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L E’s Stories – A Grand Wise Old Sequoia Fell Quietly In The Forest Today – Our Salute To Bill Walton, The Luckiest Guy On Earth And Only Deadhead Basketball Legend Center In The Naismith Hall of Fame & The Collegiate Hall of Fame – Part 2

 

 

 

START OF PART 2 – BILL WALTON’S LIFE AND LEGACY

 

 

In this Part 2 of Bill Walton’s Life and Legacy, we delve heavily into his life after his playing days…..which was as equally impressive as his storied career on the hardwoods…..wherein he continued expanding on his career as a lifelong devoted fan of the music of The Grateful Dead…..while being known at “Deadhead Red” after attending over 1000 live concerts of the historic rock n roll band since the age of 15, right up until his death…..plus, we’ll explore his Hall of Fame career of 19 years as a college and NBA color commentator on PAC 12 and NBA live broadcasts…..for Bill Walton was to basketball color commentary what John Madden was to the NFL….as a wonderful mentor of whatever game that they provided color commentary for…..while having the uncanny ability to make every game that they both called just plain fun to listen too.  And last but far from least, we’ll thoroughly cover Bill Walton’s legendary career as an activist who continually spoke out against many subject matters of national and global significance…..from as far back at the Vietnam War in the early 1960’s until his last days on Earth…..as a significant political and public activist who stood up for what he believed in…..for this man was a sincerely passionate person who expressed his opinions publicly with unwavering commitment to his opinions.  By the time you finish viewing all the videos in Part 2 of Bill Walton’s Life and Legacy…..it will have become obvious what a truly genuine and talented human being that Bill Walton was…..as an unquestionable “One Of A Kind” person that he was…..and yet, he always had time to meet someone new and be able to shine the light on that person in a very short while…..as he rarely spoke of himself or what he had accomplished.                              

 

 

NBA – ESPN SportsCenter With Scott Van Pelt’s Interview Special – “Danny Ainge Reflects On Bill Walton’s Influence Throughout His NBA Career” – 2024 – An ESPN Production Special – “Danny Ainge Joins Scott Van Pelt On SportsCenter To Reflect On The Life And legacy Of His Former Boston Celtics Teammate Bill Walton After the NBA Announced the Two-Time NBA Champion and Hall of Famer Died Of Cancer At The Age of 71.”                                                                                                                                                                               

 

Walton was injured again in the 1986–87 regular season, but returned in time for the 1987 playoffs. He only played in ten games during the season.  Walton spent the 1987–88 season on the Celtics’ injured list…..when he attempted a comeback in February 1990…..but injuries intervened and he retired as a player.  Overall, Walton played 90 total games for the Celtics, shooting 55.1% and averaging 7.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.3 blocks in 18 minutes.                                                                                                                    

 

 

NBA – A CLNS NBA History & Storytelling Special – “1986 NBA 6th Man Of The Year: Bill Walton As Told By Renowned Sports Journalist Bob Ryan” – 2023 – An NBA History & Storytellers On CLNS Production Special – “In This Special Episode, Bob Ryan Delves Into The Inspiring Story of Bill Walton, The 1986 NBA 6th Man oO the Year, Whose Perseverance and Passion For The Game Made Him A Legendary Figure In The Basketball World…..As A Key Component Of The Boston Celtics During Their Dominant Reign In 1986….. When His Contributions Were Instrumental In The Team’s Success.”

 

 

At age 17, just out of high school, in the summer of 1970, Walton was selected to represent the U.S. national basketball team at the 1970 FIBA World Championship. The team, under coach Hal Fisher, failed to win a medal in the tournament, coming in a disappointing fifth place. By far the youngest player on the roster and in the tournament, Walton played minimally in five games, averaging 2.6 points…..then Walton was selected to the 1972 U.S. Olympic basketball team…..but declined to participate…..as some saw it as a political statement given Walton’s opposition to the Vietnam War…..but the most likely reason for his decision was his bad experience at the 1970 World Championships.  In a 2004 interview with ESPN, Walton stated that “for the first time in my life, I was exposed to negative coaching and the berating of players and the foul language and the threatening of people who didn’t perform.”  In the men’s basketball final, the United States controversially lost to the Soviet Union 50–51, finishing in 2nd place. According to Russian sports historian Robert Edelman, “when [the Russians] saw who was and wasn’t on the U.S. team, that’s when they started feeling like they’d actually have a chance. They followed American basketball closely and they knew that no Walton was going to be a big deal.” 1972 U.S. team’s forward James Forbes told ESPN as part of a SportsCentury documentary, “If [Walton] plays, all of this becomes academic.”                                                                                                                                       

 

 

NBA – An ESPN NBA Special – “The Boston Celtics Honor Bill Walton Ahead Of Game 1 Of The 2024 NBA Finals” – 2024 – An ESPN Production Special – “The Boston Celtics Pay Tribute To The Late Bill Walton Before Playing The Dallas Mavericks In Game 1 Of The 2024 NBA Finals.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

 

Coach Jack Ramsay, in 2010, called Walton the best Portland Trail Blazer, “hands down no question”, Ramsay said. “Walton could do everything, he had great timing, complete vision of the floor, had excellent fundamentals and was a great passer, both in outlet passes and in the half court. He loved playing basketball, just loved it, practices, games … especially away games. He loved to win on the opponent’s court. And he had a great head, a very dedicated team player.”  Of Walton’s injuries, Ramsay added, “And that was very frustrating to both of us. To not be able to play was a crushing blow to him. And to me it was frustrating because I finally had a great team and a great player and it was all coming apart.”

