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Celtics great Bill Sharman dies at age 87

10.25.13 at 2:33 pm ET
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Celtics great Bill Sharman has died at age 87, according to the Los Angeles Times. Sharman suffered a stroke last week and died at his home in Redondo Beach, Calif., on Friday, his wife Joyce told the paper.

Sharman played for the Celtics from 1951 to 1961, combining with Bob Cousy to form the backcourt of the franchise’s first four championship teams. Sharman was an NBA All-Star every year from 1953 to 1960, and he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1976. His No. 21 was retired by the Celtics in 1966.

Sharman went on to coach the San Francisco Warriors from 1966 to 1968 and the Los Angeles Lakers from 1971 to 1976. In his first season with the Lakers, he led the team to its first NBA title in Los Angeles. The year before, he led the Utah Stars to an ABA championship.

Sharman was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a coach in 2004, making him one of just three people (along with John Wooden and Lenny Wilkens) to be enshrined as both a player and coach. He is credited with being the first coach to implement morning shootarounds.

Sharman was also a gifted baseball player, having been drafted by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950. He was briefly called up to the majors in 1951 and played in the minors for five seasons before shifting his focus to basketball full-time.

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