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Former Bulls legend Chet Walker passes at 84

In recent news the Chicago Bulls announced via a statement, the passing of long time great Chet Walker on Saturday, June 8.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Chet Walker, a legendary figure in our team’s history,” said the Chicago Bulls.

“An inductee of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Chet left an indelible mark on the court and in the hearts of fans. During his six seasons with the Bulls from 1969 to 1975, the team never missed the playoffs. He was a seven-time NBA All-Star and an inaugural member of the Chicago Bulls Ring of Honor. His skill, dedication and contributions to the game made a lasting impact on the sport of basketball and the city of Chicago.”

The Bulls statement added, “We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and all who were touched by his legacy. Chet Walker will forever be remembered as a true Chicago Bulls icon.”

The former Bull played high school basketball for the Benton Harbor High School boys basketball team according to Walker’s bio. He graduated from Bradley University in 1962 as the school’s all-time leading scorer. The Bradley Braves won the National Invitation Tournament championship in 1957 and 1960. Walker’s speed and agility on the court earned him the nickname “Chet the Jet.”

Walker’s bio states he was drafted by the Syracuse Nationals in the 1962 NBA draft, Walker was named to the NBA’s first All-Rookie Team in 1963. He followed the team to Philadelphia after his rookie season.

A seven-time participant in the NBA All-Star Game, Walker averaged over 19 points and eight rebounds a game for the 1966–67 76ers, who won 68 games and lost just 13 – the best record in NBA history at the time. That Alex Hannum-coached team, which also featured center Wilt Chamberlain, guards Hal Greer and Wali Jones, and sixth man Billy Cunningham, ended the eight-year championship run of the Boston Celtics.

Walker played his final six seasons with the Chicago Bulls, and never averaged less than 19.2 points and 5.0 rebounds a game.

In his 13-year career, Walker scored a total of 18,831 points. The 6-6 forward was an outstanding free-throw shooter, especially in his later years with the Bulls. He led the NBA with an accuracy rate of 85.9 percent in 1970-71, and ranked among the top-10 free-throwers five other times.

Adds Walker’s bio, on February 6, 1972, Walker scored a career-high and then team-record 56 points during a Bulls win over the Cincinnati Royals.

profile image of joseph phillips
Sports Editor at Chicago Crusader Newspaper

Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.

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