NBA commissioner Adam Silver released the following statement on the passing of Paul Westphal, who played 12 NBA seasons from 1972-1984 and lost his life on Saturday after a bout with brain cancer at age 70:
“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 remembered for his generosity, leadership and love for the game, which defined his many years in the NBA. We extend our deepest condolences to Paul’s wife, Cindy, and their family.”
Westphal, a five-time NBA All-Star, played for Boston, Phoenix, Seattle and New York during his career. He later transitioned into coaching for over 30 years, most recently serving as an assistant with the Nets from 2014-16.
In honor of Westphal’s legacy, NBA teams observed a moment of silence before each of the scheduled games on Saturday.
Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- Free agent guard Briante Weber has signed in France with BCM Gravelines, the team announced (Twitter link). Weber spent part of last season in France with Metropolitans 92, holding per-game averages of 12.2 points and 4.6 assists. He has made past NBA stops with the Grizzlies, Heat, Warriors, Hornets and Rockets.
- John Hollinger of The Athletic examines the free agent class of 2021, listing Kawhi Leonard as the consensus best player to potentially reach the open market. Leonard could decline a player option worth $36MM to test free agency next summer.
- Danny Leroux of The Athletic explores the chances of any remaining contract extensions being finalized in 2020/21. Several veteran players are eligible to sign extensions with their teams, including Victor Oladipo (Pacers), Dennis Schroder (Lakers) and Mike Conley (Jazz).