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Wes Unseld Rumors

So, Thursday, the bust, designed by sculptor J. Brett Gill, was unveiled, with Connie Unseld, Wes Jr., and his sister Kim in attendance. It was a reminder of so far things have fallen off since Unseld manned the paint at Capital Centre. The connective tissue of this once-great franchise, which went to four NBA Finals in the 1970s, from its glorious past to its present seems so frayed. That 41 was both Wes Sr.’s jersey number and the number of years since his team was last truly relevant is the challenge facing this Wizards franchise — which, literally, hasn’t cracked the 50-win mark in a regular season since Unseld, Sr. played. Wednesday’s season-opening win in Toronto, which ended with Unseld, Jr. getting a postgame victory shower from his players, was an encouraging start. “I got soaked,” he said afterward.
After Wes Sr., died in June 2020, Wizards owner Ted Leonsis called Unseld’s wife and life partner, Connie. “As soon as Wes died, (Leonsis) said, ‘Connie, what would you think about a bust?’” Connie Unseld said Thursday. “And I said, ‘what?’ (He said) ‘a bust, in the arena.’ I said I’ve never seen one in the arena before. But if that’s what you would like, I’m with you on that. He said ‘we want to honor Wes, because of what Wes has done for the team.’ I said ‘you don’t have to feel you have to do that.’ He said . … We need to have that legacy. We need to have it. Would you allow us to have that legacy?’”

Unseld received no questions about his father that morning in front of the largest media contingent he had faced since his hiring in July. Nothing about upholding his family legacy nor his full-circle career path, which began with a college internship with the Wizards that became a full-time job in 1997. To the lone query about bringing his team back to Baltimore, Unseld gave a quick smile. “It was good. It’s always a great opportunity to get home. I give our guys a lot of credit: After a 1-hour 10-minute bus ride, we still got something out of it,” he said. “That’s kind of our thought process with anything and everything we do. … These are enjoyable things — you get an opportunity to reach out to the community, give back to some degree. But, again, it’s a workday.”