June 19, 2024

Bill Walton, 71, has passed away following a protracted fight with cancer. The former big man for the Portland Trail Blazers and two-time NBA champion, Damian Lillard of the Milwaukee Bucks, is one of the many celebrities who have paid their respects to him.

For several years now, Walton has been struggling with the said disease while continuing his work as a sports commentator for PAC-12 college games. Before that, the former champion covered the NBA and served as analyst for NBC, ESPN, ABC, and the Los Angeles Clippers.

Walton was chosen first overall by the Trail Blazers in the 1974 NBA Draft, following his leadership of UCLA to two NCAA titles in 1972 and 1973. Despite an injury that ended his first season, the center returned the next year and helped Portland win a championship. With the Trail Blazers, Walton spent a total of four seasons playing and averaged 17.1 points, 13.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 2.6 blocks per game.

Walton later played for the San Diego Clippers before spending the final part of his career with the Boston Celtics. During his two-season run there, the big man won Sixth Man of the Year and another ring during the 1985-86 campaign.

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