When Paul Westphal arrived in Phoenix, Arizona in 1975, he came armed with the lessons he had learned during three seasons coming off the bench for the storied Boston Celtics. One lesson was always be prepared when your number is called. In the seventh game of the 1974 NBA Finals, Westphal scored 12 points, dished out six assists, and hounded perennial All-Star Oscar Robertson from end to end for 31 crucial minutes. In Phoenix, with the Suns, Westphal developed into one of the best all-around guards in the NBA, being named to four consecutive All-Star rosters. In 1977, the ambidextrous slasher earned his first of four straight all-league nods. He averaged better than 20 points per game for five straight seasons, one of the most efficient players in the game. Dynamic, sure-footed, and intelligent, he kept defenders off-balance as he twisted, faked, and weaved his way through traffic for acrobatic shots. In 1976, Westphal and the Suns scrapped and clawed their way to the NBA Finals with hard-fought series wins over the Seattle Supersonics and defending champion Golden State Warriors. Westphal averaged 21 points and 5 assists per game in the playoffs that year.
BornNovember 30, 1950 Torrance, CA
DiedJanuary 02, 2021
Professional CareerBoston Celtics New York Knicks Phoenix Suns Seattle Supersonics