Paul Westphal was a professional basketball player and coach. He played and also coached for teams in the National Basketball Association. As a player in the NBA, he became an NBA Champion in 1974 when he played for the Boston Celtics. As a coach, he was named the NBA All-Star Head Coach twice. In 1988, while coaching the men’s basketball team at Grand Canyon University, he led the team to become the NAIA Champions.

Player Profile and Personal Life

Paul Douglas Westphal was born in Torrance, California in the United States on November 30, 1950. He died on January 2, 2021, aged 70 in Scottsdale, Arizona. He stood 193 cm tall and his weight was last listed at 88 kg.

He was married to Cindy Westphal. They had two kids. He suffered from brain cancer, which was diagnosed in August 2020.

Position Shooting Guard
Height / weight 1.93 m / 88 kg
Born 30 Nov 1950
Death 2 Jan 2021 (70 years)
Nationality United States United States
Playing Style Right Handed
Team History
Phoenix Suns Phoenix Suns 1983 - 1984
Seattle SuperSonics Seattle SuperSonics 1980 - 1981
Phoenix Suns Phoenix Suns 1975 - 1980
Boston Celtics Boston Celtics 1972 - 1975

High School and College Career

He attended Aviation High School in Redondo Beach. Later, he committed to playing collegiate basketball at the University of Southern California. While there, he was named the All-American captain in 1972. He played for USC from 1970 to 1972.

Professional Career

He joined the NBA during the 1972 NBA Draft, chosen by the Boston Celtics. He played three seasons with the Celtics and was part of the team that won the 1974 NBA Championship. He was later traded to the Phoenix Suns and was instrumental in helping the team reach their first NBA Finals. He was named an NBA All-Star for the first time in 1977 and he would be named an All-Star for five straight years through to 1981.

He played with the Seattle Supersonics for the 1980-1981 season. Later, he would play for the New York Knicks in the 1982-1983 season. In 1983, he returned to play for Phoenix and was named the 1983 NBA Comeback Player of the Year.

He started his coaching career after he retired from the NBA in 1985 coaching at the then-Southwestern Baptist Bible University, now the Arizona Christian University. His NBA coaching career began in 1988 when he coached for the Suns. He was the assistant coach for the team through to 1992 when he was instated as the head coach. He coached the team through to 1995. At that time, he was named the NBA All-Star Game Head Coach.

From 1998 to 2000, he coached the Seattle Supersonics. After that, he coached for Pepperdine from 2001 to 2006. He later returned to the NBA in an assistant coach position for the Dallas Mavericks. From 2009-2012, he coached the Sacramento Kings, and from 2014 to 2016, he coached the Brooklyn Nets.

Career Highlights

As a Player:

  • 1974 - NBA champion
  • 1977–1981 - NBA All-Star
  • 1977, 1979, 1980 - All-NBA FirstTeam
  • 1978 - All-NBA Second Team
  • 1983 - NBA Comeback Player of theYear
  • No. 44 retired by Phoenix Suns

  • 1971 - Second-team All-American – AP
  • 1972 - Second-team All-American –NABC
  • 1971 - Third-team All-American –NABC
  • 1971, 1972 - Third-team All-American– UPI
  • 1970, 1971 - First-team All-Pac-8
  • 1972 - Second-team All-Pac-8
  • No. 25 retired by USC Trojans

  • 1968 - National high school playerof the year

As a Coach:

  • 1993, 1995 - NBA All-Star Game headcoach
  • 1988 - NAIA champion

Team History:

As a Coach:

  • 1985–1986 - Southwestern BaptistBible
  • 1986–1988 - Grand Canyon
  • 1988–1992 - Phoenix Suns (Assistant)
  • 1992–1995 - Phoenix Suns
  • 1998–2000 - Seattle SuperSonics
  • 2001–2006 - Pepperdine
  • 2007–2008 - Dallas Mavericks(Assistant)
  • 2009–2012 - Sacramento Kings
  • 2014–2016 - Brooklyn Nets(Assistant)

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