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Wes Unseld, NBA Rookie of Year and MVP in 1969, dies at 74

NBA legend Wes Unseld died on Tuesday after a series of health issues, the Washington Wizards have announced.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Jan . 30, 1979, file photo, Wes Unseld of the Washington Bullets takes in an offensive rebound against John Drew (22) of the Atlanta Hawks during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Landover, Md. 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, June 2, 2020, after a series of health issues, most recently pneumonia. He was 74. (AP Photo/FIle)

WASHINGTON — Basketball Hall of Famer Wes Unseld, who led Washington to its only NBA championship, has died at age 74.

Unseld is one of two players in NBA history to win Rookie of the Year and MVP awards in the same season. He died Tuesday after a series of health issues, most recently pneumonia, according to a statement from his family released by the Wizards. 

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 out of the University of Louisville.

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