Former Bulls star Chet ‘The Jet’ Walker dies at 84

Hall of Famer and former Bulls forward Chet Walker, known as ‘‘The Jet’’ for his speed, died at 84, the NBA said Saturday.

The Bulls inducted Walker, a seven-time NBA All-Star, into their new Ring of Honor in January. They acquired Walker from the 76ers in 1969, and he became an integral part of those early Bulls team with forward Bob Love and guards Jerry Sloan and Norm Van Lier.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Chet Walker, a legendary figure in our team’s history,” the Bulls said in a statement. “An inductee of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Chet left an indelible mark on the court and in the hearts of fans.

“During his six seasons with the Bulls from 1969 to 1975, the team never missed the playoffs. He was a seven-time NBA All-Star and an inaugural member of the Chicago Bulls Ring of Honor. His skill, dedication and contributions to the game made a lasting impact on the sport of basketball and the city of Chicago.”

In his 13-year career, Walker averaged 18.2 points and 7.1 rebounds. Among those in his 1962 draft class, only John Havlicek had more win shares than Walker.

Walker went to high school in Benton Harbor, Michigan, before attending Bradley, where he averaged 24.4 points and 12.8 rebounds in three seasons.

The Syracuse Nationals chose Walker in the second round (fifth pick, 14th overall) of the 1962 draft, and he followed the team when it moved to Philadelphia to become the 76ers in 1963.

Walker was part of the 1966-67 team that won a then-record 68 games in the regular season and ended the Celtics’ eight-year championship streak. He averaged 19.3 points and 8.1 rebounds that season for a team that also featured future Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain, Hal Greer and Billy Cunningham.

In six seasons with the Bulls, Walker averaged 20.6 points and 6.1 rebounds. He played on Bulls teams that reached the Western Conference finals in back-to-back seasons. The Bulls were swept by the Bucks in 1974 and lost to the Warriors in seven games in 1975.

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