Hall of Famer Westphal battling brain cancer

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Westphal was a five-time All-Star who won an NBA championship with the Boston Celtics in 1973-74 and was named the Comeback Player of the Year in 1982-83.

Oct 26, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns former head coach Paul Westphal in attendance against the Los Angeles Clippers at Talking Stick Resort Arena.  (photo credit: MARK J. REBILAS-USA TODAY SPORTS)

Oct 26, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns former head coach Paul Westphal in attendance against the Los Angeles Clippers at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

(photo credit: MARK J. REBILAS-USA TODAY SPORTS)

Hall of Fame guard Paul Westphal is battling brain cancer, sports columnist and longtime friend Mike Lupica said Sunday.

The 69-year-old Westphal was diagnosed with glioblastoma.

“With his permission I am letting the basketball world know,” Lupica posted on Twitter. “… Please pray for friend, No. 44.”

Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last September, Westphal was a five-time All-Star who won an NBA championship with the Boston Celtics in 1973-74 and was named the Comeback Player of the Year in 1982-83.

Westphal averaged 15.6 points and 4.4 assists in 823 career games with the Celtics (1972-75), Phoenix Suns (1975-80, 1983-84), Seattle Supersonics (1980-81) and New York Knicks (1981-83). He posted a career-high 25.2 points per game in 1977-78. The Suns retired his No. 44.

Following his retirement, Westphal compiled a 318-279 record as a head coach for parts of 10 seasons with the Suns (1992-96), Sonics (1999-2000) and Sacramento Kings (2009-12). He led Phoenix to a 62-20 regular-season record and an appearance in the NBA Finals in his first season in 1992-93.

Most recently, he worked as an assistant coach with the Brooklyn Nets from 2014-16.

The Mayo Clinic defines glioblastoma as an aggressive cancer that occurs most often in older adults and can be very difficult to treat.

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