NBA Legend, Longtime Broadcaster Dies At Age 71

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Jeff Charles Contributor
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Basketball legend Bill Walton, a former NBA player and accomplished sports commentator, passed away at the age of 71 after a lengthy fight with cancer, according to ESPN.

The NBA issued a statement announcing Walton’s death on Monday, the outlet reported.

“Bill Walton was truly one of a kind,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver reportedly said in a written statement.

Walton was a highly accomplished athlete. He was the league’s MVP during the 1977-78 season with the Portland Trailblazers. This came after a college career where he won two championships with the UCLA Bruins and was a three-time national player of the year, ESPN reported. (RELATED: Did ESPN Cut Bill Walton’s Mic When He Started Talking About Russia Potentially Invading America?)

Silver described Walton as “truly one of a kind” and a “dominant force at UCLA” and also praised his NBA career in the statement, according to The Boston Globe. “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,” the NBA commissioner reportedly continued.

As a two-time All-Star, Walton dominated his competition in blocks and rebounds in 1977, ESPN reported.