Reaction to the death of Hall of Fame basketball player and longtime NBA and college coach Paul Westphal. He died Saturday at the age of 70:
“There may be just a handful of people who have as much influence and significance on the history of the Phoenix Suns. All he accomplished as a player and as a coach. Off the court, he was a gentleman, a family man, great moral character. He represented the Suns the way you want every player to represent your franchise.” - Jerry Colangelo, former Suns owner, in a statement.
“He led by example. He didn’t change off of the court. It’s just a positive atmosphere that he exudes when he’s around. He always greets you with a pleasant smile. You always feel like you are a part of his clique. He’s somebody we can put on a pedestal.” - Eddie Johnson, retired Suns player, in a statement.
“Paul Westphal was a Hall of Famer and one of the great all-around players of his era. His toughness, skill and intellect made him a key contributor on the Boston Celtics’ 1974 championship team and a perennial All-Star with the Phoenix Suns. … He will be remember for his generosity, leadership and love for the game, which defined his many years in the NBA.” - NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in a statement.
“My prayers and condolences go out to Cindy Westphal and their family on the passing of fellow Hall of Famer Paul. He was not only a great basketball player, but a great person. He will be missed.” - Rick Barry, Hall of Fame player, via Twitter.
“The Sacramento Kings organization is deeply heartbroken to learn of the passing of Paul Westphal. `Westy’ created a storied legacy in the game of basketball as a Hall of Fame player, decorated coach and broadcast analyst. We are extremely grateful that a part of his incredible career was spent in Sacramento with the Kings.” - Sacramento Kings in a statement.
“Paul Westphal. Loved this man. Incredible basketball player. Incredible guy. All my love to his entire family.” - actor Adam Sandler via Twitter.
“I’m so sad to hear that we lost Paul Westphal. I loved watching him play at USC and in Boston and Phoenix! I was blessed to have known him as Coach and as a man of God. He was one of my all time favorite people I’ve met in this business.” - Danny Ainge, Boston Celtics general manager, via Twitter.
“Paul was as nice a person and as caring an individual as you will ever meet.” - USC coach Andy Enfield.
“He had a lot of flash to his game which was really fun. He was a shot maker. They used to have the H-O-R-S-E games on CBS at halftime of the game of the week. Paul was one of the best players in the league participating in that H-O-R-S-E competition because he could use his left hand, he could use his right hand, he had all these spin shots. He was a really fun player to watch.” - Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors coach.
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