 

 

 

NBA – Patreon: Thinking Basketball Greatest Peaks Episode 2 Special – “Bill Walton’s Passing & Defense Was Insane!” – 2021 – A Thinking Basketball Production Special – “This Is The 2nd Episode In A Series On The Greatest Peaks In NBA History Featuring Detailed Scouting Reports And Film Breakdown Of The Best Players In NBA History At Their B…..Along With Analysis Of Their Impact Using Historical Data & Stats To Size Up The Highest Peaking Players Ever.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 

“I’m here to try and make amends for the mistakes and errors of the past”, Walton, said to the press in returning to Portland in 2009. “I regret that I wasn’t a better person. A better player. I regret that I got hurt. I regret the circumstances in which I left the Portland Trail Blazers family. I just wish I could do a lot of things over, but I can’t. So I’m here to apologize, to try and make amends, and to try and start over and make it better.”                                                 

 

 

Talk Shows & NBA – The Dan Patrick Show Podcast With Guest Bill Walton – 2024 – A The Universe Galaxy NBA Production Special – “Bill Walton Explains Two Wilt Chamberlain Stories”

 

 

Said Walton reflecting on his career: “I loved basketball. And I was going to go until I couldn’t go anymore. I had no desire to ever stop playing. I’ve never met anybody who stopped playing voluntarily. I ground my body up. I’ve had 37 (38 now) orthopedic operations. I ground my feet up into dust. I’ve got a new knee. I’ve got a new spine. I’m the lucky one, in that I never thought going through all of it that I would be healthy at the end. And I almost wasn’t. But I’m all better now. I would love to play one more game…..but then I would want to play another one…..and another one…..but I will take one.”                     

 

 

NBA – Special – “In Memoriam: Bill Walton (1952-2024)” – 2024 – An NBA Production Special – “A Larger Than Life Figure On And Off The Court, Hall of Famer Bill Walton Was Truly One Of The Giants Of The Game…..Who Was An Incredibly Skilled Big Man Who Could Shoot And Pass While Helping To Re-Invent The Center Position…..When As A Collegian He Had A Legendary Career At UCLA Where He Was A Two Time NCAA Champion…..Then Entering The NBA, He Led The Portland Trail Blazers To An NBA Title In 1977…..And Captured MVP Honors in 1978…..And After Moving To Boston, He Won 6th-Man of the Year Honors As A Key Member Of The 1986 Celtics Championship Team…..After Which His Post-Playing Career Was Equally As Impressive As He Became One Of The Game’s Most Beloved And Respected Broadcasters….. Where His Enthusiasm And Passion Made Him One Of The Sport’s Great Ambassadors.”                                           

 

Overall, Walton played 468 games in his NBA career…..when he averaged a career double-double of 13.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, with 3.4 assists and 2.2 blocked shots…..while averaging 28 minutes of play per game…..when he shot 52.1% from the floor for his career.  Walton’s injuries and surgeries limited his career…..and counting his 1978–1979 year-long holdout, Walton played in 44% of the regular season games in his 13-year career.  His listed playing height was 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)…..but it has been reported that Walton was actually taller (7 ft 2 in (2.18 m) or more)…..but he doesn’t like being categorized as a seven-footer.                                                                                                                            

 

 

NBA – Career Highlights Special Film – “Bill Waltoon 1974 To 1988 Career Highlights” – 2022 – A Back Rim Basketball Production Special – NCAA Champion, NBA Champion, College Player of the Year, NBA MVP, NBA Finals MVP,, Single Season Rebounds Leader, Single Season Blocks Leader, NBA Sixth Man of the Year …..Bill Walton Checked An Awful Lot Of Boxes.”                                                                                                                             

 

In 2021, to commemorate the NBA’s 75th Anniversary The Athletic ranked their top 75 players of all time, and named Walton as the 64th greatest player in NBA history.                                                                                                                      

 

 

NCAAM & NBA – ESPN Sports Documentary Special – “Bill Walton ESPN SportsCentury: His Life And Career” – 2000 – A SQUADawkins Production Special – “As An Activist, Bill Walton Let The World Know Where He Stood…..While Giving His All On The Basketball Court And A Game That He Loved Playing”          

 

Walton overcame a stuttering problem at age 28 with the help of Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Glickman, after a lengthy conversation between the two at an event…..as he said about his speech issues and subsequent career, “I’m a stutterer. I never spoke to anybody. I lived most of my life by myself. But as soon as I got on the court I was fine. But in life, being so self conscious, red hair, big nose, freckles and goofy, nerdy looking face and can’t talk at all. I was incredibly shy and never said a word. Then, when I was 28 I learned how to speak. It’s become my greatest accomplishment of my life and everybody else’s biggest nightmare.”

