On this day 49 years ago, Cleveland center Walt Wesley put up 50 points and 12 rebounds in a 125-109 victory over the Cincinnati Royals, setting a new career-high by 25 points. Wesley was never much more than a journeyman -- his best season came that year, when he averaged 17.7 points and 8.7 rebounds for a 15-win Cleveland team -- but he proudly carried with him one historical footnote: he was a throw-in piece in Milwaukee’s agreement to send Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to the Lakers, in 1975. As told in 1987 by Wesley, then an assistant coach at Army, to the L.A. Times:
“I’ll always be in the record book -- if they print it right. They can put an asterisk by my name or whatever, but I was part of that deal and that isn’t going to change. Hey, I was traded with Kareem to the Lakers. … “It’s like this. Say you go to the store and buy a steak. And the store owner has got an excess of chicken wings. So he says, ‘Here, take some of these chicken wings with you. Take them off my hands.’ I was the chicken wings.”
The chicken wings played just one game for the Lakers before being waived, which would end up being his 590th of 590 NBA games played.
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