Paul Douglas Westphal was born on November 30, 1950 in Torrance, California. He was the son of a World War II veteran and a homemaker. Westphal attended Aviation High School in Redondo Beach, California, where he was a standout basketball player. He was named to the All-CIF Southern Section team in 1968 and was also named the CIF Player of the Year. After high school, Westphal attended the University of Southern California, where he was a four-year starter for the Trojans. He was named to the All-Pac-8 team three times and was a two-time All-American.
Westphal was selected by the Boston Celtics with the 10th overall pick in the 1972 NBA Draft. He was a key member of the Celtics' 1974 and 1976 championship teams. He was also named to the All-Star team five times during his career. After his time with the Celtics, Westphal played for the Phoenix Suns, Seattle SuperSonics, and New York Knicks. He was named the NBA Coach of the Year in 1993 after leading the Suns to the NBA Finals.
After retiring from playing, Westphal began his coaching career as an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings in 1992. He was then named the head coach of the Suns in 1992 and led the team to the NBA Finals in 1993. He was then hired as the head coach of the SuperSonics in 1998 and led the team to the playoffs in 1999. Westphal then returned to the Suns as an assistant coach in 2000 and was promoted to head coach in 2002. He was then hired as the head coach of the Kings in 2006 and led the team to the playoffs in 2007. Westphal was then hired as an assistant coach with the Knicks in 2008 and was promoted to head coach in 2009. He was then hired as an assistant coach with the Clippers in 2011 and was promoted to head coach in 2012.
Westphal is widely regarded as one of the greatest players and coaches in NBA history. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019. He is also a member of the USC Athletic Hall of Fame and the Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor. Westphal is remembered for his tenacity and leadership on the court and his ability to get the most out of his players. He is also remembered for his innovative offensive schemes and his ability to develop young talent.Date modified: Apr 9, 2023
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