 

 

NCAAM Basketball & Talk Shows – The Scott Van Pelt Show On ESPN – With Special Guest Dave Pasch Remembering His NCAAM Basketball PAC 12 Broadcast Partner Bill Walton – 2024 – An NBA On ESPN Production Special – “Bill Walton Stories With Longtime Broadcast Partner Dave Pasch”                                                                           

 

After his retirement as a player, Walton became a basketball color commentator……when Walton worked for CBS in 1990…..NCAA on CBS in 1991…..at NBC from 1990 to 2002…..for the Los Angeles Clippers also from 1990 to 2002…..and then at ABC/ESPN from 2002– to 2009.  After 19 years working in broadcasting, he left ESPN in November 2009, as the result of back problems…..which dated back to an injury he suffered in college at UCLA.  Following surgery on his back, Walton returned to broadcasting as a part-time commentator for the Sacramento Kings for 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons.  In July 2012, ESPN and the Pac-12 Network announced that Walton would return to full-time broadcasting as a game analyst for Pac-12 conference basketball coverage…..when he frequently worked alongside  Dave Pasch while calling Pac-12 games. His commentary has been noted for his frequent use of catchphrases and hyperbole. Walton typically was paired with Steve “Snapper” Jones for national NBA games because he and Jones had a point-counterpoint banter during games.                                                                      

 

 

NBA – ESPN NBA Countdown As Stephen A. Smith, Michael Wilbon, Chris Paul and Bob Myers join Malika Andrews on NBA Countdown To Share Thoughts On The Life and Legacy Of Bill Walton After The NBA Announced The Hall of Famer Died Of Cancer At The Age of 71. – 2024 – An ESPN Production Special – “Bill Walton Will Be Sorely Missed…..As We All Grew Up On NBA on NBC And Mimicked His Famous Lisp…..The World Is A Truly Lesser Place Without Deadhead Red Bill…..For He Was Truly Unique, Brilliant And A Wonderful Human.”                                                                                                                                                                       

 

Walton’s 2003 TV series Bill Walton’s Long Strange Trip aired on ESPN with Walton as subject and star.                                                                                                                   

 

 

Music & NBA – ESPN Bill Walton “What A Long Strange Trip”  Special – “Bill Walton Has Attended Over 1,000 Grateful Dead Concerts” –  2023 – An LBS Adventures Production Special – “Bill Walton Is A Longtime Deadhead After 1st Seeing The Band In 1967 When He Was 15. He Said He Has Seen More Than 1,000 Dead or Dead-Related Shows (Legion of Mary, Jerry Garcia Band, Ratdog and Dead and Co, featuring John Mayer). The Music Has Been An Important Part Of His Life For More Than Five Decades.        

 

While broadcasting a game between the Oregon Ducks and USC Trojans, Walton talked about a speech Bob Dylan gave at MusiCares…..as ESPN had prepared graphics about Dylan’s career highlights.                                                               

 

 

NCAAM Basketball – Pac 12 Game of the Week – Oregon Ducks Vs USC Trojans Broadcast Special – “Bill Walton Rants About Bob Dylan” – 2015 – A Milmore Production Special – “Every Kid And Teenager Has The Privilege To Understand And Appreciate Bob Dylan’s Music…..With Sincerely Thanks For Being A Human Being Who Has Such A Passion For Life, Music And Being So Willing To Share Your Passion With Other People.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 

While broadcasting a Washington–Oregon January 2019 game with Dave Pasch, Walton mentioned he had appeared in the motion picture  Ghostbusters…..which was filmed in 1984…..and Pasch questioned Walton about his claim throughout the game as to the specifics of his appearance and character…..but Walton refused to provide more details…..albeit research validated Walton’s claim.

 

 

Movie Clips – Movie Ending Clip From The Movie Ghostbusters – 1984 – A skyMTV Production Special – “Bill Walton Actually Did Appear In The Movie As Seen In The Background While The Credits Are Rolling With Text David Blewitt, A.C.E.                                                                                                                                                  

 

Walton hosted his own satellite radio show, One More Saturday Night (named after the Dead song of the same name), heard on Sirius Radio’s Jam On and XM Radio’s Grateful Dead channel.

 

 

Music – Bill Walton’s “One More Saturday Night” On Sirius XM’s Grateful Dead Channel” – 2015 – A Bill Walton – Topic Production Special – “Bill Walton Stands Out In The Crowd At The Grateful Dead Farewell Concerts At Soldiers Field In Chicago As Singer Ed Sheeran Finishes His Set”                                                                   

 

In 2001, Walton received an Emmy Award for “Best Live Sports Television Broadcast”.  In 2018, he won the CoSIDA Dick Enberg Award.

