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Bob Ferry, longtime Annapolis resident who was general manager of Bullets’ NBA title team in 1978, dies at 84

WASHINGTON — Bob Ferry, a two-time NBA Executive of the Year who was general manager for the Washington Bullets when they won their only championship in 1978, has died. The longtime Annapolis resident was 84.

Washington Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. announced Ferry’s death before Wednesday night’s game at Boston.

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“Obviously he and his family, dear to my parents and the Unseld family, to the Wizards’ organization, and we want to just wish him and his family the best, keep them in our thoughts and prayers,” said Unseld, whose father was a star player for the championship team.

Former Bullets general manager Bob Ferry is pictured at Comcast Center in College Park before a March 2012 game between Maryland and Virginia. Ferry was still scouting at the age of 74, working for the Nets.
Former Bullets general manager Bob Ferry is pictured at Comcast Center in College Park before a March 2012 game between Maryland and Virginia. Ferry was still scouting at the age of 74, working for the Nets. (Baltimore Sun photo by Algerina Perna)

The elder Unseld, who died in June 2020, also coached the Bullets toward the end of Ferry’s tenure as GM.

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Ferry became the team’s GM in 1973 and held that position until 1990. Washington reached the 1975 NBA Finals, losing to the Golden State Warriors, then won it all three years later by beating the Seattle SuperSonics. The Bullets lost a Finals rematch with Seattle in 1979.

Ferry won Executive of the Year in 1979 and 1982.

Ferry was the father of Danny Ferry, a star at Duke who was picked No. 2 overall in the 1989 draft and later became a GM as well.

Bob Ferry was drafted by the St. Louis Hawks in 1959 and played 10 seasons in the NBA.

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The Baltimore Bullets acquired him in 1964 in an eight-player deal that sent Rod Thorn — later a prominent executive himself — to the Detroit Pistons.

He averaged 12.9 points for the Bullets over five seasons through 1968-69.

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