The phone at the Unseld home was getting a workout yesterday as the man of the house was taking congratulatory calls from family, friends and former teammates. Although Wes Unseld was proud of his election to the Basketball Hall of Fame, the Washington Bullets head coach wasn't exactly flying off the handle.

"I guess I'm excited," said Unseld, "but then I don't get excited very easily."

The Hall of Fame announced Thursday that Unseld and three others will be inducted at a dinner in May.

"I heard from the committee about a week ago and I was somewhat surprised," Unseld said before leaving for the NBA All-Star Game in Chicago.

"It is a tremendous honor, but this wasn't anything I had geared myself to. It's one of those things that I'm happy about and grateful for."

The other three inductees are Clyde Lovellette, Bobby McDermott and Ralph Miller.

Lovellette was a high-scoring center at the University of Kansas who played on three NBA championship teams, one with Minneapolis and two with Boston. McDermott joined the professional ranks in 1932 after only one year of high school basketball and played through the mid-1940s, most notably with the Celtics. Miller is still coaching, at Oregon State, and his 642-358 record is the best among active coaches.

Individuals are nominated and those nominations screened by two committees. The second committee is secret and an individual must get 18 of 24 votes to be elected.

"I didn't know anything about the process," Unseld said. "Only twice did I think about it; once, when the committee told me I had been nominated, and then last week."

Unseld, 41, was the second pick in the 1968 draft after having been an all-America for two seasons at Louisville. He immediately helped push the Bullets over the .500 mark, something they had not done before his arrival. The Bullets went to the playoffs in 12 of the 13 seasons Unseld played for them before he retired after the 1980-81 season. At 6 feet 7 and a playing weight of 245 pounds, Unseld was known for his ability to move opponents out of position, which helped him average 14 rebounds and 10.8 points per game throughout his career.

"Someday, sitting back as an old man -- hopefully I'll live to be an old man -- it will be something to look back on," Unseld said of his place in the Hall of Fame. "Maybe my son {Westley} or daughter {Kim} can look back and reflect that their old man did accomplish something."