Wes Unseld enjoyed a successful NBA career. As a member of the Washington Bullets Unseld accomplished things, not too many NBA players can say that he did. The Washington Wizards have had some talented players play in the organization, like Gilbert Arenas, John Wall, and Bradley Beal.
But Unseld still ranks as the best Wizards player of all-time, and here’s why.
Wes Unseld came into the league and played at a high level
After a great college career at the University of Louisville, the Baltimore Bullets selected Unseld with the second overall pick in the 1968 NBA draft. He was also drafted by the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association the same year, but Unseld decided to sign with the Bullets. Though he was listed at 6-foot-7, he played the center position and played it well.
In his first season, he averaged 13.8 points and 18.2 rebounds per game. Those numbers allowed him to win the Rookie of the Year award and the NBA’s MVP award. There are only two players in NBA history to win the Rookie of the Year and MVP award in the same season, and that was Unseld and Wilt Chamberlain. Unseld spent his entire NBA career playing for the Bullets, and he played at a high level.
He took the Bullets to four NBA finals, and they won the championship in 1978, defeating the Seattle SuperSonics. Unseld was named the Finals MVP as well. He made multiple all-star teams throughout his career and was considered one of the best players in the game at the time. His No. 41 was retired by the Washington Wizards, and he was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988. He finished his career averaging 10.8 points, 14 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game.
Wes Unseld one of the best in the Wizards organization
Unseld leads the Wizards organization in multiple categories. He leads the team in games played, minutes played, total rebounds, and win shares. Unseld led the Bullets to places even John Wall and Gilbert Arenas could not take the team.
Wall and Arenas are some of the best players to play in the organization, but they did not take the team to an NBA Finals appearance. They also didn’t win an MVP award. Even though Unseld was undersized at his position, he dominated playing center and did not let his size stop him from having success on the court. He will always be remembered as one of the all-time greats in the Wizards organization.
Remembering Wes Unseld
The basketball world lost a great one on Tuesday when Unseld passed away. Not only did he have success in the NBA, but he also had a lot of success as a college player. He continued to be involved in the NBA after his playing career was over as a coach. Though he didn’t have the same success as a coach, he still had an impact on the players he coached.
He did a lot for the Wizards organization, and that is one person they will surely miss. No matter if he was playing on the court, working as an executive, or coaching, Unseld gave his best always, and he touched the lives of many people.