Hall of Fame player turned broadcaster, Bill Walton, dies at 71

Bill Walton, a basketball legend known for his success as a player and as a broadcaster, passed away at the age of 71 after battling cancer. Walton had an illustrious career, starting with his time at UCLA where he won two national championships and was a three-time national player of the year. His impact on the game continued into the NBA, where he was named MVP in the 1977-78 season and was a two-time champion.

Despite his NBA career being cut short by chronic foot injuries, Walton's influence on the sport was significant. He was known for his incredible performance in the 1973 NCAA title game where he led UCLA to victory by shooting 21 for 22 from the field. Off the court, Walton transitioned to broadcasting, where he excelled and was recognized as one of the top sports broadcasters of all time.

Walton's love for basketball extended beyond the court, as he was a passionate supporter of the Pac-12 Conference and a fan of the Grateful Dead. He will always be remembered for his tie-dyed T-shirts and Hawaiian leis, as well as his enthusiastic presence at league events.

Throughout his life, Walton faced personal challenges, including a debilitating back injury that led him to contemplate suicide. However, he persevered and overcame these obstacles, becoming an inspiration to many.

Walton's legacy will live on through his family, including his wife Lori and sons Adam, Nate, Chris, and Luke, who followed in his footsteps as a coach. He will be remembered not only for his basketball accomplishments but also for his zest for life and the impact he had on the sport and those around him.


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