Bill Walton
Source: KTLA 5

The world of basketball is in mourning after the former NBA MVP and Hall of Famer Bill Walton. Sadly, his death came after a “prolonged” battle with cancer. He was 71 years-old.

In the wake of this, tributes for Walton have been pouring in.

Walton Passes Away At 71

“Bill Walton was truly one of a kind,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver told CBS Sports.

“His unique all-around skills made him a dominant force at UCLA and led to an NBA regular-season and Finals MVP, two NBA championships and a spot on the NBA’s 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams,” he added.

Walton got his start as a college basketball star at UCLA. He was then selected No. 1 overall in the 1974 NBA Draft. Thereafter, Walton played for the Trail Blazers, Clippers and Celtics across 10 seasons. Sadly, he lost five seasons to foot injuries.

Later, Walton was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993. He had a decades-long career as a broadcaster for CBS, NBC and ESPN. Walton was so successful as a broadcaster that he won an Emmy in 1991. Also, Walton was named as one of the top 50 sports broadcasters of all-time by the American Sportscasters Association in 2009, according to Deadline.

In his statement honoring Walton, Silver also said that “what I will remember most about him was his zest for life.”

“He was a regular presence at league events — always upbeat, smiling ear to ear and looking to share his wisdom and warmth,” he concluded. “I treasured our close friendship, envied his boundless energy and admired the time he took with every person he encountered.”

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More Tributes For Walton

Other tributes have poured in for Walton as well.

“It’s very hard to put into words what he has meant to UCLA’s program, as well as his tremendous impact on college basketball,” UCLA head coach Mick Cronin told The New York Post.

“Beyond his remarkable accomplishments as a player, it’s his relentless energy, enthusiasm for the game and unwavering candor that have been the hallmarks of his larger than life personality,” he added.

Meanwhile, UCLA’s Director of Athletic Martin Jarmond, also issued a statement honoring Walton. He said that the school was “stunned and saddened” to learn of his death.

“Bill represented so many of the ideals that our university holds dear and embodied multiple traits on Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success,” Jarmond said.

“He loved being back on campus at UCLA, calling games in Pauley Pavilion, and being around our teams,” Jarmond continued. “We offer our deepest sympathy to his family, and we take solace in knowing that Bill made each day his masterpiece.”

Check out more tributes for Walton in the video below.

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Walton Died Surrounded By Family

Finally, Walton’s family told WUOT 9 that he died surrounded by his loved ones. He is survived by his wife Lori, who he was married to for 33 years. Also, Walton is survived by his sons Adam, Nate, Chris and Luke, the last of whom is a former NBA player and now a coach.

Find out more about Walton’s death in the video below.

Please join us in saying a prayer for Walton’s family and friends during this difficult time.

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