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Tributes Pour In For Basketball Legend Bill Walton: ‘One Of The Greatest Basketball Players Of All Time’


Major figures from the sports and political world remembered basketball legend Bill Walton on Monday after news broke that he had passed away following a battle with cancer. 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.

Former NBA star Julius Erving, commonly known as Dr J., said: “I am sad today hearing that my comrade & one of the sports worlds most beloved champions & characters has passed. Bill Walton enjoyed life in every way. To compete against him & to work with him was a blessing in my life. Sorry for your loss Walton family. We’ll miss him too. Doc.”

Magic Johnson posted on X: “Rest in peace to a friend, 2X NBA Champion, Hall of Famer, and one of the most skilled centers we’ve ever seen Bill Walton! His NCAA Championship performance as a UCLA Bruin against Memphis is by far the most dominate NCAA Championship performance ever – he shot 21 for 22 and had us all mesmerized! That’s when I first fell in love with his basketball game…


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