WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Wizards will honor the legacy of franchise and NBA legend Wes Unseld, who passed in June of 2020, with a jersey patch during the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA season in Orlando, FL. The patch, worn on the right shoulder, will display Unseld’s iconic number 41 in Bullets’ blue with a red outline.
The Washington Mystics will also pay tribute to Unseld with a commemorative black band on all jerseys throughout the 2020 WNBA season in Bradenton, FL. The black band will feature Unseld’s 41 number in white on the left shoulder of the jersey.
“Wes was a great player and a tremendous human being who we all admired as a pillar of this franchise for so long,” said Monumental Chairman & CEO Ted Leonsis. “We are honored to pay tribute to him as an exceptional leader whose contributions both on and off the court have left an indelible mark on this organization.”
The Wizards will continue to honor Unseld’s legacy during the 2020-21 NBA season with the same commemorative black band the Mystics are currently wearing on their jerseys. Additional details for how the franchise will honor Unseld for the 2020-21 season will be announced at a later date. Unseld, Washington’s all-time leader in games played, was the first player in franchise history to have his number retired in a 1981 ceremony at the Capital Centre. His #41 is one of five numbers currently hanging in the rafters at Capital One Arena.
“Our players are proud to honor Wes by wearing his number on their jerseys for our games in Orlando,” said Wizards General Manager Tommy Sheppard. “They are also committed to emulating his hard work and selfless style of play as the ultimate tribute to a true legend of the game.”
The Wizards will also hang “Remembering Wes Unseld” façade banners outside of Capital One Arena in July. The team created this website hub to honor the history and impact Unseld held with the franchise and in the D.C. and Baltimore communities.
“Wes was an integral part of the formation of the Mystics and his competitive spirit and personal integrity embodied what being a part of this organization should stand for,” said Mystics Head Coach and General Manager Mike Thibault.
The Unseld family encourages donations in memory of Wes to the Unselds’ School at www.WashingtonWizards.com/Unseld.
Unseld and his wife, Connie, opened the Unselds’ School in Baltimore in 1978. The school is one of the few fully-accredited, black-owned, non-church-affiliated elementary schools in Maryland, with Connie serving as the principal and their daughter, Kim, serving as one of the primary teachers at the school.