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YouTube Gold: Wes Unseld

Never flashy, Unseld just beat you

Milwaukee Bucks v Baltimore Bullets
Wes Unseld, 6-7, guards 7-2 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

You could make an argument that the two must unusual players in NBA history are Muggsy Bogues and Wesley Unseld.

At 5-3, Bogues could terrify players two feet taller because, despite his diminutive size, he was profoundly athletic and also fearless.

As for Unseld, he came into the NBA in 1968 and did something that only Wilt Chamberlain had ever done and no one else has done since: he won both Rookie of the Year and League MVP.

At just 6-7, maybe, and 250, Unseld battled the giants of his day - Willis Reed, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and others - on pretty even terms.

He was strong obviously but also smart, and he had one talent that was top five all time and possibly top two: he had one of the greatest outlet passes the game has ever seen. Bill Russell was probably the best, but Unseld, along with Bill Walton and Kevin Love, is right behind him.

Unseld spent every minute of his professional career, as player, coach and executive, with Washington. He passed away in 2020, and was named as one of the NBA’s Top 75 players of all time.