ALERT: Hall of Fame Legend Dead (Video)

(TheRedAlertNews.com) – Basketball legend Bill Walton, a member of the Hall of Fame and a figure renowned for spearheading UCLA’s 73 consecutive victories and securing two national championships consecutively in the early 1970s, passed away on Monday.

See a video of Bill Walton in the tweet below!

Walton died after a prolonged battle with cancer at the age of 71, The New York Post reports.

He had an NBA career hampered by injuries but still played a pivotal role in championship teams in Portland and Boston.

Following his retirement from professional basketball, Walton pursued a vibrant second career as a two-time Emmy-winning basketball analyst, primarily for ESPN’s coverage of the Pac-12.

Overcoming a debilitating stutter that afflicted him for the first 28 years of his life was a significant hurdle in this transition.

“I just wish that I had learned how to speak at a lot earlier age. Nothing has changed my life more than learning how to speak. It’s my greatest accomplishment, and your worst nightmare. I identify with everyone who faces struggles, challenges. And when you’re a stutterer, it completely changes your life. Because you’re constantly embarrassed and reluctant and ashamed. And you have to learn to overcome it. I am no longer ashamed about being a stutterer. I’m no longer self-conscious about being a stutterer. I am a stutterer,” Walten said.

Walton, a polymath, relished discussions on philosophy and literature almost as much as he enjoyed analyzing Stanford’s basketball strategies.

Yet, his profound passion was music, particularly the Grateful Dead, whose performances he frequently attended worldwide, donning his signature tie-dyed shirts.

His broadcast partner, Dave Pasch, often found himself immersed in these musical excursions, which sometimes influenced their on-air interactions, replete with references to the band’s lyrics.

“Bill and I had a special friendship. He used to tell me a lot, he would take the headset off during a commercial break and just say to me, ‘I love you, but don’t tell anybody,’” Pasch recalled on ESPN.

Walton, the first overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft by Portland, led the Trail Blazers to their sole championship in 1976-77 and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player the following season.

His induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993 was a testament to his profound impact on the sport, despite foot injuries that significantly limited his play, resulting in participation in only 468 games over ten seasons. Yet, his career averages of 13.3 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, alongside his recognitions on the league’s 50th and 75th-anniversary teams, underscore his substantial contributions to basketball.

Walton is survived by his wife, Lori, and sons Adam, Nate, Chris, and Luke.

“He was the best of us,” NBA legend and former UCLA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stated on X.

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