NBA legend Bill Walton’s cause of death revealed

Bill Walton's death
NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton at an event. Pic credit: ©

Bill Walton, a towering figure, both on and off the basketball court, passed away on Monday at 71.

His cause of death was related to a prolonged battle with cancer, the NBA announced on behalf of his family. 

Known for his nearly 7-foot frame and larger-than-life personality, Walton was a two-time NCAA champion at UCLA and a two-time NBA champion, earning a place in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Walton’s illustrious career began at UCLA, where he played under the legendary coach John Wooden. 

He became a three-time national player of the year and led the Bruins to an incredible 88-game winning streak, including a memorable performance in the 1973 NCAA title game where he scored 21 of 22 shots. 

“Bill Walton was truly one of a kind,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement, according to CNN.

Tributes pour in for Bill Walton

In the NBA, Walton’s impact was immediate, earning the MVP title in the 1977-78 season and the Sixth Man of the Year award in 1985-86.

Despite chronic foot injuries that limited his career to 468 games with the Portland Trail Blazers, San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers, and Boston Celtics, Walton’s presence was undeniable.

According to ABC, His career averages of 13.3 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, while not record-setting, reflected his enduring influence on the game.

Julius “Dr. J” Erving, a fellow Hall of Famer, paid tribute to Walton, writing on social media, “I am sad today hearing that my comrade and one of the sports world’s most beloved champions and characters has passed. Bill Walton enjoyed life in every way. To compete against him and to work with him was a blessing in my life.”

Pablo Torre paid tribute to his character and career in a tweet. 

ESPN shared a montage of Walton, capturing some of his best moments. 

Bill Walton became an unlikely broadcast commentating sensation

Following his retirement from playing, Walton transitioned to a successful broadcasting career. Despite initial doubts due to a pronounced stutter, he excelled, winning an Emmy and being named one of the top 50 sports broadcasters of all time by the American Sportscasters Association. 

His memoir, Back from the Dead, became a New York Times bestseller, detailing his struggle with a debilitating back injury and his journey to recovery.

Walton worked as a broadcaster for CBS, NBC, ABC/ESPN, the Clippers, and the Sacramento Kings, before returning to ESPN and the Pac-12 Network in 2012. His enthusiasm and unique commentary style made him a beloved figure in sports media.

Before the Boston Celtics-Indiana Pacers Game 4 in the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night, the NBA held a moment of silence to honor Walton’s legacy. 

His storied career, both as a player and a broadcaster, left an indelible mark on the basketball world. Walton, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993, will be remembered as one of the game’s most celebrated and unique figures.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments