JUST IN: Legendary NBA Player Bill Walton Dead at 71 | The Gateway Pundit


Legendary NBA player and broadcaster Bill Walton has passed away.

He was 71.

Walton passed away after a battle with cancer.

“Bill Walton was truly one of a kind,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “As a Hall of Fame player, he redefined the center position. His unique all-around skills made him a dominant force at UCLA and led to an NBA regular-season and Finals MVP, two NBA championships and a spot on the NBA’s 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams. Bill then translated his infectious enthusiasm and love for the game to broadcasting, where he delivered insightful and colorful commentary which entertained generations of basketball fans. But what I will remember most about him was his zest for life. He was a regular presence at league events – always upbeat, smiling ear to ear and looking to share his wisdom and warmth. I treasured our close friendship, envied his boundless energy and admired the time he took with every person he encountered.

“As a cherished member of the NBA family for 50 years, Bill will be deeply missed by all those who came to know and love him,” Silver continued. “My heartfelt condolences to Bill’s wife, Lori; his sons, Adam, Nate, Luke and Chris; and his many friends and colleagues.”

Excerpt from Fox News:

Bill Walton, the Hall of Fame center and two-time NBA champion, is dead at 71 years old after a battle with cancer, the NBA announced Monday.

As Silver mentions in his statement, Walton redefined the way centers played the game of basketball, as he dominated at UCLA under legendary head coach John Wooden. Walton, who could pass as well as score, which wasn’t common for a center at the time, won three straight national player of the year awards from 1972-74 before becoming the first overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers.

Walton’s impact on an NBA court was quick, as the Trail Blazers would go on to win the 1978 NBA Championship, where Walton was named Finals MVP and the league MVP for that season.

Walton dealt with foot injuries throughout his time in the Association, as he missed four separate seasons because of it, including back-to-back from 1980-82. He also missed the 1978-79 season after winning MVP.

Following his time in Portland, Walton moved on to the then-San Diego Clippers, where he spent four seasons including his final one when they moved to Los Angeles. He joined the Celtics for the 1985-86 season, helping them to the NBA title that year, where he was named the league’s Sixth Man of the Year as well.

Bill Walton’s son, Luke Walton played for the Los Angeles Lakers and won back-to-back NBA finals in 2009 and 2010.

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