HoopsHype Greg Willard rumors

April 2, 2013 Updates

Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle offered his condolences after former NBA referee Greg Willard died Monday night at the age of 54 because of pancreatic cancer. “We’ve all known about Greg Willard’s situation for many months,’’ Carlisle said after Tuesday’s shoot around at Loyola Marymount University. “We followed the situation closely and we’re all very sadden that he’s passed. “The hope is that this will bring more attention to one of the most aggressive and under-screened diseases that we have.’’ Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Roger Mason: RIP to @nba referee Greg Willard. Prayers out to his family and friends. #nbafamily Twitter @MoneyMase

LeBron James: RIP to one of our NBA refs Greg Willard due to cancer! Prayers goes out to his family and friends #NBAFamily Twitter @KingJames

Saw referee Bill Spooner in Detroit last Friday for the first time in a long time and when we were catching up before the game, he mentioned that former ref Greg Willard was having a terrible time fighting pancreatic cancer that hit him last year. I got to know Greg just a little bit over the years in various Marriott concierge lounges and he was a very nice man and a fine referee. That’s what made it hard last night when I got news that he’d passed away; six months younger than I am and a terrible, terrible loss. Toronto Star

November 14, 2012 Updates
October 21, 2012 Updates
October 17, 2012 Updates

Longtime referee Greg Willard, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June, had just taken the court and officiated the game even as his body showed the ravages of the pernicious disease. The Lakers had already sent the game ball to the referees' locker room. Several had shook Willard's hand after the game. Bryant stopped by for a visit on his way out. "He's an extremely good ref," Bryant said of Willard, 53. "He doesn't hold grudges. He just makes the call in front of him. "Honestly, tonight I wanted him to T me up for old time's sake. I didn't want him to have any kind of special night. I wanted it to be just like it's always been. I wanted to drop a couple F-bombs to him. "I wanted it to be like how it's always been. That's the best way. " ESPN.com

September 28, 2012 Updates

The officiating roster stands at 62, including one surprise: Greg Willard, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last June, attended referee camp and said he plans to work as many games as he could this coming season, even as he undergoes treatment. The league plans to accommodate him. Willard, 53, is one of the league’s best referees, working the N.B.A. finals every year since 2009. He was scheduled to work the finals last June but had to withdraw when he learned of his illness. New York Times

June 12, 2012 Updates
June 11, 2012 Updates

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