NBA legend Bill Walton dies at 71 – NBC Chicago

Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton, who was a two-time national champion at UCLA before winning two NBA titles, died Monday after a long battle with cancer. the NBA announced. He was 71 years old.

The NBA said Walton was surrounded by family.

“Bill Walton was truly one of a kind,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. said in a statement. “As a Hall of Fame player, he redefined the center position. His unique all-around skillset made him a dominant force.”

A native of La Mesa, Calif., Walton was named national player of the year in each of his three seasons at UCLA. Playing for legendary coach John Wooden, Walton propelled the Bruins to back-to-back 30-0 seasons in 1972 and 1973.

The Portland Trail Blazers selected Walton with the first pick in the 1974 NBA draft. In just his third season, Walton led the franchise to its first and only championship as the Blazers defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1977 Finals. Walton, who was the NBA’s MVP runner-up that season, took home Finals MVP honors.

He then played several seasons with the Clippers.

His second championship came while playing with the Boston Celtics, where he played from 1985 to 1988.

Walton was inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of the class of 1993.

This story is currently being updated…

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