Bill Walton dies at 71: Stephen A Smith, Julius Erving and more stars pay tribute to NBA hall of famer after battle with cancer

Trending 2 weeks ago
  • Sports stars are sharing their memories of Bill Walton aft he passed distant astatine 71
  • The two-time NBA champion won titles pinch the Trail Blazers and nan Celtics
  • READ MORE: NBA prima turned legendary commentator dies aft crab battle 

By Emily Selleck

Published: 15:36 EDT, 27 May 2024 | Updated: 15:37 EDT, 27 May 2024

Tributes are pouring successful for NBA hallway of famer and legendary commentator, Bill Walton, aft he died astatine 71 pursuing a cancer battle. 

SportsCenter's Stephen A Smith penned an affectional tribute to nan precocious athlete, aft news of his passing was revealed Monday. 

'Incredibly sad to perceive of nan passing of my buddy, Bill Walton. His crippled was up of its time, genuinely 1 of nan top large men who ever played,' nan TV characteristic wrote connected X.


'Yet, thing compared to his passion and emotion of life, itself. I tin perceive him now imploring maine to “smile……cherish everyday…..we’re each nan luckiest ppl connected earth.” R.I.P. my guy. Miss you already.'

Fellow NBA legend, Julius Erving, besides shared a threat of himself pinch Walton. 

NBA hallway of famer and legendary commentator, Bill Walton, sadly mislaid his conflict pinch cancer 

'R.I.P. my guy. Miss you already,' Stephen A Smith captioned a station connected X Monday

'I americium sad coming proceeding that my comrade & 1 of nan sports worlds astir beloved champions & characters has passed,' he wrote connected X. 

'Bill Walton enjoyed life successful each way. To compete against him & to activity pinch him was a blessing successful my life. Sorry for your nonaccomplishment Walton family. We’ll miss him too. Doc.' 

Walton was a two-time NBA champion, winning 1 title pinch nan Portland Trail Blazers and different pinch nan Boston Celtics.

He besides had beardown ties to nan Southern California region, having won 3 consecutive nationalist assemblage subordinate of nan twelvemonth awards betwixt 1972 and 1974 and 2 NCAA titles pinch nan UCLA Bruins. 

'To compete against him & to activity pinch him was a blessing successful my life,' Julius Erving wrote

Walton was a assemblage hoops star, winning two NCAA titles pinch nan UCLA Bruins

After his playing career, he moved into nan commentary container and won a Sports Emmy successful 1991

He later played for nan Los Angeles Clippers, who shared a tribute to nan prima center. 

'We person mislaid 1 of nan top players and personalities that this franchise, this athletics and this region person ever known,' nan connection began. 

'Bill Walton is synonymous pinch Southern California basketball: a San Diego native, a UCLA phenom, a Clipper icon. He defined nan crippled arsenic a player, a broadcaster and an ambassador, spreading joyousness for generations. Wherever he went, immoderate he did, Big Red stood supra nan crowd. The Clippers statement extends our deepest condolences to nan Walton family, arsenic good arsenic our utmost gratitude. Bill was a singular force, and we were privileged to cognize him.' 

Walton, who was enshrined successful nan Hall of Fame successful 1993, was larger than life, some connected nan tribunal and off. 

After retiring, he overcame a stutter to thrive connected nan microphone, winning a Sports Emmy in 1991 and being named 1 of nan apical 50 sports broadcasters of all-time successful 2009.

He is survived by his woman Lori and sons Adam, Nate, Luke and Chris. 

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