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Hall of Famer Bill Sharman passes away at 87 years old

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Former Boston Celtics shooting guard Bill Sharman has passed away at the age of 87 years old. Out of 11 total seasons in the NBA, Sharman spent 10 seasons with the Celtics. He won four NBA championships, was elected to eight All Star games, and was inducted to the Hall of Fame as a player in 1976 and as a coach in 2004.

Ex-Boston Celtics player, Los Angeles Lakers coach Bill Sharman dies
"The Boston Celtics organization was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Bill Sharman today," Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in a statement. "Bill was one of a handful of people that have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame as a player for his exploits on the court and for his guidance in coaching from the sidelines. Bill combined with Bob Cousy to form one of the dominant backcourts of their era winning four championships together. The Celtic family has lost a great friend today."

Not many people can be credited with contributing success to both the Celtics and the Lakers, but Sharman was one of them. After winning four championships with the Celtics, he eventually went on to coach the Los Angeles Lakers. He won a record 33 games in a row during the 1972 regular season and helped the Lakers to their first championship in Los Angeles.

Ex-Boston Celtics player, Los Angeles Lakers coach Bill Sharman dies
"Bill Sharman was, without a doubt, one of the greatest human beings I have ever met and one of my all-time favorite individuals, both as a competitor and as a friend," West said.

"He was the epitome of class and dignity and, I can assure you, we find few men of his character in this world. I extend my deepest sympathy to his wife, Joyce, and his children. We will miss him."

I never got to see Bill Sharman play, but he is clearly one of the best shooters of his time. In 711 career games, Sharman averaged 17.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3 assists. He shot 88.3 percent from the free throw line, and was a 42.6 percent shooter from the field. For his incredible performance on the court, Bill Sharman was named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996.