NBA Hall Of Famer Bill Walton Dead At 71
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 20: Bill Walton attends a basketball game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Phoenix Suns at Arena on April 20, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Bill Walton, a Hall of Fame NBA center who won two league championships, died of cancer, the NBA announced on Monday. He was 71 years old.

Walton was selected No. 1 overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1974 NBA draft after finishing his college career under legendary coach John Wooden at UCLA, where he helped push the Bruins to a remarkable 88-game winning streak and two national championships. The 6-foot-11 center won an NBA championship with the Trail Blazers in 1977 and was also awarded the Finals MVP. Nine years later, Walton won another NBA championship with the Boston Celtics.

After he retired from the NBA, Walton became a basketball commentator for multiple networks, beginning with CBS in 1990 before moving to ABC/ESPN, where he worked as an NBA analyst until stepping away for a short time in 2009. Walton got back behind the microphone in 2012 as a college basketball analyst for ESPN and the Pac-12 Conference, calling games through the 2023-2024 season. The American Sportscasters Association named Walton one of the top 50 sports broadcasters of all time in 2009.

“Bill Walton was truly one of a kind,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement, according to ESPN. “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,” Silver added. “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.”

Create a free account to join the conversation!

Already have an account?

Log in

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
Download Daily Wire Plus

Don't miss anything

Download our App

Stay up-to-date on the latest
news, podcasts, and more.

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  NBA Hall Of Famer Bill Walton Dead At 71