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Bill Sharman, NBA legend, dies at 87

The eight-time All-Star has died.
Posted By Caroline Lee   |   Oct. 25, 2013 at 5:30 PM   |   Comments

(UPI) -- Bill Sharman, a former Celtic named to the All-Star team eight times and later coach with the Los Angeles Lakers, has died.

He was 87 years old.

Sharman was one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players of All Time and arguably the greatest shooter of his era. Even now, he ranks in the top free-throw shooters of all time, with a .883 lifetime percentage. For seven straight seasons during his career, he was the top free-throw shooter.

He is also the only man to win championships in three professional leagues: the American Basketball League in 1962, the American Basketball Association in 1971 and the NBA in 1972. He is also one of three men elected twice to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame -- as a player in 1976; as a coach in 2004.

He won several titles as head coach of the Lakers, and after a successful run, took a job in the front office.

When he died, he was at home with his wife Joyce and family in Redondo Beach, Calif.

“Bill Sharman was a great man, and I loved him dearly,” said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

“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. My love and sympathy go to Joyce and Bill’s family.”

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