Washington Bullets great and NBA Hall of Famer Wes Unseld has died at age 74.
Unseld's family announced his passing with the following statement issued by the Washington Wizards:
"It is with profound sadness that we share that our adored husband, father, and grandfather Wes Unseld passed away peacefully this morning surrounded by family following lengthy health battles, most recently with pneumonia. He was the rock of our family – and extremely devoted patriarch who reveled in being with his wife, children, friends and teammates. 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."His legacy lives on in the family he treasured – his daughter Kim, son Wes, daughter in-law, Evelyn, grandchildren Layla and Wes, and the love of his life for 50 years, his wife Connie – and in the community through the Unselds' School, where the entire family contributed to enriching the lives of Baltimore's youth."We would like to thank everyone who knew and loved him, personally and professionally, for their support during this loss. We will share information in the near future about how we will celebrate Wes' incredible life. At this time, the family would appreciate privacy as they navigate this difficult loss."
The second overall pick out of Louisville in 1968, Unseld was one of the most dominant centers of his generation and helped lead the Washington Bullets – now the Wizards – to their only NBA championship in franchise history in 1978, and four NBA Finals appearances.
After his playing career concluded with the 1980-81 season, Unseld would pursue a career as a basketball executive and coach, serving as vice president of the Bullets for six years before being named their head coach (1988-1994). He returned to the front office in 1996, serving as Washington's general manager, a role he would hold until 2003.