Wes Unseld, a Hall of Fame center known for indefatigable rebounding who was named most valuable player after the Washington Bullets won the 1978 N.B.A. championship, died on Tuesday. He was 74.
His family confirmed the death in a statement posted on on the website of the Washington Wizards, as the Bullets are today known, saying he had had pneumonia among additional health problems. The statement did not say where he died.
Unseld, a consensus All-American player at the University of Louisville, was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets, as the team was known at the time, inside the second round of the 1968 N.B.A. draft.
Undersize for a center at 6 feet 7 inches tall although rock-solid on the court in addition to known for bruising picks in addition to pinpoint outlet passes, Unseld helped turn the Bullets around. He led the team to the playoffs in 1969, averaging 13.8 points in addition to 18.2 rebounds per game, in addition to was named rookie of the year in addition to the league’s most valuable player of which season. (Wilt Chamberlain is usually the only additional player to win both honors inside the same season.)
Unseld spent his entire 13-season career with the Bullets, leading them to 12 playoff appearances, scoring a total of 10,624 points in addition to snaring a staggering 13,769 rebounds. He had career averages of 10.8 points in addition to 14 rebounds per game. A a few-time All-Star, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988.
A complete obituary will be posted soon.