NATIONAL NEWS

Bill Walton, Hall of Fame player who became a star broadcaster, dies at 71

May 27, 2024, 12:00 PM

FILE: Bill Walton is seen during the Ruffles NBA All-Star Celebrity Game during the 2022 NBA All-St...

FILE: Bill Walton is seen during the Ruffles NBA All-Star Celebrity Game during the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend at Wolstein Center on February 18, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

(Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

Bill Walton, who starred for John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins before becoming a Hall of Famer and one of the biggest stars in basketball broadcasting, died Monday, the league announced on behalf of his family.

Walton, who had a prolonged fight with cancer, was 71.

He was the NBA’s MVP in the 1977-78 season, a two-time champion as a player and a member of both the NBA’s 50th anniversary and 75th anniversary teams. That all followed a college career in which he was a two-time champion at UCLA and a three-time national player of the year.

“Bill Walton,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said, “was truly one of a kind.”

Walton, who was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1993, was larger than life, on the court and off. His NBA career — disrupted by chronic foot injuries — lasted only 468 games with Portland, the San Diego and eventually Los Angeles Clippers and Boston. He averaged 13.3 points and 10.5 rebounds in those games, neither of those numbers exactly record-setting.

Still, his impact on the game was massive.

His most famous game was the 1973 NCAA title game, UCLA against Memphis, in which he shot an incredible 21 for 22 from the field and led the Bruins to another national championship.

“One of my guards said, ’Let’s try something else,” Wooden told The Associated Press in 2008 for a 35th anniversary retrospective on that game.

Wooden’s response during that timeout: “Why? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

They kept giving the ball to Walton, and he kept delivering in a performance for the ages.

“It’s very hard to put into words what he has meant to UCLA’s program, as well as his tremendous impact on college basketball,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said Monday. “Beyond his remarkable accomplishments as a player, it’s his relentless energy, enthusiasm for the game and unwavering candor that have been the hallmarks of his larger than life personality.

“As a passionate UCLA alumnus and broadcaster, he loved being around our players, hearing their stories and sharing his wisdom and advice. For me as a coach, he was honest, kind and always had his heart in the right place. I will miss him very much. It’s hard to imagine a season in Pauley Pavilion without him.”

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

First responders arrive at Oaks Park for a ride that is stuck with multiple riders in Portland, Ore...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews have rescued 28 people after they were stuck for about half an hour dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park in Oregon.

4 hours ago

The OnlyFans logo is seen on a computer monitor in this posed photo, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023, in St....

Associated Press

Former Nashville officer arrested after allegedly participating in an adult video while on duty

A former Nashville police officer has been arrested for two counts of felony official misconduct after law enforcement officials say he allegedly participated in an adult video while on duty.

10 hours ago

The bright purple color depicts auroras on Mars’ nightside that were detected by the ultraviolet ...

Ashley Strickland, CNN

A massive solar storm hits Mars, revealing a risk for future astronauts on the red planet

When the sun unleashed an extreme solar storm and hit Mars in May, it engulfed the red planet with auroras and an influx of charged particles and radiation, according to NASA.

13 hours ago

Catherine, Princess of Wales, pictured here in 2023, has said she is making “good progress” in ...

 Rob Picheta and Max Foster, CNN

Catherine, Princess of Wales, making ‘good progress’ against cancer and is set for first public appearance in months

Catherine, Princess of Wales, has said she is making “good progress” in her recovery from cancer, and will make her first public appearance in months at the King’s official birthday celebration on Saturday.

13 hours ago

FILE - A bump stock is displayed in Harrisonburg, Va., on March 15, 2019. The Supreme Court will he...

Lindsay Whitehurst

Supreme Court strikes down Trump-era ban on bump stocks, gun accessories used in 2017 massacre

Supreme Court strikes down Trump-era ban on bump stocks, rapid fire gun accessories used in 2017 Las Vegas massacre.

17 hours ago

A local organization is keeping kids away from crime and drugs one bike at a time. (KDRV via CNN Ne...

Rocky Walker, CNN

Familia Unida: Keeping kids away from drugs and crime by teaching them to work with their hands

A local organization is keeping kids away from crime and drugs one bike at a time. Familia Unida is a nonprofit that teaches children to channel aggression and negative experiences into healthy and constructive life skills through activities such as bike and car building.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Bill Walton, Hall of Fame player who became a star broadcaster, dies at 71