Klay Thompson

Klay pays tribute to Bill Walton with touching social media post

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Klay Thompson posted a pair of touching tributes to the late Bill Walton on his Instagram stories Tuesday, honoring the Basketball Hall of Famer and his love of nature.

The Warriors star, who grew up as a Trail Blazers fan in Lake Oswego, just outside of Portland, first posted a photo of Walton, acknowledging Walton's impact on basketball in the region. Then Thompson posted a video of himself on a hike in an ode to the former college and NBA star.

“What's going on everybody,” Thompson said. “In honor of Mr. Walton, the outdoorsman he was, I'm going on a hike today. Got my Kyrie Irving-esque walking stick crucial to outdoor exploring, and it is a wonderful day for it. The whole time I will be thinking of Bill, how much his nature walks meant to him.

“And I want to give my condolences to Luke [Walton] and the rest of the family. Shout-out to the city of Portland, the only MVP in our history is Mr. Walton. So, wish me luck, it's hot out here but it’s beautiful.”

Walton passed away at the age of 71 on Monday from cancer, with many current and former players from around the NBA posting their condolences for the legendary big man.

As one of the greatest college basketball players of all time, Walton led UCLA to two national championships before being selected by the Trail Blazers with the No.1 overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft. While injuries hampered his professional career, Walton won the MVP award in 1978 and led the Trail Blazers to their only NBA title in 1977.

Later on, Walton became an NBA and college basketball broadcaster and was known for his expert basketball knowledge as well as his colorful commentating style.

Walton’s son Luke was an NBA player and coach, including a two-year stint with the Warriors from 2014-2016, where he famously led Golden State to a 39-4 record filling in for Steve Kerr at the start of the 2015-2016 season.

Thompson made sure Tuesday to pay remembrance to Walton in the most fitting way possible: Get outdoors.

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