News & Politics

You Must Remember…Wes Unseld

The Bullets legend now works in education.

Photograph by Jeff Elkins

“We Weren’t the Talk of the Town—That Was Always the Redskins”

—Wes Unseld

Unseld, 69, led the Bullets to four NBA finals during his reign, 1968 to 1981—winning in 1978. He coached the team from ’88 to ’94. These days, he helps out at the alternative Unselds’ School, which his wife, Connie, opened in Baltimore.

“The day we won the championship was in Seattle. When we were flying back into Washington, there were so many people at the air-port, they wanted to divert the plane. I remember the owner, Abe Pollin, saying, ‘Divert, hell.’ . . . When I retired from basketball, I was interested in what my wife and daughter were doing at the school. Every morning, I sit at the front. I make sure the kids [as they come in] make eye contact, say hello, take their hats off. Be ladies and gentlemen. If a kid does get out of hand, they’re sent to me. But we have a great group of kids. Do they know who I am? Some Google me and are all surprised. The little ones, they don’t know basketball from Dr. Seuss.”

Executive Editor

Sherri Dalphonse joined Washingtonian in 1986. She is the editor in charge of such consumer topics as travel, fitness, health, finance, and beauty, as well as the editor who handles such cover stories as Great Places to Work, Best of Washington, Day Trips, Hidden Gems, Top Doctors, and Great Small Towns. She lives in DC.