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Bill Walton???!!!???(23 posts)

Bill Walton???!!!???bigdave
Apr 4, 2003 11:42 AM
Yes, the former basketball great turned commentator/loudmoth. He always seemed to be good for a few laughs due to the (often) absurdity of his comments and the way he delivers them.

Well, imagine my suprise -- no, shock -- when I heard him pull out a cycling analogy to describe basketball!!!!! And he even demonstrated some cycling knowledge in the process!

Here it is:

I was driving to work and hit a bit of a traffic snarl. This obnoxious commercial comes onto the AM news station I'm listening to, so I reflexively hit the next preset which happens to be a local sports talk station, which features ESPN Radio during AM and early afternoon.

All of a sudden I hear this guy saying (and I'm paraphrasing, because taking notes and driving isn't a good idea), "like Lance Armstrong, who by the way is one of the greatest cyclists ever. Just a dominant force."

I couldn't believe I was hearing this on ESPN Radio! Then I listened to the voice... jeez, it sounds *just like* Bill Walton, but it can't be because he's not talking about basketball. So I kept listening:

"He's a bit different from other cycling greats like Eddy Merckx in that he focuses all his preparation and energy on one event, the Tour de France. That's what the Lakers are like now... they are just preparing to be ready for the Finals in June."

Sure enough it was Bill Walton. Whoa... using cycling to make a basketball analogy.

Has to be a first!

And, I have to say, my estimation of Bill Walton went up a couple of notches.

"Throw it down, big man!"

--Dave
Luckiest guy in the worldFez
Apr 4, 2003 11:56 AM
For a dimwitted, injury prone guy, he sure has an impressive list of accomplishments. And an amazing amount of good luck.

Great college career, championship w/ Blazers and Celtics, 50 Greatest Player selection. And he played an astonishingly few number of NBA games (due to crazy injuries).

And the NBA lets him do anything and everything these days.

One thing I did like was when he was listing all the injuries to his body and then said he was still better than Vin Baker. I did laugh at that one!
I'm better than @#$@#$% Vin Baker (nm)TJeanloz
Apr 4, 2003 12:11 PM
Wherever he went the teams got better.dzrider
Apr 4, 2003 12:43 PM
Like Robert Horry, Horace Grant, Dennis Johnson his accomplishments are best understood by the effect he has had on his teams. By the way, a big man who is willing and able to score, pass, play post defense, block shots, rebound and run the floor is an incredibly rare and valuable player.
Wherever he went the teams got better.Fez
Apr 4, 2003 1:07 PM
Walton had a lot of losing in his career between the championship Blazer and Celtic teams. I think he had the Clipper curse for part of that time.

Bob Horry was on some great teams (Houston w/ Hakeem). Too bad he's asleep during most of the regular season. And I think Horace Grant argued his ass right off of the Orlando Magic this year.

The point is, a supporting cast is essential, but there are plenty of other guys who can step up and be the Robert Horrys and Grants and Steve Kerrs of championship teams.

Guys like Shaq, on the other hand, are not replaceable.
Even Shaq's done a lot better since Kobe grew up.dzrider
Apr 4, 2003 1:29 PM
I think Walton was an unusually complete big man and in his prime the focal point of his teams. On the Celtics, he didn't even start. He used to get extra credit for being white, but I think he now loses credit 'cause he can be so annoying. The truth is probably somewhere in between the 50 all time best and the luckiest guy in the history of the NBA.
No doubt Walton was goodFez
Apr 4, 2003 4:17 PM
But he just wasn't great for a long period of time.

And true, he didn't start on a very talented and deep Celtics team, but he did win NBA 6th Man Award in the championship year.

LOL on getting credit for being white. Everyone on the Celtics was white (except for The Chief and the Coach) that year. Even DJ looked like a splattering of colors - he was closer to orangish white than black.
Wherever he went the teams got better.reklar
Apr 4, 2003 2:35 PM
No, horry is not replaceable. How many times have you seen that guy hit clutch shots in big games?

Kerr is pretty good at that too, but Horry has to go down
as one of the best all time clutch shooters.
True, but depends on who you ask.Fez
Apr 4, 2003 4:21 PM
Horry is a good clutch shooter. The difference between he and another great clutch man, Reggie Miller, is that Reggie actually earns his paycheck for the first 82 games of the season.

But hey, I could be wrong. Ask Vlade what he thinks. He was quoted in last year's series as saying "that was a lucky shot" when Horry buried the Sacramento Queens at the buzzer.
I think Bill Walton is into cycling.....cdale02
Apr 4, 2003 12:04 PM
I remember seeing a picture of him (I think it was in Greg Lemond's book of cycling.... but I may be mistaken) riding a track bike. (custom made of course) I also remember hearing bits here and there that he is into cycling.

So the Lance Armstrong comment doesn't sound far fetched ot me.
He certainly wastorquer
Apr 4, 2003 1:38 PM
I believe Walton started riding seriously to gain fitness without stressing his feet (which were prone to injuries during his playing days).

He must have enjoyed it, since he became a regular rider at the track (San Diego, maybe?) as well as racking up big miles in the (basketball) off season.

