Hall of Famer, NBA Legend Wes Unseld Dies at Age 74

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 2, 2020

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 12: An NBA logo is shown at the 5th Avenue NBA store on March 12, 2020 in New York City. The National Basketball Association said they would suspend all games after player Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

Basketball Hall of Famer Wes Unseld died Tuesday at the age of 74. 

In a statement issued through the Washington Wizards, Unseld's family announced he died "following lengthy health battles":

Washington Wizards @WashWizards

Statement from the family of Wes Unseld. Rest easy, Wes ♥️ https://t.co/NwEtuofgG9

NBA commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement, calling Unseld "one of the most consequential players of his era."

Candace Buckner @CandaceDBuckner

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on the passing of Wes Unseld: https://t.co/9ZD4IKLjBm

Unseld has been limited by health problems in recent years. He was unable to attend a 40th-anniversary celebration for the 1977-78 Washington Bullets championship team in March 2018.

Following a successful college career at Louisville that included back-to-back All-American selections from 1966 to '68, Unseld was selected No. 2 overall by the Baltimore Bullets in 1968. 

Unseld spent his entire 13-year NBA career with the Bullets organization. He is one of only two players in league history to win Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season (Wilt Chamberlain in 1959-60).

The Bullets' 1977-78 championship remains the only NBA Finals victory in franchise history. Unseld was named MVP of the series, averaging 9.0 points and 11.7 rebounds in seven games against the Seattle SuperSonics. 

Unseld was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988 and was part of the inaugural College Basketball Hall of Fame class in 2006. His No. 41 Bullets jersey and No. 31 Louisville jersey have both been retired.