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               === Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Sharman dies ===
 
 Los  Angeles, CA  (SportsNetwork.com) -  Hall of  Fame player  and coach  Bill
 Sharman died Friday. He was 87 years old.
 
 Sharman  impacted both of the NBA's signature franchises, as a player with the
 Boston Celtics and as a coach with the Los Angeles Lakers.
 
 The  Los Angeles Times  said Sharman died at his home in Redondo Beach. He had
 suffered a stroke last week.
 
 Sharman  starred as  a player with the  Celtics from 1951-61. He was an eight-
 time  All-Star  and won four  NBA titles with  Celtics after playing his first
 season in 1950-51 with Washington.
 
 Elected  to the Hall of Fame as a player in 1976, Sharman was also inducted as
 a  coach  in 2004.  John Wooden  and Lenny Wilkens  are the  only others to be
 honored in both categories.
 
 Sharman  began  his coaching career  with San Francisco  in 1966 and spent two
 seasons  with the Warriors before moving to the ABA in 1968. He guided Utah to
 a  championship  in 1971, then  returned to the NBA  with the Lakers for their
 historic 1971-72 season.
 
 The Lakers won a professional sports record 33 straight games during Sharman's
 first  season and finished  with a record of 69-13, then won the NBA title for
 the first time in Los Angeles.
 
 "Today  is  a sad day for  anyone who loves  and cares about the Lakers," said
 president  Jeanie Buss in  a statement. "As our head coach, Bill led us to our
 first  championship in Los Angeles, and he was an important contributor to the
 10  championship teams that followed. For the last 34 years, his importance to
 Dr. Buss and our family, and for the last 42 years to the Lakers organization,
 cannot  be measured  in words.  His knowledge  and passion  for the  game were
 unsurpassed,  and the  Lakers and our fans were beneficiaries of that. Despite
 his  greatness as a player, coach and executive, Bill was one of the sweetest,
 nicest and most humble people I've ever known. He was truly one of a kind."
 
 Sharman coached the Lakers for another four seasons, then moved into the front
 office as general manager. He had an overall coaching mark of 333-240 in seven
 NBA seasons and 133-113 during his three-year stint in the ABA.
 
 
 10/25 15:43:42 ET

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