Paul Westphal, NBA Hall of Fame Player Dies at 70

He grew up in Southern California and played college basketball at USC before being selected 10th overall by the Boston Celtics in the 1972 draft.

Westphal won an NBA title with the Celtics in 1974 in his second season, playing a key role off the bench. But his career really took off when he was traded to Phoenix, where his scoring average more than doubled — to 20.5 per game — as he helped lead the Suns to their first NBA Finals appearance in 1976.

“Westy will forever be remembered as a prominent Valley sports legend both on and off the court,” Suns managing partner Robert Sarver said in a statement Saturday. “He built an illustrious career as both a player and a coach. His legacy ranks among the most quintessential basketball icons of all time.

ESPN

Denver Broncos Hall of Fame RB Floyd Little Dies at 78

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Pro Football Hall of Famer Floyd Little, known as “The Franchise” in his career with the Denver Broncos, died on New Year’s Day. He was 78.

Little was called “The Franchise” because his signing, when players could choose between the NFL and AFL, was credited with keeping the team from relocating in the 1960s and with helping to convince local voters to approve funds to build Mile High Stadium.

Little, who was the sixth pick of the 1967 AFL-NFL draft by the Broncos, played nine seasons with Denver and rushed for 6,323 yards with 43 touchdowns. Those early years of the Broncos’ franchise — one of the original AFL teams in 1960 — were usually a struggle on the field as Little starred for teams that didn’t make the playoffs.

ESPN

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