Basketball News

NBA: death of Wes Unseld, former hero of the Bullets and MVP of season 68-69

Wes Unseld, former Baltimore / Washington Bullets interior and only player with legend Wilt Chamberlain to have been an NBA MVP in his first season, died at 74, his family said on Tuesday.

Unseld died of pneumonia after a long series of health problems, she said in a statement to her lifelong franchise, the Washington Wizards, formerly known as the Bullets.

"He was the rock of our family – an extremely dedicated patriarch who enjoyed being with his wife, children, friends and teammates. He was our hero and loved playing and working around basketball for the cities of Baltimore and Washington, the city he has proudly worn on his chest for so many years, "the statement said.

Named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history, Unseld started and ended his career on a high note.

In his first season (1968-1969) in the jersey of the Bullets, then based in Baltimore, he managed to be named both rookie of the year (beginner) and best player of the regular season, at the 'end of the championship, thanks to its 13 points and 18 rebounds on average per match. Only Wilt Chamberlain had done it before.

After two lost finals with Baltimore, against the Milwaukee Bucks of young Lew Ahooly-news.comndor, the future Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1971), then with Washington against the Golden State Warriors (1975), he finally became champion against the Seattle SuperSonics in 1978. The following year, he failed to retain his title, which was beaten in the final by the same team.

Five times selected for the All-Star Game, Unseld retired in 1981 and his number 41 flocked jersey was removed. Inducted into the Hall of Fame, he was vice-president of the Bullets for six years, before coaching the team between 1988 and 1994.