NBA, West Unseld, Elvin Hayes discussed on The Kevin Sheehan Show
They had such tremendous respect for each other. I, mean this, this was this. was you know like like two great fighters? You know like being like you know having a friendship that lasted all their lives because of the war they want, and that's it was like with with Willis Reed and Seinfeld, I mean I mean you. You could not I can't think of anyone that I've ever come into contact with those basketball. That doesn't have respect for West on sales, incredible respect for WES unseld. You know for me. You know growing up with you know the bullets of the seventies in remembering, all of those games is really you know among my first memories as a sports fan, certainly the early seventies when the bullets moved from Baltimore to DC and Tommy, I was not a bullets fan when they were a Baltimore team. I don't anything really about the history of the Baltimore, Bolliger. During that you know the the early seventies before Washington actually got an NBA team, you know it was college basketball and I was a huge Maryland basketball fan, and that's all I cared about. It was the Redskins in Maryland basketball that was basically it, and then the bullets moved to DC in seventy three. They were the capital bullets that first year, and I was immediately drawn to them was a huge fan in part tommy, because unlike the caps who were an expansion team. The bullets moved to Washington and they were good. Championship contender and so you know that first year I'll never forget the first year. They were here seventy, three, seventy four. They played the Knicks in the playoffs in a in a seven game series, and they lost in game seven and I remember being crushed by that I'll never forget like I can remember my friend Jon Adkins John. John was a good friend of mine, and we had a sleepover at his house on the night. If game seven and we were both huge bullets, fans and And they lost game seven and the season was over, and it was the next season that the bullets were really good. They won sixty something games. beat the Celtics in the Eastern Conference. Finals than loss to the warriors in four games and one of the biggest upsets in NBA finals history the next year. They lost in seven to Cleveland the year after that. That they lost in sixty Houston and then came seventy, seven, seventy, eight, and I was looking this up before the show started, my memory was that West was much older than he actually was during that championship series, and that's why I guess. I'm surprised that he was only seventy four when he passed away this morning I would have thought that he was older. He was only thirty one years old in that seventy seven seventy eight championship season and by the way he was great during the playoffs. Remember when we had the conversation last week about Elvin Hayes may have been the week before, and I said to you I think one of the reasons that people don't give Elvin Hayes as much credit as maybe he deserves is he wasn't great in the biggest games. In their biggest series and he wasn't, but you know who was west was. Wes always came up big in in game. Seven at Seattle clinging to a two point lead West, who is not a good free throw shooter, you know. I don't know what his numbers were during his career. I'd have to look that up in fact I'm going to look that up right now. I'm just curious. What his free throw shooting his career free throw shooting percentage with sixty three, so not great, but in the seventy seven seventy eight season he was a fifty three point eight percent free throw shooter that stinks. And yet at the end of game seven in Seattle, clinging to a two point lead with twelve seconds to go west, got fouled, he went to the free throw line, and he knocked down. Two free throws to give them a four point lead now needed back then time. He was really one because there wasn't a three point shot, but he knocked down both of them with Elvin Hayes on the bench who had fouled out, he got the MVP, and he deserved the MVP of those NBA finals in then. Beyond that what I remember about Wes unseld is I just remembered this incredibly imposing physical specimen you know and he he was a he was the definition of you know a not talking and letting his play you know, be seen through his actions. He was an actions person, not a not a mouthy person at all. He was one of the most feared players right. You'll remember this more than I. He was one of the most feared players in an NBA era of feared players. No absolutely not the guy that you want it to mess with. You didn't want to trifle with West on so yeah. No No. You know what's interesting in this article that I wrote You know I, you know. I won't read. This phrase called. The the will to win is what throws him and Act West about it. And West talked out and echo call the. City he said competitiveness is something that you can't you can teach. But there are some people who have it and some people who don't intensity. I think that's something you can demand on the court. Otherwise, you're not put on the poor. That's the only way you could look at it. He was intent Oh man. He was intense, but you could never. You didn't notice it based on his demeanor. He had this scowl, but you know he didn't smile much on the court at all, but he was so He was so soft spoken. You know for such a like so I. Don't want to forget this. These these thoughts that I jotted. Jotted down number one greatest outlet pass in the history of the game. That's what he was known for for. Those of you that don't know wes unseld. He West unseld had a signature play a signature thing. It was his out two handed overhead outlet. Pass all right Kevin love impersonated Kevin Kevin. Love's middle name is Wesley is father played with West unseld named him gave him the middle name of. For Wes UNSELD and taught him. Wes unseld to hand over hand outlet pass. He was known for that. He was one of the best screen setters and pick centers in the NBA. He was a very good passing big man. He was a dominant rebounder and was certainly at. Points in his career a big time score as well never. You know a huge score like Elvin. Hayes but His. Rookie year, right and Baltimore. He was the finals MVP and the NBA regular season MVP gets the first. Happened and rookie. And Rookie of the year. Prior. He wasn't the fine, no rookie. Your MVP, my find my fear and. Threat though. We've done but done one other time. A, who? A history I forget who who was. But I mean. That's a rare I. Guess that's what I meant to say. Yeah I meant to say rookie of the year and MVP in the same season that first season in Baltimore, but I wanted to tell this one story that Phil Chenier. And I were talking about when I had phil on the radio show last week or two weeks ago and we were talking about West, and I asked him to talk about West's in Elven in an in and you know what people should remember about him because it was just off of that list Tommy of the ESPN's top seventy four players of all time. West was fifty on that list. Elvin Hayes was forty four and He told the story which I have seen in, and I've heard told before about game. Four of the nineteen seventy five NBA finals, golden state with Rick. Berry, against the Washington bullets, the heavy, prohibitive favorite, just coming off in. Eastern. Conference, finals win over Boston. The bullets were supposed to sweep the warriors. The warriors were surprise team out of the Western Conference, and still to this day and I've mentioned this before I. Think it's the single biggest odds upset in NBA Finals History the bullets. Remember that that that that Golden State team with Clifford Ray. And Jamal will right and the coast was Al adult talk about another tough guy. Well, that's what I was GonNa get, too so the story of the the fourth, and what turned out to be the final game of the seventy four seventy five season, it was played the capital center..