NBA legend and Basketball Hall of Fame member Bill Walton dies at 71

Basketball Hall of Fame member Bill Walton, died on Monday at the age of 71 after a long struggle with cancer.

The life of Walton was just as impressive outside of the court as it was within it. He was a distinguished winner in high school, college, and the NBA, while also fully embracing the counterculture of the late 1960s and 1970s.

Throughout his life, he managed to maintain his passion for basketball and his love for the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan and Neil Young while fulfilling his duties as a player, TV commentator, and cultural figure.

According to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Bill Walton was truly a unique individual.

I highly valued our strong companionship, was envious of his endless vigor, and respected the way he dedicated time to each individual he met.

Standing at 6-11, Walton was known for his exceptional versatility as a big man in the game of basketball. He had a strong presence in defense, rebounding, shot-blocking, passing, and scoring.

Bill Walton – A Legendary NBA Player

During his tenure in the NBA, he maintained an average of 13.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.2 blocks per game over a span of 10 seasons. However, his career was significantly hampered by recurring foot problems, resulting in him sitting out the complete 1978/79, 1980/81, and 1981/82 seasons.

Despite facing these obstacles, Walton’s performance on the basketball court was exceptional. Following a successful tenure at UCLA, where he earned two NCAA championships with renowned coach John Wooden, Walton was selected as the first overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers.

In 1977, he guided the Blazers to their initial NBA title and was recognized as the Finals MVP. He recorded an average of 18.5 points, 19 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 3.7 blocks per game during the series against the Philadelphia 76ers.

In the next season, Walton was honored as the regular-season MVP in the NBA, with impressive stats of 18.9 points, 13.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 2.5 blocks per game.

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