RIP Bill Walton (1952-2024)

If you like this post or any of the other posts you see here, consider a donation to the SportsPaper Patreon campaign. With your help I can make this site even better!

After a long battle with cancer, basketball legend and all-around great person Bill Walton died on May 27.

Walton rose to national prominence as member of the UCLA Bruins, where he won two national championships and was part of a remarkable 88-game winning streak.

He was made the top overall pick of the 1974 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. Walton suffered through two injury-plagued seasons before the Cinderella campaign of 1976-77.

1974-75 Portland Trail Blazers Media Guide

It was then that Walton played in 65 games and led Portland all the way through the playoffs and a six-game upset of the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1977 NBA Finals. To date, it is the Blazers’ first and only NBA title.

1977-78 Portland Trail Blazers Media Guide

After sitting out the entire 1978-79 season in protest, Walton returned to his home state of California when he signed with the San Diego Clippers. Injuries continued to plague him, however, and the team relocated to Los Angeles.

1979-80 San Diego Clippers Media Guide

His pro career wrapped up with a stint in Boston as a backup to Robert Parish and Kevin McHale. It paid off for involved as the Celtics cruised through the 1986 NBA playoffs en route to a six-game win over the Houston Rockets in the Finals.

Bill Walton 1986 Fleer basketball card
1986 Fleer #119