By Howard Fendrich— Wes Unseld, the workmanlike Hall of Fame center who led Washington to its only NBA championship and was chosen one of the 50 greatest players in league history, died Tuesday after a series of health issues, most recently pneumonia.
Unseld’s family announced his death via a statement released by the Washington Wizards, the franchise he played for throughout his entire 13-season career.
A five-time All-Star and, along with Wilt Chamberlain, one of only two players to win NBA Rookie of the Year and MVP honors in the same season, Unseld instantly made the team then known as the Baltimore Bullets into a winning franchise after it selected him No. 2 overall in the 1968 draft.
In the NBA, Unseld averaged 10.8 points and 14 rebounds for his career.
Unseld initially worked in Washington’s front office, then was head coach for nearly seven seasons from 1987-94, compiling a 202-345 record with one playoff appearance.