RIP Wes Unseld

BobPSU92

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bdgan

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One of the great nba players. Age 74. HOFer


I played with a couple of 6'7" guys back in the day so I wasn't too intimidated until I met Wes Unseld.
We used to go see the Bullets play in the Baltimore civic center. Back then you could walk down to the court and talk to the players if you came early. Unseld was a big man, probably 30 more pounds of muscle than the skinny 6'7" guys I played with. I remember how huge his had was when I shook it. He seemed like a real nice guy.

The Bullets had a good team back then with Unseld, Elvin Hayes, Phil Chenier, and Gus Johnson. Unseld was a great defensive rebounder who excelled at blocking out and getting a quick outlet pass.
 
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The Song Remains the Same

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I played with a couple of 6'7" guys back in the day so I wasn't too intimidated until I met Wes Unseld.
We used to go see the Bullets play in the Baltimore civic center. Back then you could walk down to the court and talk to the players if you came early. Unseld was a big man, probably 30 more pounds of muscle than the skinny 6'7" guys I played with. I remember how huge his had was when I shook it. He seemed like a real nice guy.

The Bullets had a good team back then with Unseld, Elvin Hayes, Phil Chenier, and Gus Johnson. Unseld was a great defensive rebounder who excelled at blocking out and getting a quick outlet pass.
Agreed. That team jelled once the playoffs started, and don't forget they also had Kupchak, Grevey, Ballard, Charles Johnson (not Gus who was gone by then), Dandridge, and 1 of Dave Zinkoff's favorite opposing players Larry "That's Wright". Wes had about a 2" vertical, but boy did he ever box out and fire that outlet pass, typically to/near halfcourt. I blew off studying for a Marketing Final exam senior year 1978 to drive with 3 buddies from PSU to Landover and back, same night, to see Bullets beat Dr. J, McGinnis, The Mixer, Double D, JellyBean Bryant, and World B. Free in critical Game 4 of Eastern Conference Finals to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. Bullets went on to win the NBA Championship and I bombed the final on about 2 hours sleep. Wes was Finals MVP over Elvin Hayes. RIP BIG GUY.
 

Big Blue12

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I played with a couple of 6'7" guys back in the day so I wasn't too intimidated until I met Wes Unseld.
We used to go see the Bullets play in the Baltimore civic center. Back then you could walk down to the court and talk to the players if you came early. Unseld was a big man, probably 30 more pounds of muscle than the skinny 6'7" guys I played with. I remember how huge his had was when I shook it. He seemed like a real nice guy.

The Bullets had a good team back then with Unseld, Elvin Hayes, Phil Chenier, and Gus Johnson. Unseld was a great defensive rebounder who excelled at blocking out and getting a quick outlet pass.
Don't forget ex Knick Mike Riordan. They had a great team and won it all in '78. Riordan won it with the Knicks in 69-70 but retired the year before the Bullets won in '78. Was happy to see Unseld get the ring.
 

Chickenman Testa

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I played with a couple of 6'7" guys back in the day so I wasn't too intimidated until I met Wes Unseld.
We used to go see the Bullets play in the Baltimore civic center. Back then you could walk down to the court and talk to the players if you came early. Unseld was a big man, probably 30 more pounds of muscle than the skinny 6'7" guys I played with. I remember how huge his had was when I shook it. He seemed like a real nice guy.

The Bullets had a good team back then with Unseld, Elvin Hayes, Phil Chenier, and Gus Johnson. Unseld was a great defensive rebounder who excelled at blocking out and getting a quick outlet pass.
I saw Wes Unseld a few times up close out at restaurants when I lived in DC. Even in his 50s he was a very intimidating presence - massive guy. That said, I got to talk with him at a book signing - had a fun discussion about the Sixers in the 70s, the NBA and the ABA. Nice man - his hand enveloped mine when he shook it.
 

Still in State College

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Wes was one of my first NBA memories. I am 52 and grew up in Pittsburgh so there was no NBA. I remember watching the Bullets v Sonics in the finals in '79.

To me he was never a great player but a solid guy in the middle, but that could be because my memories are from the end of his career.
 
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BobPSU92

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The old joke is that the team realized that the name was offensive so hired a PR firm to come up with a new name. Upon the release of the new name, ownership called the PR firm and said ‘no you idiots, people are offended by the name Washington, not bullets!’

:D

They were the Bawlimore Bullets first. The NBA should allow that. It fits Bawlimore. :eek:
 

step.eng69

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North East PA, Backmountain area, age 72
The Wizards released a statement that read in part:

“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 – an 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.”
 

Alphalion75

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I played with a couple of 6'7" guys back in the day so I wasn't too intimidated until I met Wes Unseld.
We used to go see the Bullets play in the Baltimore civic center. Back then you could walk down to the court and talk to the players if you came early. Unseld was a big man, probably 30 more pounds of muscle than the skinny 6'7" guys I played with. I remember how huge his had was when I shook it. He seemed like a real nice guy.

The Bullets had a good team back then with Unseld, Elvin Hayes, Phil Chenier, and Gus Johnson. Unseld was a great defensive rebounder who excelled at blocking out and getting a quick outlet pass.
Don't forget Jack Marin from Farrell High. He was a very underrated baller.
 

bdgan

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I saw Wes Unseld a few times up close out at restaurants when I lived in DC. Even in his 50s he was a very intimidating presence - massive guy. That said, I got to talk with him at a book signing - had a fun discussion about the Sixers in the 70s, the NBA and the ABA. Nice man - his hand enveloped mine when he shook it.
Related story. Went to a Philadelphia 76ers game when they were horrible. My buddies and I spent some time talking with Dennis Awtrey. Never thought much about it until a couple of years ago when a friend who is not a basketball fan told me about wine tours in Napa Valley and this great B&B where they stayed. He said it was run by some very tall former basketball player with curly hair.
 

kijanacat

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Just as a point of complete trivia, my first year of law school in Baltimore, I lived on Eager Street and my landlord was Dave Cowens, NBA and Boston Celtics great. Really good guy he even sent me a Christmas card.
The former Marquette coach, Maguire (IIRC) said that Wes Unseld had such a big rear end he played six-inches taller than he really was and that big rear end is what made him a great player.
 

dbbp

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Just as a point of complete trivia, my first year of law school in Baltimore, I lived on Eager Street and my landlord was Dave Cowens, NBA and Boston Celtics great. Really good guy he even sent me a Christmas card.
The former Marquette coach, Maguire (IIRC) said that Wes Unseld had such a big rear end he played six-inches taller than he really was and that big rear end is what made him a great player.
Can’t argue with that notion. Case in point. The Round Mound of Rebound. Charles Barkley.
 

The Song Remains the Same

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Don't forget ex Knick Mike Riordan. They had a great team and won it all in '78. Riordan won it with the Knicks in 69-70 but retired the year before the Bullets won in '78. Was happy to see Unseld get the ring.
Arguably one of the worst NBA trades ever...backups Riordan and Dave Stallworth for Earl the Pearl Monroe. Another 1 was Phoenix trading Dennis Johnson to Boston for worthless Rick Robey. Ironically the Bullets beat Seattle for the 1977-1978 title in large part to Dennis Johnson going 0-14 from the field in Game 7.
 
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