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Tue Jun 2, 2020, 12:36 PM

Wes Unseld, Hall of Famer instrumental in Washington's only NBA title, dies at 74

Obituaries
Wes Unseld, Hall of Famer instrumental in Washington’s only NBA title, dies at 74

By Dave Sheinin
June 2, 2020 at 10:02 a.m. EDT

Wes Unseld’s calling card during a Hall of Fame career in the National Basketball Association was not a majestic jump shot or a slick crossover dribble or a thunderous dunk — it was the precise, bone-crushing picks he set on opposing defenders, inevitably freeing up one of his teammates for a score. His impact was measured less in points and rebounds than in bruises.

“I don’t know of anybody who ever set a meaner screen,” former shooting guard Doug Collins of the rival Philadelphia 76ers once said of him.

Mr. Unseld, who died June 2 at 74, was the most important figure in the history of the franchise that morphed from the Baltimore Bullets to the Washington Bullets to the Washington Wizards. The cause was complications from pneumonia, the team announced. No other details were immediately available.

{snip}

Coming out of high school, he was recruited by the University of Kentucky’s Adolph Rupp, one of the winningest coaches in college basketball, who was being pressured to integrate the school’s all-white team. Mr. Unseld, who reportedly received racial threats, said he went instead to the University of Louisville in part to be closer to his father, who had suffered a heart attack. He was twice named an all-American at Louisville, graduating in 1968.

{snip}

Dave Sheinin
Dave Sheinin has been covering baseball and writing features and enterprise stories for The Washington Post since 1999. In 2019, he was awarded the Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting. Follow https://twitter.com/DaveSheinin

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Reply Wes Unseld, Hall of Famer instrumental in Washington's only NBA title, dies at 74 (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 2 OP
KPN Jun 2 #1
Hoyt Jun 2 #2
bluedigger Jun 2 #3

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Jun 2, 2020, 12:43 PM

1. The most impressive basketball play I ever

saw live and in person was by Wes Unseld. He stole a pass while his back was and had been to the defender. Seeing that and realizing he pinpointed the ball and it’s timing by watching the eyes of the player he was defending who, by the way was at least 6 or 7 feet or so away from him, just absolutely blew my mind. His back was still to the ball when he reached out and tapped it backhanded out of the air deftly to the floor, into his other hand as he turned and streaked up court.

Wes Unseld was a pleasure to watch. Rest In Peace Wes.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Jun 2, 2020, 12:45 PM

2. Not a big NBA fan, but I liked Unseld a lot. RIP

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Jun 2, 2020, 12:49 PM

3. One of the all timers.

RIP

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