1986 Boston Celtics champion Bill Walton passes away at 71

One of the NBA's greats, Bill Walton, lost his life battling cancer at the age of 71.
Bill Walton was a wholesome person who inspired many.
Bill Walton was a wholesome person who inspired many. / Mike Lawrie/GettyImages

Bill Walton played 10 seasons in the NBA, winning a total of two championships, one in 1977 with the Portland Trail Blazers and his second in 1986 wearing a Boston Celtics uniform. Walton was a one-of-a-kind player who had a career average of 13.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 3.4 assists. But his basketball skills were only a small part of who he was as a person. Unfortunately, we all say goodbye to Walton as he passed away during a long fight against cancer on May 27.

He was only 71 years old.

Adam Silver released his message of heartfelt words regarding Walton's passing on X (formerly Twitter).

As Silver mentioned, he was a Hall of Fame player, on top of being a part of the NBA's 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams. A feature that recognizes the NBA's best to ever do it. In addition, Walton was also seen doing commentary for the NBA and college basketball's PAC-12, the conference where part of his basketball career took place, playing for the UCLA Bruins.

Bill Walton will always be known as more than just a basketball player

Off the hardwood floor, Walton had a knack for being unapologetically himself. There was never anything held back, as he continued to act as normal, even on live television.

Funny comments, witty humor, even if it's odd, and having fun. What didn't he do?

It's a life lesson that we should all take into account—to always live every day with no regrets and just be yourself. That's so important; it's bigger than basketball. It has always been. Regardless of how many rings, Finals MVP or accolades Walton had, that never changed who he was at his core.

Thank you for everything, Bill Walton. You may be gone, but you will never be forgotten.

Rest in peace.