How Danny Ainge, Isaiah Thomas, and others around the NBA reacted to former Celtics guard Paul Westphal’s death

"He was one of my all time favorite people I’ve met in this business."

Paul Westphal was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019. Elise Amendola/AP File Photo

Hall of Famer Paul Westphal, who started his playing career and won a championship with the Celtics, died Saturday at age 70.

Westphal blossomed into a star player with the Phoenix Suns, and he had a long coaching career as well.

Many who admired Westphal expressed their condolences and praised him after the news surfaced. Here are some reactions that stand out.

The Celtics said the organization is saddened by the news.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge called him one of his all-time favorite people he’s met in basketball.

Player Isaiah Thomas included a personal story about his first NBA coach.


Reporter Bob Ryan said Westphal was an even better person than he was a player.

Players Dwyane Wade and Jamal Crawford described him as great.

Reporter Mike Lupica shared why he was such a dear friend.

Analyst Jay Bilas noted that he was “a star” and that it’s “such sad news.”

Adam Silver complimented him for his intellect, among other traits.

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