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Bill Walton: NBA Hall of Famer and broadcaster dies at 71

Image source, fake images

Screenshot, After winning two NBA championships, Bill Walton transitioned to a successful career in broadcasting.

  • Author, Nadine Yusif
  • Role, bbc news

Bill Walton, a member of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Hall of Fame and one of the sport’s most important broadcasters, has died at the age of 71.

Walton died after a long battle with cancer, the league announced Monday.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver remembered him as “truly unique.”

Walton was known for his legendary college basketball career in California and for overcoming a stutter to build a successful career in broadcasting.

Standing at 6 feet 11 inches, he played center for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) basketball team from 1971 to 1974.

It was with that team that he led the Bruins to two championships and an 88-game winning streak.

He was then selected with the first overall draft pick in 1974 by the Portland Trail Blazers, beginning his professional career in the NBA.

Walton led the Blazers to the championship in 1977, their first and only title, and won the coveted Most Valuable Player award that season.

Nine years later, he won his second NBA championship, this time with the Boston Celtics.

In a statement Monday, NBA Commissioner Silver said Walton was known around the league for his “unique and versatile skills.”

“As a Hall of Fame player, he redefined the center position,” Silver added.

Walton’s professional career lasted only 468 games and was cut short due to chronic foot injuries.

But his journey in basketball did not end there.

Image source, fake images

Screenshot, Walton played for the Portland Trail Blazers from 1974 to 1979.

Walton became an illustrious and colorful Emmy Award-winning commentator on the sport, bringing with him his “infectious enthusiasm and love for the game,” Silver said.

He did so despite having a pronounced stutter for much of his early life.

“In life, being so self-conscious, red hair, big nose, freckles and a dumb, nerdy face and not being able to talk at all. I was incredibly shy and never said a word,” Walton told radio host John Canzano. in 2017.

“Then, when I was 28, I learned to speak. It has become the greatest achievement of my life and everyone else’s biggest nightmare.”

In addition to his entertaining commentary, Walton was often an easy-to-identify figure in the media booth, thanks to his bright tie-dyed shirts.

“What I will remember most about him was his enthusiasm for life,” Silver said. “He was a regular presence at league events, always optimistic, smiling from ear to ear and seeking to share his wisdom and warmth.”

Added UCLA basketball coach Mick Cronin: “It’s very difficult to put into words what he has meant to the UCLA program, as well as his tremendous impact on college basketball.”

Walton was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

He leaves behind his wife and four children, including Luke Walton, a former NBA player and now an assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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