Bob Ferry, who led the Washington Bullets to their only title in 1978 as part of a prolific 17-year career as general manager, died Wednesday at age 84.
Ferry led the Bullets from 1973 to 1990, and the team made the Playoffs 13 times in that 17-year span, including three Finals appearances. The Wizards franchise has made the playoffs only 10 times in the 31 seasons since Ferry left that position and has not reached the Finals.
Ferry is one of four general managers in League history with 700 wins, 13 playoff appearances, a championship and two Executive of the Year awards, which Ferry won in 1979 and 1982. The others are RC Buford, Jerry West and Jerry Krause.
“Bob and his family are dear to my parents, the Unseld family and the Wizards organization, and we just want to wish him and his family the best and keep them in our thoughts and prayers,” said Wizards coach Wes Unseld. Jr. Wednesday. “I know how difficult this moment is. I just want them to know that we are thinking about them, that we care and that we will be there for them.”
Ferry was the second general manager, after Red Auerbach of the Boston Celtics, who hired two African-American head coaches: KC Jones in 1973 and Wes Unseld Sr. in 1988. After leaving the Bullets, he was scout for several teams in the United States. NBA for the next 25 years.
Ferry was an All-American at Saint Louis University and the seventh overall pick in the 1959 draft. He played 10 NBA seasons with the St. Louis Hawks, Detroit Pistons and Baltimore Bullets, averaging 9.1 points and 5.3 rebounds on 634 matches in your career.
His son Danny was a star at Duke, where he was National Player of the Year and won a national title. He continued to play 13 seasons in the NBA and won titles as a player and as an executive with the San Antonio Spurs. Later he was general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks.
ESPN’s Tim Bontemps contributed to this report.