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#pounditFriday, July 19, 2024

Celtics begin NBA Finals with awesome gesture for late Bill Walton

Celtics players wearing shirts honoring Bill Walton

The Boston Celtics found a fitting way to honor the late Bill Walton before Game 1 of the 2024 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks.

On Thursday, the Celtics came out onto the floor at TD Garden in Boston, Mass. wearing shirts with Walton’s name in bold printed on the chest. The letters were splashed with a tie-dye design, which was a style Walton was known to wear regularly as a tribute to his favorite band, the Grateful Dead.

Walton, who played for the Celtics for two seasons, died late last month after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer. Walton was a key member of the Celtics’ 1985-86 squad that won the franchise its 16th NBA championship.

Celtics fans in attendance also received commemorative tie-dye Walton pins.

Before tipoff, the Celtics played a tribute video for Walton on the arena jumbotron.

Walton was one of the NBA’s best players in the late ’70s when he emerged as the franchise player for the Portland Trail Blazers. The UCLA alum led the West Coast team to its first title during the 1976-77 season. But injuries prevented Walton from extending his reign atop the league’s superstar hierarchy.

Walton averaged 7.0 points and 6.4 rebounds in his two seasons with the Celtics. He won the Sixth Man of the Year award in his first year with Boston.

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