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Basketball world mourns passing of the legendary Wes Unseld

Vincent Frank
Wes Unseld Wizards
Dec 26, 2019; Detroit, Michigan, USA; A detail view of the basketball during the game between the Detroit Pistons and the Washington Wizards at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Wizards and broader NBA world lost an absolute legend on Tuesday. The Wizards announced via their official Twitter account that Hall of Famer and five-time All-Star Wes Unseld has passed away at the age of 74.

The announcement indicated that Unseld had been dealing with multiple health issues over the past several years. Most recently, Pneumonia.

Wes Unseld stats

Considered potentially the greatest college basketball player in the history of the state of Kentucky, Unseld dominated from the center position the minute he entered the NBA. He averaged 13.8 points and a whopping 18.2 rebounds as a rookie during the 1968-69 season.

All said, Unseld finished his career having averaged 10.8 rebounds and a resounding 14 rebounds. He was among the best interior defenders during that era in the Association. But the accolades don’t end there.

The No. 2 overall pick of the then Baltimore Bullets back in 1968, Unseld’s career spanned 14 seasons. He won the title and earned NBA Finals MVP in 1978 en route to helping Washington defeat Seattle.

All said, Unseld earned five trips to the NBA All-Star Game and won Rookie of the Year in 1969 before calling it a career. He ultimately served as the Bullets’ head coach from 1988-94 before leading the organization’s front office years later.

Needless to say, the basketball world mourned Unseld in a big way after his passing became public record.