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Longtime Bullets GM, former NBA player Bob Ferry dies at age 84

Bob Ferry of Baltimore Bullets

BALTIMORE, MD - 1964: Bob Ferry #31 of the Baltimore Bullets handles the ball circa 1964 at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1964 NBAE (Photo by NBA Photos/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

In 1973, Bob Ferry became general manager of a Bullets team that reached the NBA Finals just two years prior. The Bullets still had Wes Unseld as incumbent franchise player. They had already added another all-time great, Elvin Hayes.

Ferry’s tinkering kept the Bullets highly competitive, but he went several years without getting them over the hump. Unseld and Hayes crossed to the wrong side of 30. Impatience grew.

But Washington finally broke through and won the 1978 championship. Ferry’s reputation ascended.

“After we won it all, I became a little smarter,” Ferry said.

Ferry, who died at age 84, will be remembered as one of the NBA’s top general managers. He won Executive of the Year in 1979 and 1982 and ran the the Bullets (now the Wizards) until 1990.

Chase Hughes of NBC Sports:

Born and raised in St. Louis and having played at Saint Louis University, Ferry was the territorial draft pick of the St. Louis Hawks in 1959. After one season with the Hawks, he played four years with the Detroit Pistons then five years with the Baltimore Bullets.

Ferry was involved in all five of the Bullets franchise’s trips to the conference/division finals. He played for Baltimore when it reached the 1965 division finals, was an assistant coach for the 1971 run to the NBA Finals and served as general manager for returns to the NBA Finals in 1975, 1978 and 1979 – including the ’78 title.

Ferry’s son, Danny Ferry, played 13 seasons with the Cavaliers and Spurs then became general manager of the Cavaliers and Hawks.