Basketball Hall of Famer Paul Westphal diagnosed with brain cancer

Basketball Hall of Famer Paul Westphal has been diagnosed with brain cancer, according to his close friend and sports columnist Mike Lupica.

Lupica, a columnist for the New York Daily News and MLB.com who previously worked for ESPN, tweeted Sunday that Westphal has been diagnosed with glioblastoma.

"I've been close friends with Paul Westphal ever since his 1972-73 rookie year with the Boston Celtics and had the pleasure of celebrating his wonderful career with him last September when he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame," Lupica wrote. "With his permission I am letting the basketball world know he has just been diagnosed with brain cancer. Specifically glioblastoma. Please pray for friend, No. 44."

Westphal, 69, won an NBA title with the Celtics in 1974 and reached the Finals with the Phoenix Suns in 1976. He was a five-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA first-team honoree, and his No. 44 is retired by the Suns.

As a coach, he went 318-279 with a trip to the 1993 Finals and two conference semifinals with the Suns. He also coached for the Seattle SuperSonics, Sacramento Kings and Pepperdine.

Westphal most recently served as an assistant coach for the Brooklyn Nets from 2014 to 2016.

He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in September.

According to the Mayo Clinic, glioblastoma is an aggressive form of cancer in the brain or spinal cord that tends to be found most often in older people. It can be difficult to treat.

Information from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski was used in this report.