Bill Walton, former NBA MVP, has died: "Truly one of a kind"

San Diego, California - Bill Walton, the former NBA Most Valuable Player, two-time champion, and popular television commentator, died on Monday after a lengthy battle with cancer.

NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton has passed away after a long battle with cancer.
NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton has passed away after a long battle with cancer.  © Ethan Miller / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

After a stellar college career with UCLA, Walton won his first NBA championship with the Portland Trail Blazers in 1977 and he was named the league's MVP the following year.

He did a spell with the Clippers, in San Diego and Los Angeles, then moved to the Boston Celtics where he won a second title in 1986.

After his playing career ended, Walton became a popular commentator for college and NBA basketball broadcasts.

Have the Lakers found a new coach in TV analyst J.J. Redick?
NBA Have the Lakers found a new coach in TV analyst J.J. Redick?

"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," said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

"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," he added.

Tributes pour in for Bill Walton

Earvin 'Magic' Johnson compared Walton to modern day star Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets.

"They talk about Jokic being the most skilled center but Bill Walton was first! From shooting jump shots to making incredible passes, he was one of the smartest basketball players to ever live. Bill was a great ambassador for college basketball and the NBA, and he will be sorely missed," he wrote on X.

Former President Barack Obama also paid tribute to the Californian.

"Bill Walton was one of the greatest basketball players of all time – a champion at every level and the embodiment of unselfish team play. He was also a wonderful spirit full of curiosity, humor and kindness," he wrote in a social media post.

Cover photo: Ethan Miller / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

More on NBA: