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Westley Sissel Unseld (born March 14, 1946) is an American former basketball player. He spent his entire NBA career with the Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets, and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988.

Wes Unseld
Wes Unseld 1975.jpeg
Unseld in 1975
Personal information
Born (1946-03-14) March 14, 1946 (age 72)
Louisville, Kentucky
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight 245 lb (111 kg)
Career information
High school Seneca (Louisville, Kentucky)
College Louisville (1965–1968)
NBA draft 1968 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall
Selected by the Baltimore Bullets
Playing career 1968–1981
Position Center
Number 41
Career history
As player:
19681981 Baltimore / Capital / Washington Bullets
As coach:
19881994 Washington Bullets
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 10,624 (10.8 ppg)
Rebounds 13,769 (14.0 rpg)
Assists 3,822 (3.9 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Contents

Early life and college careerEdit

Unseld starred for the Seneca High School team that won Kentucky state championships in 1963 and 1964. At the University of Louisville in 1965, he played center for the school's freshman team, averaging 35.8 points and 23.6 rebounds over 14 games. Unseld lettered for Louisville as a sophomore (1965–66), junior (1966–67), and senior (1967–68), scored 1,686 points (20.6 average) and grabbed 1,551 rebounds (18.9 average) over 82 games. He led the Missouri Valley Conference in rebounding all three years.

 
Unseld as a member of the Louisville Cardinals men's basketball team.

Unseld earned NCAA All-American honors in 1967 and 1968 and led Louisville to a 60–22 record during his collegiate career, making trips to the NIT tournament in 1966 and NCAA tournament in 1967 and 1968. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

Professional careerEdit

Unseld was drafted by the Kentucky Colonels in the 1968 American Basketball Association draft, and was drafted second overall in the first round by the Baltimore Bullets in the 1968 NBA draft.[1]

As a rookie, Unseld helped lead the Bullets (who had finished in last place in the Eastern division the previous year) to a 57–25 record and a division title. Unseld averaged 18.2 rebounds per game that year, and became the second player ever to win the Rookie of the Year Award and the Most Valuable Player Award in the same year (the first to do this was fellow Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain). Unseld was also named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team, and also claimed the Sporting News MVP that year.

Unseld was one of the best defensive players of his era, and in 1975, he led the NBA in rebounding. The following season, he led the NBA in field goal percentage with a .561 percentage.

Famed for his rebounding, bone-jarring picks and ability to ignite a fast break with his crisp, accurate outlet passes, Unseld made up for his lack of size (6'7") with brute strength and sheer determination. Unseld took the Bullets franchise to four NBA Finals, and won the championship in 1978 over the Seattle SuperSonics, in which he was named the Finals MVP. He ended his playing career following the 1980–1981 season, and his #41 jersey was retired by the Bullets shortly thereafter.

In 984 NBA games – all with the Bullets – Unseld averaged a double-double, with averages of 10.8 points and 14.0 rebounds per game, as well as 3.9 assists per game, averaging over 36 minutes played per game. Unseld was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988, and in 1996, he was named as one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players of all time.[2]

Executive and coaching careerEdit

After his retirement in 1981, he moved into a front office position with the Bullets, where he served as vice president for six years before being named head coach in 1988.[3] He resigned following the 1994 season with a 202–345 record (.369).[4][5] Unseld became the team's general manager in 1996 and guided the team to the playoffs once during his tenure.

Personal lifeEdit

Unseld's wife, Connie, opened Unselds School in 1979. A coed private school located in southwest Baltimore, it has a daycare program, nursery school and a kindergarten-to-eighth grade curriculum. Connie and daughter Kimberley serve as teachers at the school.[6][7] Unseld works as an office manager and head basketball coach. His son, Wes Unseld Jr., is currently the assistant coach of the Denver Nuggets.[8]

NBA career statisticsEdit

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Denotes season in which Unseld won an NBA championship
* Led the league

Regular seasonEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1968–69 Baltimore 82 36.2 .476 .605 18.2 2.6 13.8
1969–70 Baltimore 82 39.4 .518 .638 16.7 3.5 16.2
1970–71 Baltimore 74 39.2 .501 .657 16.9 4.0 14.1
1971–72 Baltimore 76 41.7 .498 .629 17.6 3.7 13.0
1972–73 Baltimore 79 39.1 .493 .703 15.9 4.4 12.5
1973–74 Capital Bullets 56 30.8 .438 .655 9.2 2.8 1.0 0.3 5.9
1974–75 Washington 73 39.8 .502 .685 14.8* 4.1 1.6 0.9 9.2
1975–76 Washington 78 37.5 .561* .585 13.3 5.2 1.1 0.8 9.6
1976–77 Washington 82 34.9 .490 .602 10.7 4.4 1.1 0.5 7.8
1977–78 Washington 80 33.1 .523 .538 11.9 4.1 1.2 0.6 7.6
1978–79 Washington 77 31.2 .577 .643 10.8 4.1 0.9 0.5 10.9
1979–80 Washington 82 36.3 .513 .500 .665 13.3 4.5 0.8 0.7 9.7
1980–81 Washington 63 32.3 .524 .500 .640 10.7 2.7 0.8 0.6 8.0
Career 984 36.4 .509 .500 .633 14.0 3.9 1.1 0.6 10.8
All-Star 5 0 15.4 .500 .600 7.2 1.2 0.4 0.0 6.2

PlayoffsEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1969 Baltimore 4 41.3 .526 .789 18.5 1.3 18.8
1970 Baltimore 7 41.3 .414 .789 23.6* 3.4 10.4
1971 Baltimore 18 42.2 .462 .568 18.8 3.8 13.2
1972 Baltimore 6 44.3 .492 .526 12.5 4.2 12.3
1973 Baltimore 5 40.2 .417 .474 15.2 3.4 9.8
1974 Capital Bullets 7 42.4 .492 .600 12.1 3.9 0.6 0.1 10.1
1975 Washington 17 43.2 .546 .656 16.2 3.8 0.9 1.2 10.7
1976 Washington 7 44.3 .462 .542 12.1 4.0 0.9 0.6 7.0
1977 Washington 9 40.9 .556 .583 11.7 4.9 0.9 0.7 7.4
1978 Washington 18 37.6 .530 .587 12.0 4.4 0.9 0.4 9.4
1979 Washington 19 38.7 .494 .609 13.3 3.4 0.9 0.7 10.3
1980 Washington 2 43.5 .500 .000 .667 14.0 3.5 0.0 1.5 9.0
Career 119 41.1 .493 .000 .608 14.9 3.8 0.8 0.7 10.6

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Wes Unseld". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Wes Unseld". NBA Encyclopedia Playoff Edition. NBA Media Ventures, LLC. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  3. ^ "N.b.a.; Unseld Is Named Bullets' New Coach". The New York Times. January 4, 1988. Retrieved February 14, 2018. 
  4. ^ "Bullets' Unseld Quits as Coach". The New York Times. April 25, 1994. Retrieved February 14, 2018. 
  5. ^ Terry, Mike (April 25, 1994). "Unseld resigns after 7 seasons as Bullets coach". Washington Post. Retrieved February 14, 2018. 
  6. ^ "Eye on the Entrepreneur – Silver anniversary for Unseld's School". The Daily Record. Baltimore. February 27, 2004. [dead link]
  7. ^ Neale, Barrett (December 2010). "Unselds Are Still Heroes, But In Scholastic Arena" (156 ed.). Press Box (Baltimore, Maryland). 
  8. ^ "Meet the 2016-17 Nuggets Coaches". Denver Nuggets. 14 September 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2017. 

External linksEdit