That was also his son playing for Arizona's B-ball team in the NCAA tournament.
I saw him a couple weeks ago.Spoiler
Apr 4, 2003 2:31 PM
On the Friday before Arizona's last home game. I work at the school. As I was riding into the area that I work, there he was, about 100 yards from where I am typing this now, out for a morning walk. He had his head down, so as I approached I said, "Heads up Bill."
He looked up with a scowl and said, "P*ss off you insignificant little worm!" and spit on top of my head.

On air, he retells a story about him getting his bike stolen.
Bill Waltons Cycling book infotdok88
Apr 4, 2003 9:04 PM
Walton, Bill and Rostaing, Bjarne

Bill Walton's Total Book of Bicycling

New York: Bantam Books, 1985. 370 pp. General cycling information
Yep. Used to ride at UCLA, Portland, San Diego. nmBrooks
Apr 4, 2003 2:00 PM
Must have been a popular discussion among the CelticsPsalm 147-10_11
Apr 4, 2003 12:15 PM
I remember listening to a post game interview after a Celtics blow-out loss to the Lakers in the playoffs. I thought it was Danny Ainge, but it might have been Walton who said something along the lines of, "it's only 1 game and it doesn't matter whether we lost by 1 point or 35 points. At least it's not like the Tour de France where we have to start the next stage down by 35 points".

If I recall correctly, Bill wrote a book about cycling in the mid 1980s. I remember seeing his bike once. Man that was huge. Must have been 75cm or something...
yeah, he rides(or rode(?)rufus
Apr 4, 2003 12:55 PM
i don't know if he got into it because of his early hippie background(save the earth; don't pollute; walk or ride, don't drive; etc), but i'm sure as a player he stuck with it just cause his knees were so bad he had no other alternative for aerobic fitness.

all i know was that year his trailblazers won the title, there wasn't a more dominant or better player in the game. when healthy, he could do it all, and there aren't many who can say that.
to learn even more interesting stuff about Bill Walton, go tobill
Apr 4, 2003 1:28 PM
http://www.billwalton.com/dead_honor.html
Throw it down big man!farmerfrank
Apr 4, 2003 1:54 PM
My son and I met Bill Walton at a Kings game at Arco Arena. We usually go early to games so my son can get autographs and Bill was sitting quietly courtside preparing for the game. My son had just broke his arm sparring in Karate and Bill gave him a great lecture of not coming back too early and to take care of your body. My son was greatly moved and made his recovery days from his injury that much better. Granted I don't care for Walton's commentary at games (especially about the Kings) but I think his intentions are good. After we went back to our seats, we saw Walton gingerly struggle up from his seat. All those days of playing ball has taken a toll on his knees and body. He has paid his dues.
Regards,
Frank
re: Bill Walton???!!!???SLB
Apr 4, 2003 2:21 PM
I remember the blazers won the championship at home in 77 and the fans swarmed the floor. walton had apparently ridden his bike to the game that day and in the celebration someone had stolen it. i wonder if it will show up on ebay some day :)
Walton blows, even if he rides a bike...curtybirdychopper
Apr 4, 2003 4:35 PM
I'm from Portland, lived there in '77 (though i was only 4), still follow the jailblazers, but I hate Walton. Course I don't really hate him, but rather his commentary. Sure he is unique, has a slightly different perspective than most other jocks, but at the same time he is pretentious, and his commentary lacks insight. He makes me want to through up with some of the crap he comes up with. This is mainly b/c he tries so hard to sound intelligent, half the stuff he says just comes out wrong. He reads a few books and all of a sudden thinks he's a jeenyus (and i'm sure this is how he'd spell it).

ok, done ranting. have a good weekend all. hope the weather is bikable where ever you live!
Walton blows, even if he rides a bike...reklar
Apr 7, 2003 2:00 AM
He's a bit of a blowhard, i'll admit, but the guy is a total inspiration. I mean all those operations and physical problems and he still has this incredible positive outlook!
I saw his show on ESPN not long ago and he made a speech to a high school team which just blew me away. I think his act as a color guy is great too...it is all in fun and people get the idea that he takes this stuff seriously. I mean, Walton and Steve Snapper Jones went after each other for years on NBC and as far as I know it was all an act.
re: Bill Walton-awesome big mancrosscut
Apr 4, 2003 6:59 PM
Say what you will about his abilities as a commentator these days, but in his college career, he was one of the most dominant players in NCAA history. Following Lew Alcinder (Kareem), is it no wonder why the Bruins won so many titles? Walton was an amazing college player. Period. His pro career was checkered, injury prone, but when he was on his game, he was a major force. I think the most admirable period of his career was the Celtic era. Obviously hobbled by a career full of injuries, he nonetheless played inspirationally.
Some sportswriters think the best college player ever wasFez
Apr 4, 2003 7:30 PM
Christian Laettner. I don't know how many titles he won at Duke (at least 2, I think), but I think the dubious selection of him on the Dream Team and a pretty unspectacular pro career (not anywhere near an NBA Title) make him pretty forgettable these days.

But hey, he did graduate and he is a pretty solid player. Just not spectacular in the pros.