Basketball Hall of Famer Paul Westphal Diagnosed with Brain Cancer

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2020

Inductee Paul Westphal speaks at the Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, in Springfield, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

Basketball Hall of Famer Paul Westphal has been diagnosed with brain cancer.

Sportswriter Mike Lupica announced the news Sunday, writing that Westphal approved the health disclosure.

Mike Lupica @MikeLupica


Westphal was a five-time All-Star and made four All-NBA teams as a player. He averaged 15.6 points and shot 50.4 percent from the field over his 12-year career.

Westphal was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2019.

The 69-year-old was a member of the Boston Celtics' championship-winning squad in 1973-74, but his most successful individual run came with the Phoenix Suns. He sits eighth in franchise history in points (9,564), seventh in assists (2,429) and sixth in steals (753).

Westphal returned to the Suns as an assistant coach for the 1988-89 season. He took over as head coach in 1992 and guided Phoenix to the 1993 NBA Finals, where it lost to the Chicago Bulls in six games.

The Suns won 56 and 59 games, respectively, over the next two years but dropped second-round series to the Houston Rockets, both of which went to seven games.

Westphal made a number of coaching stops following the end of his tenure in Phoenix. He coached the Seattle Supersonics and Sacramento Kings. Most recently, he worked under Lionel Hollins on the Brooklyn Nets for two seasons.

He retired from coaching with a 318-279 overall record.