LOS ANGELES Bill Sharman, the Hall of Famer who won NBA titles as a player for the Boston Celtics and a coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, has died. He was 87.
Sharman died Friday at his home in Redondo Beach, the Lakers announced. Sharman had suffered a stroke last week, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Sharman's unique basketball career spanned both sides of the Celtics-Lakers rivalry.
He won four NBA titles during an 11-season career as a shooting guard in Boston. Sharman then spent the past four decades with Los Angeles as a successful coach and front office executive.
Sharman coached the 1971-72 Lakers to a championship with 69 victories and a 33-game winning streak, the longest in pro sports history.
Sharman was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1976 and a coach in 2004.
"Sharman was a great man, and I loved him dearly," said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak in a statement. "From the time I signed with the team as a free agent in 1981 when Bill was General Manager, he's been a mentor, a work collaborator, and most importantly, a friend. He's meant a great deal to the success of the Lakers and to me personally, and he will be missed terribly."
Reaction poured in from around the sports world, including the Dodgers organization, who posted a photo on Twitter of Sharman during his career as an outfielder with the Brooklyn Dodgers minor league team:
Our hearts are heavy with the passing of former Brooklyn Dodger and Los Angeles icon, Bill Sharman: pic.twitter.com/sdPUGlPQ5L— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 25, 2013