NBA legend Bill Walton has passed away at the age of 71 after a battle with cancer. The league announced his death, prompting an outpouring of tributes from across the basketball world. Walton, known for his outstanding career both on the court and as a broadcaster, leaves behind a lasting legacy.

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and head coach Steve Kerr were among the first to react to Walton’s passing. Curry shared his condolences on Instagram, writing, “RIP to a legend on and off the court. You might hear it all the time, but he always brought the BEST energy and humanity to every room he walked into. True definition of living his values, always with a smile! Prayers to the entire Walton family.”

Steve Kerr echoed these sentiments in a statement on the Warriors’ social media. “Bill Walton was a legendary player, a hilarious, colorful broadcaster, and most of all, a wonderful person. I fell in love with basketball watching Bill dominate at UCLA. His incredible energy, passion, love, and zest for life was never turned off. Our hearts are broken today as we mourn Bill’s passing and grieve with his family,” Kerr said.

Walton’s NBA career began with the Portland Trail Blazers in 1974, and he later played for the Boston Celtics, ending his career in 1988. He won two NBA championships and was named Finals MVP in 1977 and regular-season MVP in 1978. Walton is survived by his wife, Lori, and their four sons, Adam, Nate, Luke, and Chris.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also shared his condolences in a statement, stating “Bill Walton was truly one of a kind. As a Hall of Fame player, he redefined the center position. His unique all-around skills made him a dominant force at UCLA and led to an NBA regular-season and Finals MVP, two NBA championships, and a spot on the NBA’s 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams. But what I will remember most about him was his zest for life. Bill will be deeply missed by all those who knew and loved him.”

Other NBA stars and legends, including Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, and Metta World Peace, also paid their respects. Johnson called Walton “one of the most skilled centers we’ve ever seen” and reminisced about Walton’s legendary performance in the NCAA Championship. Erving tweeted about his sadness and appreciation for Walton’s love of life and competitive spirit, while World Peace highlighted Walton’s ability to excel in any era of basketball.

Walton’s influence extended far beyond his playing days. After retiring, he enjoyed a successful career as a broadcaster, known for his vibrant personality and insightful commentary. He worked for major networks like CBS, NBC, and ESPN, covering college and NBA games. His contribution to sports broadcasting earned him an Emmy and recognition as one of the top 50 sports broadcasters of all time by the American Sportscasters Association.