Skip to Content

Bill Walton, two-time NBA champion, dead at 71

NEW YORK (KYMA, KECY/NBC) - Bill Walton, a two-time NBA champion and Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer, has passed away on Monday.

According to a press release obtained by NBC News, Walton was battling cancer prior to his death, and was surrounded by his family.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement saying:

"Bill Walton was truly one of a kind. As a Hall of Fame player, he redefined the center position. 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. Bill then translated his infectious enthusiasm and love for the game to broadcasting, where he delivered insightful and colorful commentary which entertained generations of basketball fans. But 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. I treasured our close friendship, envied his boundless energy and admired the time he took with every person he encountered.

As a cherished member of the NBA family for 50 years, Bill will be deeply missed by all those who came to know and love him. My heartfelt condolences to Bill’s wife, Lori; his sons, Adam, Nate, Luke and Chris; and his many friends and colleagues."

According to NBC News, Walton led the Portland Trailblazers to a championship in 1977 and won a second NBA title as a member of the Boston Celtics in 1986.

Following his Hall of Fame career as a player, NBC News says Walton brought his unique perspective to the broadcasting booth, where he sometimes went viral for his brand of non-sequitur color commentary.

Walton was 71-years-old, and is survived by his wife, Lori, and his sons Adam, Luke, Nate and Chris.

Article Topic Follows: Breaking News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Dillon Fuhrman

If you have any story ideas, reach out to him at

NBC News

Author Profile Photo

Scott Gross

Scott Gross joins the KYMA team as the Anchor, CBS Sports Director, and Executive Producer.

Contact him at


KYMA KECY is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content