WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDVM) – The day after his first win as Head Coach of the Washington Wizards’, Wes Unseld Jr. spent time with his family, and loved ones around him, as the franchise honored his father, the late Wes Unseld, with a bust of his likeness inside Capital One Arena.
““I do look forward to walking through these halls once again to see not only that, but take a peek up in the rafters,” said Unseld Jr., “We talked about it at length, and tomorrow [Friday night’s home opener] will be a special night for a number of reasons. But this makes it that much more special.”
The bust is a bronze, 90-pound sculpture and was designed by sculptor J Brett Gill. It will be a permanent fixture outside of Section 111 at Capital One Arena.
“I’ve been married to Wes for 50 years, and when he left it was like a part of me leaving.” said Connie Unseld, wife of the late Wes Unseld “It’s been a rough time. This has brought so much joy to me.”
Wes Unseld passed away last year, due to complications with pneumonia. He was voted by a panel of executives, former players, and media members as part of the Top 75 Greatest Players of all time, as part of the NBA’s 75th anniversary.
“It was terrible that Wes passed, it was equally as terrible that it was during a pandemic.” said Ted Leonsis, “So while we were able to do some things to pay homage to him, and say thank you for all that he, and his family contributed, we said ‘Let’s start a new tradition.’. When there is an iconic, most important figure, let’s start to create our own monuments.”
Wes Unseld is the franchise’s leader in total games played, and rebounds, and ranks in the top five in total points, and assists. He won a title with the Washington Bullets, at the time, in 1978, as well as being the only player in franchise history to win League MVP, as well as Finals MVP, along with his title.
The Wizards will tip off for their home opener of the 2021-2022 season, against the Indiana Pacers, on Friday at 7pm.