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Mourning for NBA great Bill Walton

Between 1974 and 1987, Bill Walton played in the NBA – and left his mark on the league alongside legend Larry Bird. Now the former center has passed away

With the Portland Trail Blazers (1977) and the Boston Celtics (1986), William Theodore “Bill” Walton won the NBA title and was later inducted into the Hall of Fame. Now the former basketball star has died at the age of 71 after a long battle with cancer.

“What I’ll remember most is his zest for life,” said Adam Silver, Commissioner of the NBA since 2014. “He was always upbeat, smiling ear to ear and eager to impart his wisdom and warmth. I cherished our close friendship and envied his boundless energy. A cherished member of the NBA family for 50 years, Bill will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Bill Walton was truly one of a kind. “

Almost 500 games

As a center, Walton was a champion with Portland in 1977 and was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the season the following season. In 1986, the two-time college champion won the title again with Boston alongside the greats Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Danny Ainge. In his NBA years, which were also accompanied by numerous foot injuries, the athlete appeared in 468 games – and averaged a double-double of 13.3 points and 10.5 rebounds. Between his stops in Portland (1974 to 1979) and Boston (1985 to 1987), Walton was also under contract with the San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers – from 1979 to 1985.

Born in California, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993 and later worked as a TV pundit for ESPN, ABC, CBS and NBC.

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