Celtics legend Bill Walton, NBA Hall of Famer, dies at 71
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Celtics legend Bill Walton, NBA Hall of Famer, dies at 71

Boston Celtics legend and two-time NBA champion and Hall of Famer Bill Walton died of cancer at the age of 71, the NBA announced Monday.Walton had a prolonged fight with cancer.”Bill Walton was one of the most consequential players of his era,” the Celtics said in a written statement. “A Hall of Famer, Most Valuable Player, and two-time NBA Champion, Walton could do it all, possessing great timing, complete vision of the floor, excellent fundamentals, and was of one of the greatest passing big men in league history.””As a Celtic, Bill overcame years of debilitating injuries, regained his zest for the game, and helped guide the 1986 Boston Celtics championship with both his play and his spirit,” the Celtics said. “The Boston Celtics celebrate Bill’s wonderful life and legacy, and send their deepest sympathies to the Walton family.”Walton was a beloved member of the Celtics from the moment he was traded to the team from the Los Angeles Clippers in 1985.In his first time in a Celtics uniform in the Boston Garden, Walton received a one-minute standing ovation from the Boston home crowd walking onto the court for his first exhibition game in 1985.”He derived great joy from basketball and music, and deeply cherished his moments with teammates and friends,” the Celtics said.Walton, who was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1993, was larger than life, on the court and off. His NBA career — disrupted by chronic foot injuries — lasted only 468 games with Portland, San Diego and eventually the Los Angeles Clippers and Boston. He averaged 13.3 points and 10.5 rebounds in those games, neither of those numbers exactly record-setting.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.”Walton may best be remembered by younger fans for his broadcasting work during NBA games.”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,” Silver said in a statement. Video: Paul Pierce and Bill Walton during their years with the Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics legend and two-time NBA champion and Hall of Famer Bill Walton died of cancer at the age of 71, the NBA announced Monday.

Walton had a prolonged fight with cancer.

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“Bill Walton was one of the most consequential players of his era,” the Celtics said in a written statement. “A Hall of Famer, Most Valuable Player, and two-time NBA Champion, Walton could do it all, possessing great timing, complete vision of the floor, excellent fundamentals, and was of one of the greatest passing big men in league history.”

“As a Celtic, Bill overcame years of debilitating injuries, regained his zest for the game, and helped guide the 1986 Boston Celtics championship with both his play and his spirit,” the Celtics said. “The Boston Celtics celebrate Bill’s wonderful life and legacy, and send their deepest sympathies to the Walton family.”

Walton was a beloved member of the Celtics from the moment he was traded to the team from the Los Angeles Clippers in 1985.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 08: Former Boston Celtics player Bill Walton cheers with fans in the third quarter during Game Three of the 2022 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors at TD Garden on June 08, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Celtics won 116-100. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Maddie Meyer

Former Boston Celtics player Bill Walton cheers with fans in the third quarter during Game Three of the 2022 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors at TD Garden on June 08, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Celtics won 116-100. 

In his first time in a Celtics uniform in the Boston Garden, Walton received a one-minute standing ovation from the Boston home crowd walking onto the court for his first exhibition game in 1985.

“He derived great joy from basketball and music, and deeply cherished his moments with teammates and friends,” the Celtics said.

Walton, who was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1993, was larger than life, on the court and off. His NBA career — disrupted by chronic foot injuries — lasted only 468 games with Portland, San Diego and eventually the Los Angeles Clippers and Boston. He averaged 13.3 points and 10.5 rebounds in those games, neither of those numbers exactly record-setting.

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.”

Walton may best be remembered by younger fans for his broadcasting work during NBA games.

“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,” Silver said in a statement.

Video: Paul Pierce and Bill Walton during their years with the Boston Celtics


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