 

 

NBA – NBA Legendary Moments Highlights From 1977 NBA Championship Final Game Special – “Bill Walton’s Amazing Play Seals Win In 1977 Championship Game Verses The 76’ers”  – 2019 – An NBA  Production Special – “As Portland Trailblazers Coach Dr. Jack Ramsey Says I Have Never Coached A Better Person…..I Have Never Coached A Better Competitor…..I Have Never Coached A Better Person Than Bill Walton”                                                                                                                                                                                        

 

Walton resided in his hometown of San Diego with his wife Lori Matsuoka (m. 1991).  He and his first wife, Susie, had four sons: Adam, Nathan, Luke, and Chris…..as Walton and Suzie were married in 1979…..and later divorced in 1989.  His son Luke became an NBA player, winning both the 2009 and  2010 NBA Finals with the Lakers…..as these titles made Bill and Luke the 1st NBA father-son pair to have both won multiple NBA championships.  Luke was the head coach of the Lakers from 2016 to 2019…..which was after two years as an assistant for the Golden State Warriors.  In April 2019, Luke Walton was named head coach of the Sacramento Kings.  Luke’s name was after Dad Bill’s friend and former teammate Maurice Lucas. “Maurice was so important in my life and in little Luke’s life”, Walton said. “Whenever there was a big moment for little Luke, big Luke would show up unannounced to make sure it all turned out right.”  Chris Walton played basketball for San Diego State…..and became a real estate executive…..while Nate Walton played basketball at Princeton…..and entered the corporate world and earned his MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business….. and was on the ballot for the 2003 California Recall election…..while receiving 1,697 votes. He has been highly successful in the oil business.  Adam Walton played at Louisiana State University, Pomona College and the College of Notre Dame in Belmont, California…..and is currently a college assistant coach at San Diego Mesa College. Walton’s other brother,  Bruce Walton, played in the National Football League with the Dallas Cowboys from 1973 to 1975…..after being basketball teammates in high school…..as Bill followed Bruce in attending UCLA…..where after, Bruce played in Super Bowl X, making Bill and Bruce the only brothers to play in the Super Bowl and NBA Finals.  Walton’s sister Cathy was a youth swimmer and played some basketball at the University of California.

 

 

NBA – Mini Documentary – “Bill Walton Family Video With Wife Lori Matsuoka And Susan Guth With Their Children” – 2024 – An Agent Of Star Production Special – “Bill Walton’s Family Includes Two Wives And Four Sons (Adam, Nate, Luke & Chris)”                                                                                                                         

 

NBA – Mini Documentary – “Bill Walton’s Four Sons:  Where Are They Now?” – 2024 – An Sunday Roast Production Special – NBA Hall of Famer and Trail Blazer Legend Bill Walton Is Survived By Four Sons….. Nate, Adam, Chris and Luke”                                                                                                                                               

 

Walton’s ankle problems became so severe that he had both his ankles surgically fused…..while his saga of injury and failed rehabs was connected to the use of painkillers by the doctor who was assigned to his case.  Walton has said repeatedly in his broadcasts that he is just as much to blame for taking the medication as the doctor was for giving it to him.  In a June 8, 2010, interview on The Dan Patrick Show, Walton admitted to contemplating suicide for a time due to the constant pain resulting from injuries sustained during his NBA career.  In 2009, Walton underwent an eight-hour spinal-fusion surgery. Two titanium rods and four four-inch bolts were inserted in his back. He could not walk to the hospital. After the successful surgery he was hospitalized for a week, and could not move freely for a year.   Walton was known as a vegetarian and a meditation practitioner.                                        

 

 

NCAAM & NBA & Talk Shows – The Dan Patrick Show On NBC With Guest NCAAM Basketball Analyst Jay Bilas Remembering Bill Walton As A Unique And Wonderful Human Being – 2024 – An NBC Sports Production Special – “College Basketball Analyst Jay Bilas Shares Fond Memories Honoring NBA Hall of Famer And Broadcasting Legend Bill Walton”

 

 

NBA & Talk Shows – The Dan Patrick Show On NBC – With Dan Patrick Expressing How Bill Walton Always Left An Impression That Put A Smile On Your Face – 2024 – An NBC Sports Production Special – “Dan Patrick Offers His Memories Of Bill Walton, A Unique Force And Personality In The Game Of Basketball, And Explains Why He Took A Moment To Reflect On How Walton Would React To His Sadness.”                                    

