New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS) Basketball icon Paul Westphal has died at the age of 70, National Basketball Association (NBA) has informed.
Westphal enjoyed a 12-year career with the Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, Seattle SuperSonics and New York Knicks. His career was highlighted by an NBA title in 1974 with the Celtics, five All-Star selections and four All-NBA selections (three First-Team).
Over the course of his playing career, Westphal averaged 15.6 points, 4.4 assists and 1.3 steals. In six seasons with the Suns, Westphal averaged 20.6 points and 5.2 assists and his No. 44 was retired by the franchise.
Westphal got into coaching following his playing career, joining the Suns as an assistant in 1988 before taking over as the franchise’s head coach prior to the 1992-93 season. In his first season as head coach, he led the Suns to the 1993 NBA Finals, where they would lose in six games to the Chicago Bulls.
In four years as the Suns’ coach, Westphal compiled a 191-88 record. He also served as head coach for the Seattle SuperSonics and finished his head coaching career by spending three seasons with the Sacramento Kings.
“Westy will not be immortalised for just playing basketball. He will be remembered for how he lived his life, and how he treated others. Rest In Peace, Westy,” tweeted Suns.
Overall, Westphal compiled a 318-279 record in 597 games as an NBA head coach. He was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 2019.