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Wes Unseld, NBA Hall of Famer for Bullets, dies at 74

(Image via Washington Wizards)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wes Unseld, one of two players in NBA history to win Rookie of the Year and MVP awards in the same season, died Tuesday. He was 74.

Unseld died after a series of health issues, most recently pneumonia, according to a statement from his family released by the Washington Wizards.

“He was the rock of our family — an extremely devoted patriarch who reveled in being with his wife, children, friends and teammates,” the Unseld family wrote. “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 prouldy wore on his chest for so many years.”

Unseld was a powerful 6-foot-7, 245-pound center who dominated as a rebounder and led Washington’s team — then known as the Bullets — to the 1978 NBA championship, earning Finals MVP honors.

He was a five-time All-Star who played all 13 of his NBA seasons with the franchise that drafted him in 1968 and at the time was based in Baltimore.

Unseld was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988.

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