It was announced this morning that basketball Hall of Famer and former Sonic player and coach Paul Westphal has been diagnosed with a very aggressive form of brain cancer.
Westphal played the 1980-81 season with the Sonics. He was traded from Boston to Seattle in exchange for Dennis Johnson. He averaged 16.7 points, four assists, and a steal in his only season in Seattle. He signed with the Knicks in the summer of 1981.
Fourteen years later Westphal would come back to Seattle, but as a coach this time. He guided the Sonics to a 25-25 record in the strike shortened 98-99 season, then taking the Sonics to the playoffs the following year with a record of 45-37. They lost in five games to the Utah Jazz in the first round.
The following season the Sonics were off from the start and Westphal was fired after going 6-9.
According to the Mayo Clinic website, Glioblastoma is an aggressive type of cancer that can occur in the brain or spinal cord. Glioblastoma forms from cells called astrocytes that support nerve cells. Glioblastoma can occur at any age, but tends to occur more often in older adults. It can cause worsening headaches, nausea, vomiting and seizures.
We wish Coach Westphal the best through this hard battle that lays ahead of him.