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Wes Unseld passes away at age 74

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The most important player of the Washington Wizards franchise passed away on June 2, 2020.

1971 NBA Finals - Game One
Wes Unseld (R) passed away on Tuesday morning.
Photo by Vernon Biever/NBAE via Getty Images

On Tuesday, the Washington Wizards announced that Hall of Famer Wes Unseld has passed away at age 74. His family issued the statement below.

Unseld is the most important player in Bullets/Wizards history. Selected with the second overall pick in 1968 by the then-Baltimore Bullets after a successful college career at the University of Louisville, Unseld played all of his 13 seasons with the Bullets. He was with the team through some of the biggest moments in its history, including the relocation to Washington, DC.

Unseld was a five-time All-Star, and is one of just two players to win Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season. The only other player to accomplish the feat: Wilt Chamberlain.

Before choosing Unseld, the franchise produced seven seasons with a losing record. When he arrived, the team entered one of the few winning eras in its history. He led the Bullets to four NBA Finals, and to their only championship — a seven-game thriller against the then-Seattle SuperSonics (now the Oklahoma City Thunder).

In retirement, he joined the team’s front office before becoming their head coach from 1988-94 before moving into a general manager role.

Rest in paradise, Wes.