Basketball Legend Bill Walton Dies at 71 After Battling Cancer – NBA Mourns the Loss of Hall of Famer

Los Angeles, California – Former UCLA and NBA basketball star Bill Walton passed away at the age of 71 after a prolonged battle with cancer. Known for his dominant skills as a big man and colorful personality, Walton left a lasting legacy in the world of basketball.

Walton, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1974 NBA draft, led the Portland Trail Blazers to their only championship in 1977, earning the league MVP title in 1978 before winning another championship with the Boston Celtics in 1986. Despite his career being plagued by injuries, Walton’s impact on the game was immense.

Before his professional career, Walton had a legendary college tenure at UCLA, winning back-to-back titles in 1972 and 1973 under iconic coach John Wooden. His activism during his college years, including his arrest in 1972 for protesting against the Vietnam War, showcased his willingness to speak out on important issues.

Beyond his playing career, Walton overcame a stutter to become a successful sports broadcaster, known for his quirky personality and catchphrases. His love for music, particularly the Grateful Dead, was a prominent part of his life, with Walton occasionally joining the band onstage to play percussion.

Throughout his life, Walton remained a beloved figure in the basketball community, touching the lives of many with his infectious energy and wisdom. Survived by his wife and sons, Walton’s legacy will continue to inspire future generations of basketball players and fans alike.