RIP: Wes Unseld (1946-2020)

Discussion in 'Phoenix Suns' started by Brian in Mesa, Jun 2, 2020.

  1. Brian in Mesa

    Brian in Mesa BIM™ Contributor

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

    https://www.baynews9.com/fl/tampa/a...nba-rookie-of-year-and-mvp-in-1969-dies-at-74


    Wes Unseld, the workmanlike Hall of Fame center who led Washington to its only NBA championship and was chosen one of the 50 greatest players in league history, died Tuesday after a series of health issues, most recently pneumonia. He was 74.

    Unseld’s family announced his death via a statement released by the Washington Wizards, the franchise he was with throughout his entire 13-season playing career and also worked for as a coach and general manager.

    “Those of us who were fortunate enough to spend time with Wes knew him as a generous and thoughtful man whose strong will was matched only by his passion and drive for uplifting others,” current Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard said. “His physical prowess, undeniable talent and on-court demeanor may have struck fear in opponents throughout the NBA, but he will be remembered best as a mentor, leader and friend.”

    A five-time All-Star and, along with Wilt Chamberlain, one of only two players to win NBA Rookie of the Year and MVP honors in the same season, Unseld instantly made the team then known as the Baltimore Bullets into a winner after he was taken with the No. 2 overall pick — behind future teammate Elvin Hayes — in the 1968 draft.

    A decade later, Unseld was the MVP of the 1978 NBA Finals as the Bullets beat the Seattle SuperSonics in a seven-game series best known for Washington coach Dick Motta’s proclamation: “The opera ain’t over until the fat lady sings."

    Listed at 6-foot-7 and 245 pounds, Unseld overcame taller players and bad knees with a strong work ethic and lots of grunt work in the paint. He was a tenacious rebounder and strong passer.

    Unseld was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988, his first year of eligibility.

    “I never played pretty,” Unseld said on the day he was elected. “I wasn’t flashy. My contributions were in the things most people don’t notice. They weren’t in high scoring or dunking or behind-the-back passes.”



     
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  2. Mainstreet

    Mainstreet Registered User Contributor

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    Rest in Peace.

    At 6'7" Wes Unseld played center.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/spor...center-who-played-bullets-dies-74/5316630002/
     
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  3. Raindog

    Raindog Registered

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    Yeah, I just saw this on CBS Sports website. Very sad... one of the iconic players of the 1960s/1970s. RIP.
     
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  4. GatorAZ

    GatorAZ Formerly known as GatorHater

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  5. Mainstreet

    Mainstreet Registered User Contributor

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    I was hoping Oliver Miller could have followed the same path.
     
  6. GatorAZ

    GatorAZ Formerly known as GatorHater

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    So much potential. Good feet and good passer could’ve really been problem in the league. Looks like we cut bait at the right time.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. elindholm

    elindholm edited for content

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    "Hey Oliver, what did you do before you put your jersey on?"
    "Eight."
    "And what did you do after you took it off?"
    "Eight."
    "How about while you were wearing it?"
    "Eight."
     
  8. AzStevenCal

    AzStevenCal ASFN Contributor Contributor

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    I despised him, which is just another way of saying I despised that he wasn't on the Suns. RIP Wes.
     
  9. Mainstreet

    Mainstreet Registered User Contributor

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    He could have been such a talent.

    I will always remember Miller's pass to Charles Barkley with .5 second left to win the Portland game.

    The video is not very good.

     
  10. BC867

    BC867 Long time Phoenician! Contributor

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    So sorry to hear about the loss of Wes Unseld. Sharing the power positions of C and PF with the 'Big E' Elvin Hayes,
    utilizing the best skills of each -- Unseld's bulk and Hayes' height -- brought out the best in both of them.

    Unseld was like Barkley on the court. Outplayed his height limitation with his wide body.
     
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  11. TRW

    TRW Registered

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    Great player. R.I.P. Wes.
     
  12. Southpaw

    Southpaw Provocateur aka Wallyburger Contributor

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    The man could chest pass an outlet the full court. ROTY and NBA MVP same year. Only he and Wilt ever accomplished this feat.

    His rookie year roster 1968 Baltimore Bullets

    Wes Unseld HOF
    Jack Marin
    Kevin Loughery
    Earl Monroe - HOF
    Gus Johnson - HOF
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
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  13. Yuma

    Yuma Working from home. Missing my free coffee!

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    I saw a show once when I was a kid, and Wes used to do this two hand overheard pass and he was super accurate with it. The interviewer said there was a rumor he could stand by the basket at one end and overheard pass the ball off the backboard at the other end. He said sure. Then he did it! That always stuck with me.
     
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