 

Walton maintained a close lifetime friendship with Coach John Wooden, visiting him often. “Coach Wooden is the most influential person in my life outside of my mom and dad, but when we played for him, he was older than our parents, and we thought our parents were the oldest people on earth”, Walton said. “So the things he taught us made no sense to us. We thought he was nuts, but when you’re hot and when you’re on top and it’s all happening, you never think. We were so young and we had always won. So we had no real idea how fragile everything was. Everything that Coach Wooden told us eventually came true.”  Despite his opposition to Walton’s protest activities, Wooden also one time bailed Walton out of prison after he was arrested during an anti-Vietnam War protest.  On Walton’s desk sits a message to him from Coach Wooden: “To Bill Walton, it’s the things you learn after you know it all that count. John Wooden.”  Walton’s political beliefs were known for being radical.  During his time at UCLA, Walton was active in campus protests…..as he was famously arrested during an anti-Vietnam War protest during his junior year at UCLA…..while  Walton, who spoke at Yippie leader Abbie Hoffman’s memorial service and funeral, acknowledged spending time with Hoffman when he was a fugitive in the late 1970’s.                                               

 

NCAAM Basketball – A UCLA Coach John Wooden Special “John Wooden’s Wisdom On Whether Bill Walton Ever Challenged Him On His Rules” – 2018 – A John Wooden’s Wisdom Production Special – “What An Interview With Such An Intelligent Man And Such A Gentleman Who Was Old School Tough In His Approach…..With A Fair And Open Mind About It All”

 

Walton was a fan of the Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers Band, Neil Young, Phish, and Bob Dylan…..albeit he was particularly attached to the Grateful Dead…..whose concerts he started attending in 1967…..while he was still in high school.  The fact remains that he attended more than 850 Grateful Dead concerts throughout his career…..which included traveling with the band to Egypt for its famous 1978 performance before the Pyramids…..while joining the band on drums…..as Big Red often quotes Grateful Dead lyrics in TV and radio interviews.  To fellow Deadheads, Walton is fondly known as “Grateful Red” and the “Big Red Deadhead” and “World’s Tallest Deadhead”.  In the video for “Touch of Grey”, Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart is wearing a Celtics jacket given to him by Walton.  In 2001, Walton was inducted into The Grateful Dead Hall of Honor Walton wrote the liner notes for the Grateful Dead live albums Dave’s Picks Volume 5 in 2013 and Dave’s Picks Volume 48 in 2023, both of which feature concerts recorded at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion during Walton’s tenure on the university’s basketball team.                                      

 

 

News & NBA – News Report On The Legendary Bill Walton Special – “Grateful Dead ~ Interviews + Bill Walton” – 2023 – An Art Varkington Production Special – “Bill Walton: The Redhead’s Been A Deadhead”      

 

Walton also considered himself a fan and friend of the writer Ken Kesey. In 2015, he made a visit to the Ken Kesey Collection while on a stop at the University of Oregon.  His memoir, Back from the Dead: Searching for the Sound, Shining the Light and Throwing It Down, was released by Simon and Schuster in March 2016…..when it remained on The New York Times  bestseller list for two weeks in April 2016.  Also, Walton, who had a service dog, wrote the foreword to the 2015 book Unconditional Honor: Wounded Warriors and their Dogs by author Cathy Scott.                                                            

 

 

NBA & Music – Grateful Dead + Boston Celtics Documentary – “Bill Walton Talks Jerry Garcia” (Full Program) – 2014 – A Rich Meijer Production Special – “Deadhead Red: A Great Storyteller, Tells The Story About His Friend Of 32 Years Jerry Garcia Of The Grateful Dead With Great Tales About His Friend And The Boston Celtics”                                                                                                                                                                                 

 

Walton had cameo appearances in the films 88 and 1Celtic PrideLittle Nicky and Semi-Pro, and appeared as Sven the Wise in the 2011 Capital One Visigoth SportsNet commercials. He was also mentioned by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the 1980 comedy Airplane! (“Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes!”).  Walton appeared in the 1984 motion picture Ghostbusters.  He lent his voice to video games NBA 2K5 and NBA Shootout 2004.  Walton appeared in the premiere of the 3rd season in the reality TV show Shark Tank on January 20, 2012…..where he helped to sell the “Clean Bottle”, a water bottle that unscrews at both ends for easier cleaning.

 

 

TV Program & NBA – TV’s Shark Tank Product Presentation Special – “Bill Walton Is ‘Bottle Boy For The Clean Bottle Presentation” – 2012 – A CNBC Ambition Production Special – “Bill Walton Explains That He Is A User And Proponent Of The Ecological Impact The Product Will Have”                                                                         

 

On May 27, 2024, Walton died of cancer…..while leaving the world with an impressive lists of accomplishments and records as follows:

NBA

  • 2× NBA champion (1977, 1986)

  • NBA Finals MVP (1977)

  • NBA Most Valuable Player (1978)

  • 2× NBA All-Star (1977, 1978)

  • All-NBA First Team (1978)

  • All-NBA Second Team (1977)

  • 2× NBA All-Defensive First Team (1977, 1978)

  • NBA Sixth Man of the Year (1986)

  • 50 Greatest Players in NBA History

  • NBA 75th Anniversary Team

 

 

NBA – NBA Tall Tale Special – “Bill Walton Tells A Great Larry Bird Story” – 2022 – A Retro NBA Stories Production Special – “In True Bill Walton Eloquence…..He Tells A Wonderful Larry Bird Story…..The John Madden of Basketball”

