Bill Walton, NBA legend, dies at 71


Former American basketball player Bill Walton, two-time NBA champion and member of the prestigious Hall of Fame, died this Monday at the age of 71, a victim of cancer, the North American league has confirmed.

The Californian, nicknamed ‘The Big Red Head’ for his characteristic hair color – red – and his tall stature – 2.11 meters -, played in the NBA for ten seasons, between the seventies and the eighties. , after excelling in the NCAA with UCLA on a team that also included John Wooden and Lew Alcindor, later Karim Abdul-Jabbar.

Already in the top North American league, he played between 1975 and 1978 for the Portland Trail Blazers, where he won the ring in 1977, the year in which he was MVP of the Finals, and won an NBA MVP in 1978. After that, he played with San Diego Clippers/Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics, the team in which he won his second title in 1986.

After retiring, Walton, father of player and coach Luke Walton, served as a commentator. This Monday, he died “surrounded by his family” and after “a prolonged battle against cancer,” according to the NBA.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver described Bill Walton as “truly unique.” “As a Hall of Fame player, he redefined the center position. His unique and versatile skills made him a dominant force at UCLA and led him to regular season and NBA Finals MVPs, two championships and a place on the NBA’s 50th and 75th anniversary teams,” he noted.

He later brought “his infectious enthusiasm and love for the game to the broadcast,” where he offered “insightful commentary that entertained generations of basketball fans.” “His enthusiasm for life was common at league events, always optimistic, smiling from ear to ear and seeking to share his wisdom and warmth,” she said.

“I treasured our close friendship, envied his boundless energy and admired the time he devoted to each person he met. As a beloved member of the NBA family for 50 years, Bill will be deeply missed by all those who came to know and love him. My “deepest condolences to Bill’s wife, Lori; his children, Adam, Nate, Luke and Chris; and his many friends and colleagues,” he concluded.