- Basketball legend Wes Unseld has passed away at the age of 74
- Unseld has been battling pneumonia and eventually succumbed on Tuesday morning
- The NBA star won MVP awards, a championship and was inducted in the basketball hall-of-fame
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The world of basketball lost a true legend of the game, as Wes Unseld passed away on Tuesday morning.
The 74-year-old had been battling pneumonia, among other illnesses, and eventually succumbed.
Unseld's family issued a statement on Tuesday to announce the tragic loss:
“It is with profound sadness that we share that our adored husband, father, and grandfather Wes Unseld passed away peacefully this morning surrounded by family following lengthy health battles, most recently with pneumonia.”
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Unseld's former side, The Washington Wizards, paid tribute to the sporting great and many others followed suit.
Unseld was a giant, standing at 6’7″ and he used his height to great advantage as an elite rebounder.
In his debut NBA season in 1969, Unseld became only the second rookie ever to be crowned as the most valuable player (MVP).
After winning several accolades with the Wizards, Unseld eventually worked as coach, before he became the franchise’s head of basketball operations.
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Below is the staggering list of his achievements:
- NBA champion (1978)
- NBA Finals MVP (1978)
- NBA Most Valuable Player (1969)
- 5× NBA All-Star (1969, 1971–1973, 1975)
- All-NBA First Team (1969)
- NBA Rookie of the Year (1969)
- NBA All-Rookie First Team (1969)
- NBA rebounding leader (1975)
- J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (1975)
- NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
- No. 41 retired by Washington Wizards
- 2× Consensus first-team All-American (1967, 1968)
- 3× First-team All-MVC (1966–1968)
- No. 31 retired by Louisville Cardinals
Briefly.co.za salutes one of the greatest of all time.
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