Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. began his pregame press conference on Wednesday night with some unfortunate breaking news that Bob Ferry, former player and general manager of the Bullets, had passed away at the age of 84.
Ferry’s passing hit close to home for Unseld Jr., whose father played for the Bullets when Ferry was ran the front office in the 1970s and 80s. Unseld Sr. was a leader of the 1977-78 Bullets team that won the NBA championship with Ferry in charge.
Unseld Jr. alluded to his father passing away last year when sharing his condolences.
“We keep them in our thoughts and prayers. I know how difficult this time is, so I just want to let them know we’re thinking about them, we care for them and we’ll be there for them,” Unseld Jr. said.
The Ferry and Unseld families were much more than colleagues. Their kids grew up together, as Unseld Jr. detailed. Ferry’s son Danny was a star at Duke University before playing and serving as an executive in the NBA.
“Danny Ferry was at our house quite often. My mom oftentimes would babysit him and his brother Bob. It was kind of a generational thing. I was in high school working out with Danny when he was a player at Duke,” Unseld Jr. said.
Ferry was a 6-foot-8 center as a player. He was drafted in the first round back in 1959 and played 10 years, including his last five seasons with the Baltimore Bullets before retiring in 1969.
Ferry first served as an assistant coach for the Bullets before moving into a front office role. He was the NBA’s Executive of the Year twice. He served in the front office from 1973 to 1990.
“I really feel awful. It hit me when I found out just moments ago before I came in here. I certainly want to keep that family in our thoughts and prayers,” Unseld Jr. said.