 

 

College

  • 2× NCAA champion (1972–1973)

  • 2× NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (1972, 1973)

  • 3× Naismith College Player of the Year (1972–1974)

  • 3× USBWA Player of the Year (1972–1974)

  • 3× Adolph Rupp Trophy (1972–1974)

  • 3× Helms Foundation College Player of the Year (1972, 1973, 1974)

  • 3× Sporting News College Player of the Year (1972–1974)

  • 2× AP College Player of the Year (1972, 1973)

  • 3× Consensus first-team All-American (1972–1974)

  • 3× First-team All-Pac-8 (1972–1974)

 

NCAAM Basketball & Broadcasting – ESPN Pac 12 Game of the Week – Colorado Buffalos Vs Arizona Wildcats In Game Special – “Frank Caliendo Impersonates Bill Walton On The Call With Bill Walton And Dave Pausch” – 2024 – An ESPN Production Special – “Just Hearing The Audio, It Is Impossible To Tell Who’s Walton And Who’s Caliendo…..My Goodness, This Is Joy.”

Broadcasting

  • Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association’s award for “Best Television Analyst/Commentator” (1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000)

  • Emmy Award for “Best Live Sports Television Broadcast” (2001)

  • CoSIDA Dick Enberg Award (2018)

Music & NBA – Grateful Dead: Interviews + Bill Walton ~ “The Redhead’s Been A Deadhead” – 2023 – An Art Varkington Production Special – 

Honors

  • No. 32 retired by Portland Trail Blazers.

  • No. 32 retired by UCLA in 1990.

  • Walton was the 1973 recipient of the James E. Sullivan Award.

  • Walton was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 1984.

  • In 1990, Walton was inducted by the San Diego Hall of Champions into the Breitbard Hall of Fame.

  • In 1991, Walton was the recipient of the NBPA Oscar Robertson Leadership Award.

  • Walton was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

  • In 1993, Walton was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame.

  • In 1994, Walton was voted into the Verizon Academic All-American Hall of Fame.

  • Walton was inducted into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.

  • Walton was the inaugural inductee into the Grateful Dead Hall of Honor in 2001.

  • Walton received the NBA Retired Players Association Humanitarian Award in 2002.

  • In 2006, Walton was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

  • In 2009, he was named one of the “top 50 sportscasters of all time” by the American Sportscasters Association.

  • In 2010, Walton was inducted into the California Sports Hall of Fame.

  • A bronze statue of Walton was unveiled at Ski Beach Park in San Diego, California’s Mission Bay in 2016.

  • Walton was inducted into the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Alumni Hall of Fame in 2017.

  • The gymnasium at the Boys and Girls Club in Santee, California, near San Diego, was named in his honor in 2018. The Bill Walton Gymnasium is located inside the 26,000-square-foot Brady Family Clubhouse.

  • Walton was the recipient of the 2024 Naismith Outstanding Contributors to Men’s Basketball Award.

 

TV Ads & NBA – Candid Video Of Bill Walton, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O’Neal, Bill Russell & Kareem Abdul-Jabbar With John Wooden Chatting + Laughing Together On The Set of Shaq’s 1st Television Commercial For Reebok – 1992 – An NBA Cobwebs Production Special – “Wow, The Greatest Centers Of All Time, All In The Same Place…..As Wilt Makes Young Shaq Look Normal Sized…..While Looking Like A Kid Trying To Fit In With His Parents’ Friends”

 

NBA Career Statistics 

Regular season

 

Year

Team

GP

GS

MPG

FG%

3P%

FT%

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

PPG

1974–75

Portland

35

32.9

.513

.686

12.6

4.8

.8

2.7

12.8

1975–76

Portland

51

33.1

.471

.583

13.4

4.3

1.0

1.6

16.1

1976–77†

Portland

65

34.8

.528

.697

14.4*

3.8

1.0

3.2*

18.6

1977–78

Portland

58

33.3

.522

.720

13.2

5.0

1.0

2.5

18.9

1979–80

San Diego

14

24.1

.503

.593

9.0

2.4

.6

2.7

13.9

1982–83

San Diego

33

32

33.3

.528

.556

9.8

3.6

1.0

3.6

14.1

1983–84

San Diego

55

46

26.8

.556

.000

.597

8.7

3.3

.8

1.6

12.1

1984–85

L.A. Clippers

67

37

24.6

.521

.000

.680

9.0

2.3

.7

2.1

10.1

1985–86†

Boston

80

2

19.3

.562

.713

6.8

2.1

.5

1.3

7.6

1986–87

Boston

10

0

11.2

.385

.533

3.1

.9

.1

1.0

2.8

Career

468

117

28.3

.521

.000

.660

10.5

3.4

.8

2.2

13.3

All-Star

1

1

31.0

.429

1.000

10.0

2.0

3.0

2.0

15.0

NBA – NBA Game Of The Week Special Highlight In Los Angeles Lakers Vs Boston Celtics Game – “Celtic’s Bill Walton Blocks Kareem Abdule Jabbar’s Sky Hook Shot…..Which Had Not Been Done Before”

