A resounding story about a resounding American Hero.
Served in South Vietnam during 1969
Wes Unseld merited accolades as a rookie NBA sensation in 1968 and 1969 by leading Baltimore Bullets to a Eastern Division Crown with a splendid 57-25 regular season record. Chosen the 1969 NBA Rookie of the Year and the 1969 MVP Wes Unseld pulled in 18.2 rebounds per game, 2nd best in the NBA and scored 14 points per game.
Wes Unseld was often heralded as ‘the ultimate team player’ by those who played with him and by those who played
against him, and by those who coached him.
However, those accomplishments paled compared to the news he was entering into the United States Military right after the season ended. World news photos continually showed Wes Unseld emerging from military bunkers, pilled high with sand bags much taller than himself during a tour of US military combat positions in SouthVietnam after his splendid 1968-1969 MVP year.
Teammate Mitch Kupchak related how stats meant nothing to Wes Unseld, ‘Statistics were never important to him. You
can’t imagine what he did to make his teammates better.’
Coaches Red Auberach, Hubie Brown and Bob Ryan said Wes Unseld was the greatest outlet passer in basketball
history. Bob Ryan said, ‘No man in basketball history ever began fast breaks with a 50 foot outlet passes than
Wes Unseld did.’
After starring in college at LSU Wes Unseld was chosen second in the 1968 draft by the Baltimore Bullets, after basketball legend Elvin Hayes.
| || |
1970 TOPPS CARD
|Wes Unseld |
|Birthdate: ||3/14/1946 |
|Height / Weight: ||6' 7" / 245 lbs. |
|Position: ||C |
|College: ||Louisville |
Wes Unseld was ‘the main man’ and led his teams to the National Basketball Association Final (NBA) four times in his nine seasons of pro basketball.
Wes Unseld career stats: 10,624 points, 10.8 ppg average, 14.0 rebounds average, 984 games, ,369 FGM in 8,586 FGA, .509 pct, 1,883 FTM in 2,976 FTA, .633 pct. 13,769 rebounds. Playoffs 1,260 points, 10.6 ppg average, 14.9 rpg, 1,77 reboundsin 119 games.
For a fun basketball game, check out www.wrigleyhoops.com
An endless hustler, Larry Costello gained the respect of players and fans alike with his no-nonsense, winning attitude. His achievements on the basketball court include World Championships as a player and as a coach. He was straight-forward and direct, and his crew-cut haircut reminded one of a marine drill-Sargent.
Costello played 12 seasons in the NBA and was named to six All-Star squads, and twice led the NBA in free-throw shooting. In his career he averaged 12.2 points and 4.6 assists per/game, and was the starting guard and team leader for one of best teams in professional basketball history - the 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers of Wilt Chamberlain, who iced 68 wins en-route to a NBA
'He was a very likeable guy off the court, but he was tough as nails on the floor. Hard defense, quick. He'd get into you on defense and harass you,' recalled 76ers' general manager Jack Ramsey.
Costello started coaching at age 37, the year after he retired from playing, and posted a sterling 430-300 record in 10 NBA seasons, including coaching one of the top teams of all-time - the 1971 Milwaukee Bucks of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won 66 regular season games and rolled in the playoffs with 12 wins in 14 games and a sweep in the Finals.
After nine seasons with the Bucks, he coached the Chicago Bulls, coached in a women's pro league for the Milwaukee Does and then, coached seven years at Utica College, Division III.
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