RIP Bill Walton

curly2

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Jul 8, 2003
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This is a gut punch. If you've never watched the 30 for 30 on him, you should check it out. It's four parts and it was tredmendous.

Rest in peace, Bill.
 

CreedBratton

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Dec 6, 2009
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Incredibly sad. The best 6th man on the best team ever & probably my fav sports announcer ever. What a passer.
 

Reverend

for king and country
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Jan 20, 2007
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I remember referring to Walton as the best sixth man ever my first year in college and a friend of mine who was a huge basketball fan didn’t believe me at first. As in, the internet wasn’t the thing it is now and he couldn’t process in his memory that Walton was coming off the bench.

Guy sucked the marrow out of life, and always grateful.
 

ThePrideofShiner

Crests prematurely
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Jul 16, 2005
10,958
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The Pac-12 died and Walton went with it. Loved him as a broadcaster and what little I remember him as a player.

Had no idea he was sick, so this was out of left field.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Dec 24, 2002
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Bill Walton always appeared to be enjoying himself and those people need to be celebrated, athlete or not. RIP.
 

Al Zarilla

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Dec 8, 2005
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San Andreas Fault
When I told a friend of mine, a Laker fan, that the Celtics had gotten Walton, he said something like “what the heck, why?” Sure enough, he was great insurance for a title run.

RIP big man.
 

Eric1984

my real name is Ben
SoSH Member
Jun 14, 2001
3,114
Boy this hurts bad. Even though I'm barely old enough to vaguely remember his championship with the Blazers, Bill Walton -- along with Pierce, Dumars, Earvin and Kareem -- were my favorite basketball players of all time. I had no idea he was sick. He was a true American treasure and this is absolutely devastating news.

May the four winds blow you safely home, Bill.
 

Kliq

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Mar 31, 2013
23,344
Wow, a one of a kind player and personality.

Everything about Walton's career up until his foot injuries screamed that he was going to be one of the five best players of all-time. Dominant high school career, legendarily great college career, and then quickly dominated the NBA, emerging as one of the two best players in the league (alongside Kareem) by his third season, leading Portland to a title. The following season he led Portland to a 50-10 start before he got hurt, and his peak was over.

Walton was the perfect center. He had everything you would want in a big man. Incredible size, athleticism, defensive instincts, intelligence, a soft touch around the basket, superb passer, and the ability to rise to the occasion. A supernatural understanding of how to run a team and get the most out of all of his teammates. The kind of leadership and playmaking ability that only Russell, Bird, Magic and Jokic really have proven to possess in terms of doing exactly what his team needed at all times, and the knowledge, skill and athleticism to diagnosis and execute the correct play, at any time.

He's also a legendary commentator, for better or for worse. ESPN ended up putting him on late-night PAC-12 basketball games which was perfect, as his vibes were a great match for late-night basketball. Anything was on the table when he was on commentary, he could be talking about pick and roll action one minute, and then rambling about Russian literature on the next possession.

I was recently watching a playoff game between Portland and Dallas from 20 years ago, and Walton was on commentary. Walton was disgusted in the weak performances being put forward by Rasheed Wallace, Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Finley, but he LOVED the performance by an ancient Arvydas Sabonis, who was still able to influence the game with his passing and soft-touch around the basket despite being perhaps the slowest player in NBA history. At one point he started lecturing the third man in the booth (another former player, not sure who it was) about how great Sabonis once was, and getting mad that the other player wasn't showing enough awe and appreciation for Sabonis.
 

twibnotes

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Jul 16, 2005
20,597
Loved Walton and so loved watching him talk fondly about his celts years.

He had one of the best interview lines ever: “they forgot about Larry bird” (huge smile on his face as he said it)
 

radsoxfan

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Aug 9, 2009
14,134
Loved everything about Walton, what a loss.

Never understood the people that complained about his announcing. Yeah he would ramble on tangents and was unique, but he was also so knowledgeable and entertaining compared to some average PBP guy. Plus it was mostly late night pac 12 games anyway.
 

Ferm Sheller

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Mar 5, 2007
21,510
Wow, a one of a kind player and personality.

