bill walton children

Getty Bill Walton with his son, Luke Walton.

The four sons of NBA legend Bill Walton, who died on May 27 at the age of 71, all played college basketball. One of his sons, Luke Walton, played in the NBA and then forged a professional basketball coaching career, according to the NBA. Another son, Nate Walton, ran for governor of California, Stanford Magazine reported.

The NBA announced Walton’s death, saying he died of cancer, surrounded by his family. According to The New York Times, citing the NBA, Walton’s cause of death was colon cancer.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in the NBA’s press release that Walton was survived by his second wife, Lori, and his sons Adam, Nate, Luke, and Chris. The sons are Walton’s children with his ex-wife, Susie Guth Walton. Susie Guth Walton’s Facebook cover photo shows her with her four sons with Bill.

“Of the four sons, Luke is regarded as the best pure athlete–his brothers jokingly dubbed him The East German as a child for his singular pursuit of sports,” Sports Illustrated Vault reported in 2001.


Bill Walton’s Son Luke Walton Played 10 Years for the NBA Before Building a Career as a Professional Basketball Coach

Luke Walton’s Instagram page says he is now “Defensive Assistant Coach” for the Cleveland Cavaliers. In May 2022, the NBA announced that the Cavaliers were hiring Luke Walton as an assistant coach.

“We are very excited to add someone of Luke’s caliber and championship DNA to our coaching staff,” Cavaliers President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman said in a news release at the time. “His on-court experiences as a head coach, assistant coach and player in this league fit seamlessly into J.B.’s existing coaching staff. Luke is someone who truly embraces player development, a team-first mentality, and a history of creating winning basketball habits. We welcome Luke, his wife Bre and the entire Walton family back to Northeast Ohio.”

According to the NBA’s press release, Luke Walton “brings over a decade of coaching experience to Bickerstaff’s staff and was most recently the head coach of the Sacramento Kings for the previous three seasons (2019-2021).”

Luke Walton “was the Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach from 2016 to 2019, improving the team’s win total in each of those seasons. This included consecutive nine-game improvements in his first two seasons with the team (2016-17, 2017-18),” the release says.

The release says that Luke Walton was also an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors. He played for the NBA for 10 years, with his final season being in 2012-13, the release says.

“He finished his career appearing in 564 games (138 starts) with the Lakers and Cavaliers while averaging 4.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 17.2 minutes per contest,” the NBA’s release says. “Walton was the No. 32 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Lakers, where he made seven postseason appearances and was a member of back-to-back NBA Championship teams in 2009 and 2010.” According to the NBA, Walton also played college basketball for the University of Arizona.


Bill Walton’s Son Nate Walton Became a Private Equity Partner After Playing College Basketball for Princeton University

Nate Walton (left). Son of Bill. So much fun to be around. But also a heck of a player. Led our team in every relevant stat my junior year, to win the Ivy League and take us to the NCAA tourney.

Made a killing in oil for Ares.

Walton’s son Nate Walton played college basketball for Princeton University, according to Princeton University Athletics, which reported that he graduated in 2001 and “was part of three Ivy League championships.” However, unlike his brother Luke, he never entered the NBA.

According to Princeton University Athletics, Nate Walton “played professionally in France for one season, got his MBA at Stanford then began working for an investment firm in Los Angeles called Ares Management.” He also ran unsuccessfully for California governor during a recall election while he was a “first-year student at the Graduate School of Business,” according to Stanford Magazine.

“I was about eight years old when we moved to Boston for my dad to play for the Celtics and we were starting to watch a lot of Celtics’ games, they were the champions and Larry Bird was the best player,” Walton told Princeton for the article. “He was my favorite player growing up.”

Nate Walton discussed his college basketball career in depth in the article, saying, “My freshman year I was out of shape and still coming back from an injury, we had a great team. My sophomore year I cracked the rotation for what was probably our best team, we were top-10 in the country that year, 27-1. That was the year we played North Carolina and Vince Carter dunked on me so hard, that was our only loss during the regular season. The first two years was all about being a supporting team member to what was already a great team when I showed up.”

By the time his college basketball years were over, Nate Walton had “270 career assists, which currently ranks 11th all-time in school history on a list that is dominated by guards,” Princeton University Athletics reported.

Nate Walton’s LinkedIn page says he is today “a Partner and Head of Private Equity in the Ares Secondaries Group. He serves as a member of the Ares Private Equity Group’s Corporate Opportunities Investment Committee, the Ares Infrastructure Group’s Climate Infrastructure Partners Investment Committee, the Ares Secondaries Private Equity Investment Committee and the Ares Sports, Media and Entertainment Investment Committee.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that Nate Walton “a private-equity partner at Ares Management, orchestrated one of the most successful shale deals in recent years, expected to net more than a $1 billion within a year.”

The SI Vault reported of Nate, “Nate is a voracious reader and has a free-spiritedness that calls to mind his middle name, White Cloud.”


Adam Walton Was a College Basketball Player Who Is Also Working as a College Coach

At Red Rock in 1978: (left to right) Dad aka
@BKreutzmann, Adam Walton, Me, Bill Walton. Bill Walton was the nicest guy you ever could meet. Feels like the world got a little darker today.

According to the San Diego Mesa Athletics website, Adam Walton is a coach there.

“While this is Adam Walton’s first year of college coaching, his wealth of knowledge pertaining the sport of is vast,” the site says. “With a family legacy that includes the NBA Hall of Fame, as well as NBA coaching, the love of basketball runs through his veins.”

Mesa Athletics described Adam Walton as a “family man” who graduated from Torrey Pines High School in San Diego and then played division I basketball at Louisiana State University and division II basketball at Pomona College and the College of Notre Dame.

Adam Walton is listed as an assistant coach on the school’s website.


Bill Walton’s Son Chris Walton Played Basketball for San Diego State Before Going Into Business

Bill WaltonBill Walton

GettyBill Walton smiles during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game in Cleveland, Ohio.

Chris Walton was a forward for San Diego State, according to ESPN. He played from 2001 through 2005, the site reported. The New York Times reported that Chris Walton was Bill Walton’s youngest son.

Chris Walton’s nickname was “Tuffy,” according to SI Vault, which wrote, “Tuffy, a 6’8″ freshman forward, may be the fourth Walton son to play college basketball, but that doesn’t mean any of the boys were steered toward his father’s calling.”

“Basketball is my life,” Bill Walton told SI Vault. “Nothing says it has to be their lives too. Our main emphasis has always been education and learning how to create a life for yourself.”

Chris Walton is VP of leasing for Westar Associates in Costa Mesa, California, according to his LinkedIn page. Walton posts photos of his family on his Facebook page.

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