According to Nadine Yousif of the BBC News on Monday, Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton of La Mesa, California passed away of cancer at the age of 71. Walton is considered one of the most memorable centers to ever play in the National Basketball Association. He was definitely unconventional and never afraid to give his opinion. In addition to playing basketball at UCLA, Walton was arrested for his anti-Vietnam War protests, and would regularly be seen at Grateful Dead concerts when not on the basketball court.

Due to constant injuries on his foot, Walton only played 468 NBA regular season games with the Portland Trail Blazers, San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics from 1974 to 1987. In his career, he averaged 13.3 points per game, 10.5 rebounds per game, 3.4 assists per game, and 2.2 blocks per game. Walton also had a field goal percentage of .521 and a free throw percentage of .660.

In back-to-back seasons with the Trail Blazers in 1976-77 and 1977-78, Walton was a NBA All-Star. In 1976-77, he led the NBA with 14.4 rebounds per game and 3.2 blocks per game, won the NBA Finals, and was the 1977 NBA Finals MVP. Then in 1977-78, Walton was the NBA Most Valuable Player as he averaged 18.9 points per game, and 13.2 rebounds per game.

Then while with the Celtics, Walton won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 1985-86. That year Boston also won the NBA Finals.

Walton was the first overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft out of UCLA. We recognized him as the fourth best alumni of a basketball school that participated at the 2021 Final Four. Walton was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993, and inducted into the California Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.

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The post NBA legend Bill Walton passes away at age 71 first appeared on The Sporting Base.

The post NBA legend Bill Walton passes away at age 71 appeared first on The Sporting Base.