NBA Hall of Famer Paul Westphal diagnosed with brain cancer

Chris Cwik
·2-min read
Paul Westphal speaks at event.
Paul Westphal was diagnosed with brain cancer. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

Hall of Fame guard and long-time NBA coach Paul Westphal has been diagnosed with brain cancer, according to Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News.

Lupica revealed the diagnosis in a Twitter post Sunday. Westphal, 69, gave Lupica permission to make the diagnosis public.

Lupica’s full note reads:

“I’ve been close friends with Paul Westphal ever since his 1972-73 rookie year with the Boston Celtics and had the pleasure of celebrating his wonderful career with him last September when he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. With his permission I am letting the basketball world know he has just been diagnosed with brain cancer. Specifically glioblastoma. Please pray for friend, No. 44.”

Paul Westphal made the basketball Hall of Fame in 2019

Westphal had a 12-year career as an NBA player. He was drafted by the Celtics in the first round of the 1972 NBA draft. Westphal spent three seasons with the team, winning a championship with the club. His career took off following a trade to the Phoenix Suns. Westphal’s scoring output doubled his first year in Phoenix. During his second year in Phoenix, Westphal made the All-Star team for the first time. He made the All-Star team in five straight seasons. He also spent time with the Seattle Supersonics and New York Knicks before returning to Phoenix for his final year.

Shortly after his playing career was over, Westphal joined the Suns as an assistant coach. He eventually became the team’s head coach for the 1992-93 season. That year, Westphal led the team to the NBA finals, where they lost to the Chicago Bulls in six games. He coached the Suns for three more seasons before returning to Seattle to coach the Sonics. Westphal also coached the Sacramento Kings for three seasons. He’s put up a 318-279 record — good for a .533 winning percentage — as a coach.

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