Bill Sharman has died at the age of 87, according to an ESPN.com report. Sharman was an eight time All-Star and a three time NBA champion with the Boston Celtics. Sharman was one of the few players who had success as a coach and as a player throughout his stay in the NBA.
He coached a Los Angeles Laker team spearheaded by Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor. He was apart of three straight title wins from 1958 to 1961. Danny Ainge released a statement about Sharman’s passing away.
“The Boston Celtics organization was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Bill Sharman today,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in a statement. “Bill was one of a handful of people that have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame as a player for his exploits on the court and for his guidance in coaching from the sidelines. Bill combined with Bob Cousy to form one of the dominant backcourts of their era winning four championships together. The Celtic family has lost a great friend today.”
He won a title as a coach with the Lakers’ 1971-72 team that won 33 games in a row. That team beat the New York Knicks in the finals that season to claim a championship. He then became the GM a few years later and drafted Magic Johnson. He helped build the talent that won the Lakers’ championships in the 80’s.
Sharman was a multi-talented player, coach and executive. His loss is a tremendous hit to the NBA world. He’s one of the few people to win titles in three different roles. He’ll forever be remembered as one of the greatest legends in NBA history. His fingerprint was all over the league for a run of nearly 30 years.
Sharman was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004.