BOSTON — Bill Walton’s presence was felt prior to Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks.

The Celtics honored the NBA legend, who died last week at age 71 after a long battle with cancer, prior to the contest by wearing special warm-up shirts that had Walton written in tie-dye on the front of it.

The Celtics, who hadn’t played a home game since Walton’s passing, also held a moment of silence in his memory at TD Garden. Walton’s wife, Lori, and their four sons were in attendance for the game as well.

Story continues below advertisement

NBA commissioner Adam Silver also opened his press conference by addressing Walton’s passing and marveled at his impact on the game even after his playing career concluded.

“Right up until this past season, he was working,” Silver said. “He was doing an alternate telecast with us called ‘Throw It Down,’ and even Bill sort of continued to cover the game, couldn’t stop complimenting the current players. I think he saw the staggering ability of these young guys and was constantly complimenting them. Every generation of young player came to know him. And just lastly say he’ll be (missed), and my condolences to Lori and his four boys. It’s a sad moment in the league.”

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Walton finished off his legendary career with the Celtics, playing two seasons with Boston. One of those seasons resulted in an NBA title as he was a pivotal figure off the bench in Boston’s run to a championship in 1986.

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images