Paul Westphal, Hall of Fame basketball player, dies at 70

Sports

SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS – SEPTEMBER 06: Enshrinee Paul Westphal gives his speech during the 2019 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Symphony Hall on September 06, 2019 in Springfield, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

(NewsNation Now) — Paul Westphal, a Hall of Fame player who won a championship with the Boston Celtics in 1974 and later coached in the league and in college, has died. He was 70.

The Phoenix Suns confirmed Westphal’s death in a statement Saturday. No cause was given, although he had been diagnosed with brain cancer last August.

A five-time All-Star guard, Westphal played in the NBA from 1972-84. After winning a championship with the Celtics, he made the finals in 1976 with Phoenix. He also played for Seattle and the New York Knicks.

After his playing career ended, Westphal moved into coaching. He led the Suns to the NBA Finals in 1993, and also was head coach of Seattle and Sacramento. At the college level, he coached at Southwestern Baptist Bible College (now Arizona Christian University), Grand Canyon and Pepperdine.

“His toughness, skill and intellect made him a key contributor on the Boston Celtics’ 1974 championship team and a perennial All-Star with the Phoenix Suns,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

Westphal was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019.

He is survived by his wife, Cindy, and two children.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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