Playoffs

 

Year

Team

GP

GS

MPG

FG%

3P%

FT%

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

PPG

1977†

Portland

19

39.7

.507

.684

15.2

5.5

1.1

3.4

18.2

1978

Portland

2

24.5

.611

.714

11.0

2.0

1.5

1.5

13.5

1986†

Boston

16

0

18.2

.581

.000

.826

6.4

1.7

.4

.8

7.9

1987

Boston

12

0

8.5

.480

.357

2.6

.8

.3

.3

2.4

Career

49

0

24.4

.525

.000

.673

9.1

3.0

.7

1.7

10.8

 

 

NBA – Special NBA Film – “Bill Walton Career Highlights With The Portland Trailblazers + San Diego Clippers + Boston Celtics” – 2021 – A Back Rim Basketball Production Special – “Bill Walton’s NBA Career Highlights”                                                                                                                                                                                      

 

College

 

Year

Team

GP

GS

MPG

FG%

3P%

FT%

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

PPG

1971–72

UCLA

30

.640

.704

15.5

21.1

1972–73

UCLA

30

.650

.569

16.9

20.4

1973–74

UCLA

27

.665

.580

14.7

5.5

19.3

Career

87

.651

.642

15.7

5.5

20.3

 

 

NCAAM Basketball – UCLA Men’s Basketball Special Film – “College Basketball’s Greatest Players:  UCLA Center Bill Walton” – 2010 – An 805Bruin Production Special – “This Film Verifies That Bill Walton’s Collegiate Accomplishments Stand Apart From Any Other College Player.”

 

 

Filmography  Film

Year

Title

Role

Notes

Ref.

1984

Ghostbusters

Uncredited cameo

1995

Forget Paris

Bill Walton (self)

1996

Celtic Pride

Bill Walton (self)

1997

The 6th Man

Bill Walton (self)

 

 

NBA – Boston Celtics Film Special – “Playing With Larry Bird” – 2022 – A Retro NBA Stories Production Special – “Bill Walton Speaks To The Great Pleasure He Had While Playing With Larry Bird….The Greatest Player He Ever Played With!”                                                                                                                                                    

 

Television

Year

Title

Role

Notes

Ref.

1997

The Jeff Foxworthy Show

Lester Ligget

Episode: “Field of Schemes”

 

 

 


Comedy & NBA – Saturday Night Live Weekend Update News:  Featuring Bill Walton On LeBron James And The Lakers – 2023 – A Saturday Night Live Production Special – “Bill Walton (James Austin Johnson) Stops By Weekend Update To Discuss LeBron James And The Los Angeles Lakers’ Playoff Chances.”                            

 

Books

  • Walton, Bill; Wojciechowski, Gene (1994). Nothing but Net: Just give me the ball and get out of the way. New York: Hyperion. 

  • Walton, Bill (2016). Back from the Dead. New York: Simon & Schuster. 

 

 

 NBA & News – CBS 8 San Diego Special Film – “Bill Walton And Sons Play Basketball On Home Court” – 1994 – A CBS 8 San Diego Production Special – “For Almost Twenty Years Bill Walton Did It All On The Basketball Court, From His Great College Days At UCLA To His Championship Years In The NBA…..But It Appears Walton Has Scored A Few Slam Dunks Off The Court As Well…..Namely His 4 Sons As News 8’s Hank Bauer With Photojournalist Charlie Landon Has More On The Walton Family’s Starting Five…..Bill Adam, Luke, Nathan And Christopher”                                                                                                                                              

 

While organizing thoughts to accurately and properly bring this video history of the self-proclaimed “Luckiest Man In The World” to a close…..it becomes obvious that it is a bit more difficult to encapsulate this man’s life…..as these videos herewith so aptly display the vast talent pool and free-spirit that he lived every day of his life…..while not living by the broad-brush of society…..and he did it all through great pain on a daily basis…..as a wonderful example of how God made each person with the same ability to be both joyful…..and the equal ability to be in pain…..and Bill Walton chose joyful.  The video where Coach John Wooden praises Walton’s talent and wisdom as a basketball player says it all….which was said again by his NBA Coach Dr. Jack Ramsey after Big Red had led the Portland Trailblazers to the NBA Title in 1977.  

