What happened to Bill Walton? Hall of Famer’s cause of death explored

NCAA Basketball: Maryland at UCLA
NBA hall of famer Bill Walton passed away at 71

The NBA family lost one of its legends after the death of Hall of Famer Bill Walton on May 27 due to cancer. The news of the 71-year-old's passing was confirmed on X (formerly Twitter) by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The type of cancer he had was not specified but as per ESPN, the two-time champion had a "prolonged battle" with the disease.

Walton was selected first overall in the 1974 NBA draft by the Portland Trail Blazers after a legendary career at UCLA.

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He retired as a two-time NBA champion, having won the title in 1977 and 1986. He also earned the Finals MVP award during the first title run. Additionally, he secured a league MVP award in 1977 and was honored with the Sixth Man of the Year award in 1986, further adding to his impressive list of accomplishments

His number 32 jersey is forever immortalized after it was retired by the Trail Blazers.

The Portland Trail Blazers' only NBA title was won with Bill Walton

Long-time fans of the Portland Trail Blazers will remember Bill Walton fondly. After, all, he led the franchise to its only title in NBA history.

The Blazers' first and only title win happened in 1977 under head coach Jack Ramsay. During the 1976-77 season, Walton and the Blazers went 49-33.

That season, Walton averaged 18.6 points, 14.4 rebounds and 3.2 blocks in 65 games. That year was also the first of two All-Star selections for the Hall of Fame center. He finished second in MVP voting behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was with the LA Lakers at the time.

Later in his career, he joined a star-studded Boston Celtics squad that featured Danny Ainge and Rick Carlisle. That team also boasted several legends including Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish.

Walton mostly came off the bench with the Celtics. In 1986, he only started two games out of 80 played wherein he averaged 7.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks, winning the Sixth Man of the Year award. That same season, Walton won his second NBA title after the Celtics triumphed over the Houston Rockets in six games.

Bill Walton's career was marred with injuries. From when he joined the league in 1974 to when he retired in 1988, he missed four full seasons. He then went on to become one of the most well-respected broadcasters in sports after he retired from playing.

Also read: Bill Walton missed Pac-12 game call due to health issue: Reports

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