NBA Hall-of-Famer Wes Unseld, certainly one of solely two gamers to win MVP honours in his rookie season, died Tuesday, his household mentioned. He was 74. Unseld, chosen by the Baltimore Bullets with the second decide within the 1968 draft, had been coping with long-running well being points together with a current bout of pneumonia. “He was the rock of our family — an extremely devoted patriarch who reveled in being with his wife, children, friends and teammates,” the household mentioned in a press release.
“He was our hero and loved playing and working around the game of basketball for the cities of Baltimore and Washington D.C., cities he proudly wore on his chest for so many years.”
Unseld spent the whole thing of his profession with the Bullets, who later moved to Washington and had been subsequently renamed the Wizards.
He led the franchise to its solely NBA title in 1978, selecting up the Finals MVP award within the course of.
His dazzling debut season in 1969 earned him the season MVP honours, solely the second rookie after Wilt Chamberlain to attain the feat.
Unseld would later coach the Bullets from 1988 to 1994, main the staff to a solitary playoff look.
Former team-mates on Tuesday paid tribute to Unseld, with Phil Chenier remembering a “gentle giant”.
“His scowl could be intimidating, but really he was a kind, thoughtful and protective comrade,” Chenier advised ESPN. “Wes is the epitome of a great teammate, team leader and friend.”
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