NBA Hall of Famer Bill Sharman Dies at Age 87

by October 25, 2013

Hall of Fame coach and player Bill Sharman was an All-Star guard for the Boston Celtics in the ’50s, and led the Los Angeles Lakers to a title as a head coach. He passed away on Friday morning after suffering a stroke at the age of 87. Per the LA Times: “Sharman, who suffered a stroke last week, died at his home in Redondo Beach, said his wife, Joyce. Sharman was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1976 and as a coach in 2004, joining John Wooden and Lenny Wilkens as the only men honored in both roles, and in 1996 was selected as one of the 50 greatest players of the NBA’s first 50 years. In the summer of 1971, Jack Kent Cooke hired Sharman to coach the Lakers. Seven times between 1962 and 1970, the Lakers had reached the NBA Finals without winning, losing to the Celtics six times in the championship series. But with Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Gail Goodrich anchoring the team, the Lakers won a staggering 33 consecutive games, a U.S. professional sports record, during the 1971-72 season. They finished the season 69-13 and defeated the New York Knicks in the NBA Finals. Sharman coached the Lakers for four more seasons before becoming general manager then team president and special consultant. […] Originally drafted by the Washington Capitols, he became an eight-time All-Star with the Celtics, averaging 17.8 points a game and winning four titles during an 11-year NBA playing career. As a player, Sharman may be remembered most for his uncanny free throw shooting. He made 88.3% of his free throws, seven times leading the league in free throw percentage.”