Wes Unseld passed away last week at age 74. Wes played in the NBA for 13 seasons, all of them with the Baltimore/Washington Bullets. Prior to that he excelled at the University of Louisville, where he was a two-time All America. Wes Unseld is one of two men (Wilt Chamberlain is the other) to be both the NBA Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in the same season (Wes 1968-69 – Wilt 1959-60). Wes Unseld was a five-time NBA All-Star. He led the Bullets to four NBA Title games and a League Championship in 1977-78. Wes Unseld also was the Bullets/Wizards Head Coach and General Manager is his post-playing days. Wes Unseld was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988.
I had the utmost of respect for Wes Unseld. He was a completely unselfish player, a terrific rebounder, and could he ever FIRE an outlet pass! When Wes Unseld was a rookie with the Baltimore Bullets and their starting center, the other four starters tended to play a great deal of one-on-one basketball (Earl Monroe, Kevin Loughery, Gus Johnson & Jack Marin). The addition of Wes was pivotal in the Bullets going from sixth (last) place to first place in one season! Years later, in Wes’ 10th NBA season, the Washington Bullets won the NBA Championship, and Wes was named the MVP of the Finals. Wes Unseld averaged 10.8 points and 14 rebounds per game in his 13 year NBA career. Statistics define some players. They do not define Wes Unseld. Wes did not care about how many points he scored – he cared about winning, thereby having a very positive effect on all of his teammates!