NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton passes away due to cancer

Rest easy, Mr. Bill Walton (Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton just passed away on May 28, 2024, due to a prolonged battle with cancer. He was 71.

A well-known role model to many NBA stars because of his professionalism and leadership, the whole basketball community was in grief soon as they heard the news of his tragic passing.

“As a cherished member of the NBA family for 50 years, Bill will be deeply missed by all those who came to know and love him,” said NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

Walton will forever be remembered as one of the most hardworking NBA stars during his era and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) during the 1978 playing season.

Before reaching the professional ranks, Walton first fulfilled his promise to the UCLA Bruins that he would deliver the school a championship in the NCAA.

The two-way big man then put in the work and steered UCLA to two NCAA national titles from 1972 to 1973. During that span, Walton was named the back-to-back National College Player of the Year.

After getting drafted into the NBA, Walton didn’t disappoint and immediately let his presence felt defensively and was just a beast on the boards.

He replicated his collegiate success in the NBA and was a two-time champion in 1977 and 1986. In his first title run, Walton was awarded with the Finals MVP trophy.

He was a member of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players and was also selected to become a part of the Top 75 Players of the league.

“My very close friend, fellow Bruin, and NBA rival Bill Walton died today. And the world feels so much heavier now. On the court, Bill was a fierce player, but off the court he wasn’t happy unless he did everything he could to make everyone around him happy,” posted Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on X.

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