NBA Hall of Famer Wes Unseld, who led Baltimore Bullets to their sole championship title, died on Tuesday morning. Also Read - After Eight Days of Testing, 25 NBA Players Return Positive For Coronavirus
He was 74. Also Read - 'Daddy Changed The World': George Floyd's Daughter Gianna 'GiGi' Floyd Proudly Tells Former NBA Star Stephen Jackson | WATCH
“He was the rock of our family — an extremely devoted patriarch who reveled in being with his wife, children, friends and teammates,” his family said in a statement. “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.” Also Read - Liverpool FC Footballers Take a Knee at Anfield in Show of Solidarity For George Floyd
Unseld was battling health issues for some time with pneumonia being the most recent.
He made instant impact after being selected by the then Bullets in 1968 in the NBA draft. A remarkable improvement in the teams fortunes followed as they made the playoffs for the first time ever.
He won both the Rookie of The Year and Most Valuable Player awards.
“We all admired Wes as the pillar of this franchise for so long, but it was his work off the court that will truly leave an impactful legacy and live on through the many people he touched and influenced throughout his life of basketball and beyond,” Ted Leonsis, Chairman & CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, owner of the Wizards, said.
Unseld spent his entire career with the Bullets and made the NBA All-Star team five times.
“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,” Washington Wizards General Manager Tommy Sheppard said.