 

 

NBA – ESPN Special – The NBA Today With Malika Andrews & Mike Breen – 2024 – A Malika Andrews – ESPN Production Special – “Mike Breen Shares A Touching Bill Walton Story That Sums Up Who Bill Walton Really Was”

 

Bill Walton was a living legend and a great role model throughout his entire life from high school until his death…..while always being very kind and was always busy helping others in his Community.  When healthy, he belonged in the discussions about the best to ever play the game of basketball…..while it’s too bad healthy periods didn’t last long throughout his career…..then, when he 1st began broadcasting, many folks weren’t keen on him…..and thought he was trying too hard….. but then his listening world realized he was sincere and authentic…..and he loved the game, while showing his joy of the game throughout his entire 31 year broadcasting career…..as he took us on that joy ride in which he lived life to the fullest….cuz very few people on this Earth have ever had the zest for life that Bill had…..for he was truly a one of a kind joyful human being….. who wasn’t afraid to put himself out there for his beliefs…..as a sunbeam of light who touched all he knew in a special way.  Its not how long you live, but rather how you live and he embraced life in such a positive way.  The truth be known…..it is really tough not to cry watching many of the videos contained in his story herewith…..for Bill Walton was such a thoughtful guy….. and you can only imagine the frustration of trying to battle through injuries with all of that ability wanting to get out.  His junior, senior years at high school he went 64-3…..when during his senior year, he averaged 29 points and 25 rebounds…..as he still holds the all time high school field goal percentage record at 79%.  From high school to UCLA he went on a 142 game win streak…..with a record of 86–4 at UCLA…..while being responsible for the majority of wins in UCLA’s record 88 game win streak…..as a three time winner of NCAA player of the year…..and some how squeezed out a 14 year Hall of Fame career while playing only 40% of the scheduled NBA games each year…..as this man played only 468 games out of a possible 1066 (including 2 full missed seasons)…..and was still a 1st ballot Hall of Famer…..while also being a member of the Official 50 Greatest Basketball Players Of All Time list…..so, that alone should tell you how great of a basketball player he truly was….. especially while watching Walton play in his prime…..which was one of the most sublime experiences of my life…..for if he stayed healthy, he wins 4-5 more titles…..cuz he was the most fundamentally sound athlete we’ve ever seen.  Bill Walton, in his prime and injury free, was unstoppable.  Even with nagging injuries, he was a force and a game-changer…..while his basketball IQ was off the charts and as good as anyone’s.  He is one of the greatest….. and those who think otherwise never saw him play.  “Living Legend” is a term that gets tossed around in the sports world quite often…..but Bill Walton personified what one truly is…..and not just as a ballplayer…..but as a man…..for he had been everywhere, seen everything and is truly a national treasure.  Bill Walton was an incredible basketball player, as technically sound as the best big men ever…..and then he blossomed as a TV personality who said what he thought at all times. My favorite moment came in the Pac12 broadcasts…..when he proudly repeatedly reminded us of “The Conference of Champions!”.  Despite such a decorated playing career, Walton will probably be most remembered, at least by younger generations, as….. how shall we say this?….. the most eccentric commentator to ever grace television screens…..as the Dude was a flat out nut of the most soulful and joyfully stoned variety…..while the actual basketball he was technically there to analyze served as mere background noise for the wandering soliloquies he was always looking to unleash…..and this was from the best NBA center that never was.  Being a sportsphile, what’s amazing to me is that he remembers the losses with such detail…..for that man was a true competitor.  He is among a few who revolutionized the game for the big man.  Let this sink in…..he was only healthy for about 30 minutes during the Playoffs in 1977…..and won a Championship…..along with a League MVP in 1978. Bill Walton played the best game of any college player in an NCAA championship game final, scoring on 21 of 22 field goals and 44 points against Memphis State in 1973…..when he also had 4 “slam dunks” called off because of the goaltending rule in the day…..and otherwise, he would have had 52 points with 25 for 26 from the floor.  Since, we’ve never seen a better game from a college player in a game…..let alone an NCAA title game…..so, suffice to say, Bill came through best when it counted most…..and then he did the same thing during his broadcasting years…..while being extremely intelligent as evidenced while calling an MLB baseball game….for we can’t get over the brilliance of this Walton Special Commentary….. “the offense can’t touch the ball, the defense goes first and there are no time limits. If you ever wanted to tell someone why baseball is maybe the most unique sport on earth, you couldn’t say it any better than that.”…..so, thanks for your contributions to the game and your energy, kindness and enthusiasm in broadcasting…..while never talking down on a player, you did it the right way…..and when it came to music, being in The Grateful Dead  Hall of Fame and a famous Deadhead, Walton was a music lover to his core. To him, music was more than the songs, the melodies, instruments and the concerts at which he was so often the tallest tie-dyed shirt in the house…..but it was depths of messaging with the spiritually shared experience. The religion of it all.  So, as you can see, Bill Walton was a special person in so many ways, that we can sum his life here on Earth as being a brilliantly warm bright light wherever he was…..while leaving where he was a better place than when he came.                                                                                                                                                       

 

Music & NBA – A Grateful Dead Musical Tribute Special – “Dead & Company ‘Fire On The Mountain’ Bill Walton Tribute At The Sphere In Las Vegas, NV – 2024 – A CML’s Moving Picture Videos Production Special – “The Grateful Dead, They’re My Best Friends…..With Their Message Of Hope, Peace, Love, Teamwork, Creativity, Imagination, Celebration, The Dance, The Vision, The Purpose, The Passion And All Of The Things I Believe In Makes Me The Luckiest Deadhead In The World ~ Bill Walton”
 

 

 

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