NBA Hall of Famer and Coach Paul Westphal dead at 70

Sacramento Kings head coach Paul Westphal smiles in the third quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in New York City on January 14, 2011. The Kings defeated the Knicks 93-83. UPI/John Angelillo

Jan. 3 (UPI) — Paul Westphal, a five-time NBA All-Star and Hall of Fame Guard, has died, according to the Phoenix Suns. He was 70.

Westphal was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive and difficult-to-treat form of cancer in the brain or spinal cord, in August.

“Westy will forever be remembered as a prominent Valley sports legend both on and off the court,” Suns managing partner Robert Sarver said Saturday. “He built an illustrious career as both a player and a coach. His legacy ranks among the most quintessential basketball icons of all time.”

Westphal played college basketball at the University of Southern California before being drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1972.

He won an NBA title with the Celtics in 1974, but was traded to Phoenix soon after.

In Phoenix, Westphal doubled his scoring average to 20.5 per game and helped lead the Suns to their first NBA Finals appearance in 1976.

Westphal rounded out a 12-season career with the Seattle SuperSonics and the New York Knicks.

After retiring, Westphal helped lead the Dallas Mavericks and the Brooklyn Nets as an assistant coach, and then was a head coach for all or part of 10 seasons, with the Suns, the SuperSonics and the Sacramento Kings. He also led the Suns to the league playoff final in 1993.

He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019 in Springfield, Mass., as a player.


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