LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Bill Sharman, a basketball Hall of Famer with strong ties to two of the National Basketball Association's (NBA) marquee clubs - the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers - died on Friday at the age of 87.
The Lakers said Sharman died at his home in Redondo Beach in suburban Los Angeles. He had suffered a stroke last week.
Sharman starred as a player with the Celtics from 1951 to 1961. He was an eight-time All-Star and won four NBA titles with Boston after playing his first season in 1950-1951 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 honoured in both categories.
Sharman began his coaching career with San Francisco in 1966 and spent two seasons with the Warriors before moving to the American Basketball Association in 1968. He guided Utah to a championship in 1971, then returned to the NBA with the Lakers for their historic 1971-1972 season.
The Lakers won 33 straight games, a United States professional sports record, 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.
Sharman coached the Lakers for another four seasons, then moved into the front office as general manager.