After a few years on the sidelines, Bill Walton is back in the public eye. With diminished back and joint pain, he's now calling the occasional game for Sacramento Kings broadcasts and generally bringing the same hyperbolic passion for basketball and life that made him a love/hate figure in the booth for NBC and ESPN.
Thursday night, Walton worked with Celtics play-by-play man Michael Gorman on Boston-area coverage of the Celtics' 88-78 win over the Blazers in Portland. And, not surprisingly, he had some hilarious comments. Here they are, as compiled by Paul Flannery for WEEI.com (via TBJ):
He should move to Hawaii, lose a ton of weight and start all over... become a yoga master.
On former Pistons Bill Laimbeer, Rick Mahorn and Dennis Rodman:
They just made those decisions. That they were going to break all the rules of human decency.
Flawless ... like Yosemite Falls coming right through the rim.
Semih's not as good as KG.
On Portland center Joel Pryzbilla:
Pryzbilla does what he does best... violate the rules.
There are more at the WEEI link above if you're so inclined. I'm a huge Walton fan, so these definitely brought the laffs for me. But I also understand if people don't like Walton, because he goes massively overboard on most everything he says and seems to consider a basketball game as an extension of life rather than its own little world.
Whatever your opinion, though, I hope we can agree that his style is preferable to the mediocrities that typically plague NBA broadcasts. Walton takes chances, which is superior to a bunch of poorly considered, uncontroversial statements that don't make you think about the sport and league from a new angle. Even if you don't like Walton, you have to agree that the man is an original. And there are far too few of those around these days.
- Bill Walton