Phoenix Suns great Paul Westphal dead at 70; NBA Hall of Famer led team as player and coach

The 2019 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee was 70 years old./Screen shot NBA video

By Duane Rankin | Arizona Republic

Paul Westphal, who led the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals as a player and coach, died Saturday. He had been diagnosed with brain cancer in August.

The 2019 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee was 70 years old.

“Westy will forever be remembered as a prominent Valley sports legend both on and off the court,” said Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver in a statement released by the Suns. “He built an illustrious career as both a player and a coach. His legacy ranks among the most quintessential basketball icons of all time.” 

Born Nov. 30, 1950, in Torrance, Calif., Westphal starred at the University of Southern California where he earned second team All-America honors in 1972. The 1997 USC Hall of Fame inductee was taken 10th overall in the 1972 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics. 

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