What follows are reactions to the death of Hall of Fame basketball player and longtime NBA and college coach Paul Westphal, who died Saturday at the age of 70:
“There may be just a handful of people who have as much influence and significance on the history of the Phoenix Suns. All he accomplished as a player and as a coach. Off the court, he was a gentleman, a family man, great moral character. He represented the Suns the way you want every player to represent your franchise.” — Jerry Colangelo, former Suns’ owner, in a statement.
“He led by example. He didn’t change off of the court. It’s just a positive atmosphere that he exudes when he’s around. He always greets you with a pleasant smile. You always feel like you are a part of his clique. He’s somebody we can put on a pedestal.” — Eddie Johnson, retired Suns player, in a statement.
I’m so sad to hear that we lost Paul Westphal. I loved watching him play at USC and in Boston and Phoenix! I was blessed to have known him as Coach and as a man of God. He was one of my all time favorite people I’ve met in this business🙏🏼God bless Cindy and her family❤️#RIP #44
— Danny Ainge (@danielrainge) January 2, 2021
“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.” — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in a statement.
“My prayers and condolences go out to Cindy Westphal and their family on the passing of fellow Hall of Famer Paul. He was not only a great basketball player, but a great person. He will be missed.” — Rick Barry, Hall of Fame player, via Twitter.
In Memoriam: Paul Westphal (1950-2021) pic.twitter.com/PWDsqQRfu4
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) January 3, 2021
“The Sacramento Kings organization is deeply heartbroken to learn of the passing of Paul Westphal. `Westy’ created a storied legacy in the game of basketball as a Hall of Fame player, decorated coach and broadcast analyst. We are extremely grateful that a part of his incredible career was spent in Sacramento with the Kings.” — Sacramento Kings in a statement.
“Paul Westphal. Loved this man. Incredible basketball player. Incredible guy. All my love to his entire family.” — actor Adam Sandler via Twitter.
“Paul was as nice a person and as caring an individual as you will ever meet.” — USC coach Andy Enfield.
Rest in heaven my dear friend and Naismith Basketball Hall Of Famer Paul Westphal. My deepest condolences to his wife Cindy, his family, and all of the players he’s impacted over the years. pic.twitter.com/WvnjTxUH1W
— Spencer Haywood (@SpencerHaywood) January 3, 2021
“He had a lot of flash to his game, which was really fun. He was a shot maker. They used to have the H-O-R-S-E games on CBS at halftime of the game of the week. Paul was one of the best players in the league participating in that H-O-R-S-E competition because he could use his left hand, he could use his right hand, he had all these spin shots. He was a really fun player to watch.” — Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors coach.