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Paul Westphal, Basketball Hall of Famer, dead at 70


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Paul Westphal, Basketball Hall of Famer, dead at 70 1

Hall of Fame guard and longtime NBA coach Paul Westphal died Saturday at age 70 after a battle with brain cancer, the Phoenix Suns announced.

Westphal was a first-round pick by Boston in 1972 after an All-America career at Southern California, and he won an NBA championship with the Celtics in 1973-74. He made five consecutive All-Star teams with the Suns and Seattle Supersonics and also played with the New York Knicks before retiring after the 1983-84 season.

He averaged 15.6 points, 4.4 assists, 1.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 823 career games. The Suns retired his No. 44 jersey in 1989 and he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019.

Westphal compiled a 318-279 record in 10 seasons as head coach of the Suns (1992-96), Sonics (1998-2000) and Sacramento Kings (2009-12). He guided Phoenix to a 62-20 regular-season record and a trip to the 1993 NBA Finals in his first season, losing to the Chicago Bulls in six games.

Westphal also coached at Pepperdine, compiling a 76-72 record with one NCAA Tournament appearance from 2001-06.

He most recently served as an assistant coach with the Brooklyn Nets from 2014-16.

His diagnosis with brain cancer, specifically glioblastoma, was revealed in August.

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