BOSTON (WHDH) - The Boston Celtics took to social media Monday to honor basketball legend Bill Walton after his death at the age of 71. 

The NBA announced Walton’s passing early Monday afternoon, saying he died following a prolonged battle with cancer. 

“Bill Walton was one of the most consequential players of his era,” the Celtics said in the first of a series of posts on X. “A Hall of Famer, Most Valuable Player, and two-time NBA Champion, Walton could do it all, possessing great timing, complete vision of the floor, excellent fundamentals, and was of one of the greatest passing big men in league history.”

“He derived great joy from basketball and music, and deeply cherished his moments with teammates and friends,” the Celtics said. 

Regarded as one of the best college players of all time, Walton helped lead the UCLA Bruins to national championships in 1972 and 1973. 

The Portland Trailblazers picked Walton first overall in 1974 and he soon began his NBA career. 

Injuries stunted his career in the following years. But Walton still left a mark on the game, winning a championship in Portland as well as a league MVP award in 1978. 

Walton joined the Celtics in 1985 and won a second NBA title in 1986. 

After his hall of fame career on the court, Walton transitioned to the broadcast booth, where he remained a prominent voice around professional and college games for decades. 

In the hours after his death, the Celtics’ tribute to Walton joined a larger outpouring of memories and memorials from across the basketball world. 

“As a Celtic, Bill overcame years of debilitating injuries, regained his zest for the game, and helped guide the 1986 Boston Celtics championship with both his play and his spirit,” the Celtics said Monday. 

“The Boston Celtics celebrate Bill’s wonderful life and legacy, and send their deepest sympathies to the Walton family,” the Celtics continued. 

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