NBA

Hall Of Famer, Basketball Legend Bill Walton Passes Away

May 27, 2024, 11:17 AM | Updated: May 28, 2024, 3:59 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Basketball legend Bill Walton passed away at the age of 71 following a battle with cancer, according to a statement from the NBA.

Hoops great Bill Walton passes away

The league confirmed Walton’s passing on Monday, May 27.

The NBA shared the following statement on Walton’s death:

“Two-time NBA champion and Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton passed away today at the age of 71 following a prolonged battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his family.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement:

“Bill Walton was truly one of a kind. 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. My heartfelt condolences to Bill’s wife, Lori; his sons, Adam, Nate, Luke and Chris; and his many friends and colleagues.”

Before his professional career, Walton was a standout player for the UCLA Bruins. He was a two-time NCAA champion and back-to-back NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player while in Los Angeles. Walton was also honored a the national college player of the year in three straight seasons. His No. 32 jersey is retired by UCLA.

In 1974, Walton was the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. He led the Blazers to a title and won NBA Finals MVP in 1977.

He was named MVP of the league the following season. After playing in Portland from 1974-79, Walton joined the Clippers and played with the franchise until 1985 when he joined the Boston Celtics.

Walton won the second title of his NBA career as a member of the Celtics in 1986. He played in the league until 1988.

He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

After his All-Star playing career, Walton entered the sports broadcasting industry. He worked for CBS, NBC, ESPN, and the Pac-12 Network.

Walton is the father of former NBA player and head coach Luke Walton.

Kyle Ireland is an insider for Utah’s NHL team for KSLSports.com. Follow him on X (@kyleireland), Threads (@kyleirelandksl), and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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Hall Of Famer, Basketball Legend Bill Walton Passes Away