Former Lakers coach and longtime consultant Bill Sharman passed away Friday morning at his Redondo Beach residence after suffering a stroke last Saturday, his wife, Joyce Sharman told the Los Angeles Daily News.

Sharman, 87, had served many roles with the Lakers for the past 23 years, including stints as a head coach, in the front office and as a consultant. He guided the Lakers to their first NBA championship in Los Angeles during his first year as head coach during the 1971-72, overseeing a roster that featured Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain and Gail Goodrich, that compiled an NBA record 33-game winning streak.

"This is a very sad day for me,'' said West, an executive board member of the Golden State Warriors. "Bill Sharman was, without a doubt, one of the greatest human beings I have ever met and one of my all-time favorite individuals, both as a competitor and as a friend. He was the epitome of class and dignity and, I can assure you, we find few men of his character in this world. I extend my deepest sympathy to his wife, Joyce, and his children. We will miss him."

Sharman began his NBA coaching career with the then-San Francisco Warriors in 1966 and spent two seasons with the Warriors.



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