komives and Bellamy, but when '69-70 came around loved those Knicks-Bullets series, ferocious basketball, and great matchups. I think there name was the Baltimore Bullets not Washington.

Reed was probably a legit 6'8", Wes 6'7" and remember another great undersized center a bit later, Dave Cowans. Unseld and Cowans were fantastic with their downcourt passing off a rebound, unbelievably good at that.

I remember a playoff series where Willis got maybe 20 points and 22 rebounds, and then Unseld comes back the next game and got like 20 points and 25 rebounds. I have not looked this up but if Unseld had a 30 rebound game I would not be surprised, he was a fierce rebounder.

On the court he was not a trash talker from what I could tell, he seemed very quiet but with the MJ competitive fire. Not much of a coach I don't think.

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R.I.P. Wes Unseld 1 month 1 week ago #388837

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And that 1969-1970 Bullets team had two former Johnnies - Kevin Loughery averaging over 21 ppg and Leroy Ellis contributing around 7 ppg off the bench.
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R.I.P. Wes Unseld 1 month 1 week ago #388844

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BrookJersey Redmen wrote: Agree with everyone's comments on here. I grew up on the pre-Championship Knicks of Van Ardsdale, Komives and Bellamy, but when '69-70 came around loved those Knicks-Bullets series, ferocious basketball, and great matchups. I think there name was the Baltimore Bullets not Washington.

Reed was probably a legit 6'8", Wes 6'7" and remember another great undersized center a bit later, Dave Cowans. Unseld and Cowans were fantastic with their downcourt passing off a rebound, unbelievably good at that.

I remember a playoff series where Willis got maybe 20 points and 22 rebounds, and then Unseld comes back the next game and got like 20 points and 25 rebounds. I have not looked this up but if Unseld had a 30 rebound game I would not be surprised, he was a fierce rebounder.

On the court he was not a trash talker from what I could tell, he seemed very quiet but with the MJ competitive fire. Not much of a coach I don't think.

Willis had a 36 point 36 rebound game against Wes in a playoff game. I remember the game well because my father forced me to go to the movies with him that night so I brought my transistor radio with me and periodically would put it up to my ear on very low volume to keep up with the game.
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