He was an NBA hall-of-famer who won an NBA title with the Celtics in 1974 and reached the Finals with the Phoenix Suns in 1976.  He was also a five-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA first-team honoree, and his No. 44 is retired by the Suns.  Paul Westphal, now 69 years of age, was recently diagnosed with brain cancer.  A close friend of his wrote this week, “With his permission I am letting the basketball world know he has just been diagnosed with brain cancer. Specifically glioblastoma. Please pray for friend, No. 44.”

Jon Niednagel has been a longtime friend of Bill Westphal, Paul’s brother, since the 1970s.  Paul is a #5 FEIR, while his brother Bill is a #8 BEIL.  Paul has also coached for the Seattle SuperSonics, Sacramento Kings and Pepperdine University, and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in September.  A competitive, talented player (like most #5s), Paul was also his classic, entertaining #5 self as he gave his hall-of-fame speech months ago, cracking jokes and getting roars from the crowd.  To a fellow named ‘Bobby’, Westphal remarked, “I’ve agreed with everything that has been said tonight, except Bobby.  C’mon, really, you thank the referees?  Nobody believed that.”  And then again, as Charles Barkley (#1 FEAR) sat alongside him onstage.  “I really do wish you had come along earlier cause I would have dunked on you and talked trash,” said Paul.  “And if I had, you might have listened to me a little closer and not jacked up so many bad 3s when you played for me.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Westphal family.

Written by: Staff
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