NBA legend Bill Walton has died aged 71

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By stefan armitage

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Bill Walton - an NBA legend both on and off of the court - has sadly died at the age of 71.

The news was confirmed by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who described Walton as "truly one of a kind" in a statement.

Bill Walton has died aged 71. Credit: Allen Berezovsky / Getty

"What I will remember most about him was his zest for life," Silver added. "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."

Per the New York Post, Walton passed away following a battle with cancer.

Credit: Bettmann / Getty

The 6-foot-11 Walton had the honor of being selected No. 1 overall in the 1974 NBA Draft, following a groundbreaking start at UCLA under John Wooden.

On Monday, UCLA coach Mick Cronin said of the late Walton: "It's very hard to put into words what he has meant to UCLA's program, as well as his tremendous impact on college basketball.

"Beyond his remarkable accomplishments as a player, it's his relentless energy, enthusiasm for the game and unwavering candor that have been the hallmarks of his larger than life personality.

From there, he enjoyed a 10-season career playing for the Portland Trail Blazers, the San Diego and eventually LA Clippers, and Boston Celtics.

Sadly, Walton's career was hindered by repeated foot injuries, meaning he only had the opportunity to play a total of 468.

Nevertheless, he took his rightful place in the NBA Hall of Fame in 1993.

Off the court, Walton delighted viewers as a broadcaster, working for CBS, NBC, and ESPN.

Silver closed his tribute to Walton by saying: "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.”

Our thoughts go out to Walton's family, friends, and fans at this time.

Featured image credit: Allen Berezovsky / Getty

NBA legend Bill Walton has died aged 71

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

Bill Walton - an NBA legend both on and off of the court - has sadly died at the age of 71.

The news was confirmed by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who described Walton as "truly one of a kind" in a statement.

Bill Walton has died aged 71. Credit: Allen Berezovsky / Getty

"What I will remember most about him was his zest for life," Silver added. "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."

Per the New York Post, Walton passed away following a battle with cancer.

Credit: Bettmann / Getty

The 6-foot-11 Walton had the honor of being selected No. 1 overall in the 1974 NBA Draft, following a groundbreaking start at UCLA under John Wooden.

On Monday, UCLA coach Mick Cronin said of the late Walton: "It's very hard to put into words what he has meant to UCLA's program, as well as his tremendous impact on college basketball.

"Beyond his remarkable accomplishments as a player, it's his relentless energy, enthusiasm for the game and unwavering candor that have been the hallmarks of his larger than life personality.

From there, he enjoyed a 10-season career playing for the Portland Trail Blazers, the San Diego and eventually LA Clippers, and Boston Celtics.

Sadly, Walton's career was hindered by repeated foot injuries, meaning he only had the opportunity to play a total of 468.

Nevertheless, he took his rightful place in the NBA Hall of Fame in 1993.

Off the court, Walton delighted viewers as a broadcaster, working for CBS, NBC, and ESPN.

Silver closed his tribute to Walton by saying: "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.”

Our thoughts go out to Walton's family, friends, and fans at this time.

Featured image credit: Allen Berezovsky / Getty