HoopsHype Wes Unseld rumors
“I’m flattered, to be honest,” said Garnett. “When they told me that I passed Wes Unseld on the rebounding, I was at a loss for words. You guys have no idea what I was like as a kid. I didn’t have all the magazines, but for some reason I had all the pictures that were in the magazines. I don’t know how I was able to acquire that, but that’s another story. I just fantasized, mimicked, appreciated — all the things that a young kid does when he’s creating heroes, when he’s creating stories in his head. Anything to generate any type of motivation, and I guess at times to generate a distraction. I used it for inspiration, getting through a hard day. WEEI.com
Jackson also plans, in the near future, to bring assistants Michael Malone, Pete Myers, Wes Unseld Jr., Jerry DeGregorio, Darren Erman and Kris Weems to Southern California, where he pastors a non-denominational church, for more basketball prep. “They’ll make life easy for me,” said the first-time coach in a lunch meeting with the three local beat reporters. “We’re going to be on point. There won’t be a learning process when the season gets here.” San Francisco Chronicle
I e-mailed Leonsis on Tuesday to ask about this story. He expressed extreme surprise, saying he has given Unseld "carte blanche here to come to every game and park wherever he wants, same as the Pollin family. He wrote that Unseld attended a recent game and did a program with Leonsis in the Dewar's Club, that he was invited to the owner's box this Friday along with Bobby Dandridge and Kevin Grevey, and that there is a seat behind the basket that is "forever his." "He isn't just a player -- he is legend and family," Leonsis wrote. "He is beloved and respected; he is family. He has the same invite as the Pollin family; our house is your house. Lifetime offer. Come anytime. Always welcome; lights are on for you." Washington Post
So getting in touch with Unseld was on my list of things to do, but before I could, he called into the Junkies to attempt to clear stuff up himself. Essentially, he said his tickets were part of a longstanding relationship with Abe Pollin, that he never expected they would convey after Pollin's death, and that he harbors no bad feelings toward Leonsis and has no idea where this story came from. "Stripped me of my season tickets?" Unseld said. "He didn't strip me. I had no special rights to any season tickets. I always had season tickets, but that was Mr. Pollin, that had nothing to do with Mr. Leonsis. He never said [anything], and I never asked for tickets. So there's nothing. Guys, I haven't spoken to Peter Vecsey in 25 years, so I wouldn't know where he's getting this stuff. He didn't have to take them; they were already his....I don't know anything about taking tickets." Washington Post
It is slightly confusing, since it does seem that where once he had tickets, now he doesn't. But Unseld repeatedly said that there is no story here, no ill will, and no stripping. "Mr. Leonsis has a business to run, and nobody understands that better than I do," Unseld said. "He has to run his business however he thinks he has to run his business, so I don't take it as a personal affront. He and I have met on occasions, I've been over to do little things with him and for him, so there's no situation here....[Leonsis has] been very kind to me. So I've got no problem with any of that." Washington Post
Speaking of season tickets, you'd think Wizards owner Ted Leonsis would want as many hostages as he could take to fill the Verizon Center's crater of empty seats. Instead, Wes Unseld was stripped of his season tickets. Apparently, the Hall of Fame center who played (MVP for the 1977-78 champions), coached and managed the team's front office for 40 years, didn't leave much of a lasting impression. New York Post
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