NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton Dies at 71 After Cancer Battle

Photo: Instagram/Bill Walton

NBA legend Bill Walton, a two-time NBA champion, passed away at the age of 71 after battling cancer, the NBA announced on Monday.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver paid tribute to Walton, saying, "Bill Walton was truly one of a kind. As a Hall of Fame player, he redefined the center position. His unique skills made him a dominant force at UCLA and in the NBA, leading to an MVP season, two championships, and spots on the NBA’s 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams. He was a beloved broadcaster known for his colorful commentary. Most of all, I will remember his zest for life and the warmth he shared with everyone. He will be deeply missed."

Walton was a standout at UCLA under coach John Wooden, winning three national player of the year awards from 1972-74. He was the first overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers, quickly making an impact and leading them to the 1977 NBA Championship, where he was named Finals MVP and the league MVP.

Photo: Instagram/Bill Walton

Despite foot injuries that caused him to miss several seasons, Walton had a notable career, later winning another championship with the Boston Celtics in 1986, where he was named Sixth Man of the Year.

Walton's career stats included averages of 13.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game. After retiring, Walton became a popular broadcaster, known for his engaging and often humorous commentary. He worked for CBS, NBC, the Clippers, ESPN, and the Pac-12 Network.

Walton was also a passionate Grateful Dead fan, hosting a radio show dedicated to the band.

He is survived by his wife, Lori, and his sons Adam, Nate, Luke, and Chris. His son Luke followed in his footsteps, winning two NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and currently serving as an assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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Source: Fox News 


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