The NBA community receives a rather heartbreaking news involving basketball Hall of Famer Paul Westphal.
It came after the 69-year-old Phoenix Suns legend was diagnosed with brain cancer.
Paul Westphal Diagnosed With Aggressive Type of Brain Cancer
Westphal's longtime friend and New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica broke the devastating news on Twitter and mentioned that the NBA icon is suffering from "glioblastoma."
"I've been close friends with Paul Westphal ever since his 1972-73 rookie year with the Boston Celtics and had the pleasure of celebrating his wonderful career with him last September when he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame," Lupica tweeted on Sunday. "With his permission, I am letting the basketball world know he has just been diagnosed with brain cancer. Specifically glioblastoma. Please pray for my friend, No. 44."
pic.twitter.com/5KnGtbNpAM — Mike Lupica (@MikeLupica) August 9, 2020
According to the Mayo Clinic, glioblastoma is an aggressive type of cancer that can affect the brain or spinal cord: It "forms from cells called astrocytes that support nerve cells."
Moreover, the nonprofit academic medical center also cited that the brain cancer can develop at any age but tends to occur more often in older adults. People with glioblastoma may experience symptoms such as " worsening headaches, nausea, vomiting and seizures."
Outpouring Support from The Basketball Community
After news of his brain cancer spread, the Suns expressed their "unwavering support" for the basketball icon and his family.
"We are devastated to hear of his brain cancer diagnosis," the Suns said in their official statement. "Paul has been an iconic cornerstone of the Phoenix Suns franchise for decades, both as an outstanding player and coach. His tenacity on the court and on the bench led the franchise to two NBA Finals appearances and his impact on the Phoenix community extends well beyond the hardwood."
Westphal played for the team from 1975 to 1980 for five seasons and helped the Suns reach their first-ever NBA Finals appearance.
Prior to that, he spent three seasons with the Boston Celtics as the No. 10 overall pick after being drafted in 1972.
Aside from the Suns and Celtics, he also played for Seattle SuperSonics and New York Knicks.
In his basketball career, he received numerous achievements, some of which include being hailed as a five-time NBA All-Star and three-time All-NBA first-team honoree.
The NBA legend ended his 12-year career in 1984 and has his jersey No. 44 retired by the Suns.
After retiring from basketball, he went on to be a coach for the Suns, Sonics and Saramento Kings. He also had a lot of success with Phoenix as a coach, even becoming an All-Star Game head coach in 1992 and 1995.
Furthermore, in 2018, the NBA veteran was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame and was enshrined in Springfield, Massachusetts. Apart from the said achievements, Westphal was also inducted into the Suns' Ring of Honor in 1998.
Hopefully, Paul Westphal will be able to fight through and recover from the cancer. He is a fighter, as he has proven in his NBA career.