One of the most beloved people on this planet has died.

Legendary basketball player and personality Bill Walton has sadly passed away after a hard-fought battle against cancer. He was just 71 years old.

Walton was a national treasure on and off the court. He will be remembered as one of the greatest college basketball players ever, having won three National Player-of-the-Year awards and two national championships at UCLA. Walton would go on to have a very good career in the NBA that was sadly hampered by injuries. This included two NBA championships, as well as one with the Boston Celtics.

As great as his career was, Walton may be remembered best for his off-the-court antics. See, Walton was known for two things: being an incredibly entertaining TV analyst, and being the most famous "Deadhead" there ever was.

Walton was a huge Grateful Dead fan, having seen nearly 1,000 live shows. He even followed the band to Egypt for their 1978 show at the Pyramids, where he joined the Dead on-stage for a little drumming. Walton has written liner notes for them, has quoted them thousands of times on basketball broadcasts, and spoke openly about how important their music and the surrounding culture meant to him. Heck, he was even known as "Grateful Red" in the Deadhead community.

His incredible fandom was no surprise to anyone, including his teammates, which leads us to one of my favorite Bill Walton stories of all time: the time he got practically the entire Boston Celtics team to fall in-love with the Dead.

Here is Walton talking about it during an interview with singer/songwriter Rich Meijer.

(Poor Danny Ainge. Totally blocked by the better half. Hey, it happens.)

What a great story from Walton. There's nothing like hooking up your boys with quite possibly the greatest seats ever for a rock show. Just the perfect VIP section for the ultimate VIPs. And a huge hat tip to the Dead and their crew for putting this incredible experience together. It's just another incredible great example of how cool that band (and their roadies) was. It was always for the everyone.

Also, the Jerry Garcia quote to Larry Bird is stuff of legend.

"Larry, this is what we do," is just goosebumps city. What a badass.

I highly recommend checking out this entire interview. Walton gets into fine detail of what Dead truly mean to him, and the lasting impact they had.

Bill Walton was one-of-a-kind in the best possible ways. The world needs more Bills.

Standing on the moon with nothing left to do. Lovely view of heaven, but I’d rather be with you.

Rest easy, Bill.

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