Everything about Walton's career up until his foot injuries screamed that he was going to be one of the five best players of all-time. Dominant high school career, legendarily great college career, and then quickly dominated the NBA, emerging as one of the two best players in the league (alongside Kareem) by his third season, leading Portland to a title. The following season he led Portland to a 50-10 start before he got hurt, and his peak was over.

Walton was the perfect center. He had everything you would want in a big man. Incredible size, athleticism, defensive instincts, intelligence, a soft touch around the basket, superb passer, and the ability to rise to the occasion. A supernatural understanding of how to run a team and get the most out of all of his teammates. The kind of leadership and playmaking ability that only Russell, Bird, Magic and Jokic really have proven to possess in terms of doing exactly what his team needed at all times, and the knowledge, skill and athleticism to diagnosis and execute the correct play, at any time.

He's also a legendary commentator, for better or for worse. ESPN ended up putting him on late-night PAC-12 basketball games which was perfect, as his vibes were a great match for late-night basketball. Anything was on the table when he was on commentary, he could be talking about pick and roll action one minute, and then rambling about Russian literature on the next possession.

I was recently watching a playoff game between Portland and Dallas from 20 years ago, and Walton was on commentary. Walton was disgusted in the weak performances being put forward by Rasheed Wallace, Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Finley, but he LOVED the performance by an ancient Arvydas Sabonis, who was still able to influence the game with his passing and soft-touch around the basket despite being perhaps the slowest player in NBA history. At one point he started lecturing the third man in the booth (another former player, not sure who it was) about how great Sabonis once was, and getting mad that the other player wasn't showing enough awe and appreciation for Sabonis.
The pick Boston traded to LAC along with Cedric Maxwell was used to select Sabonis.
 

Foxy42

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Mar 1, 2002
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Sat in the stands near Walton about 25 years ago. During every break in play he shook hands and signed anything out in front of him. Jovial, warm and authentic. So great when one of your sports heroes exceeds all expectations when you are lucky enough to see them away from the cameras.
 

RoDaddy

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Jun 19, 2002
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This is a gut punch. If you've never watched the 30 for 30 on him, you should check it out. It's four parts and it was tredmendous.

Rest in peace, Bill.
Yeah, the 30 for 30 on him was great! Stuff like watching never before seen clips of that amazing '86 team practicing and laughing, and he and Bird arguing over which was the best white player ever.

Still remember watching his incredible 21 for 22/13 rebound/7 block performance in the college championship game in 1973, once and maybe still considered the greatest NCAA bball perfomance ever.

On a persoannl note, my wonderful and beautiful late wife told me he tried to pick her up at I believe the Watertown Mall back in the day. All good as when she explained her love and marriage to me, he end up giving her a picture of him with a personalized autograph message to me

Still the greatest all round center ever?
 

E5 Yaz

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Apr 25, 2002
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I think KAJ is a close second followed by Laettner and Danny Manning. The 21of 22 title game performance separates Bill IMO.
Look at Kareem's college career and it overwhelms a one-game performance.
Debate for another time, though.
Walton was great, and it sucks that he's gone
 

bsj

Renegade Crazed Genius
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Dec 6, 2003
22,832
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Wow. I know he had health problems but am kind of stunned. RIP and yeah, win it for Bill.
I watched a LOT of Pac 12 broadcasts since my son goes to Arizona. Loved his infectious pride every time he said "conference of champions". Sad that the conference collapsed before he died.
 

SDSox5

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Jul 18, 2005
49
San Diego, CA
I got to hang out in Bill Walton's house for a few hours one day while he wasn't there.

It remains one of the most incredible experiences of my life. He has a huge tipi in his back yard. He has full rooms of bongo drums. His dining room table is some giant intricately carved Grateful Dead thing? He has pictures in his bathroom of him with Michael Jackson on one wall and then with Michael Jordan on the other. Framed ticket stubs from every concert and athletic event you could imagine.

It is a museum to a man who lived one of the most awesome lives ever. I will never forget it.
 

mauidano

Mai Tais for everyone!
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Aug 21, 2006
36,510
Maui
We crossed paths many times here on Maui. He was equally engaging in person and loved being Bill Walton. What an incredible life lived.
 

Ale Xander

Hamilton
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
76,137
Aww fuck no
Fuck no
Fuck cancer
Just 71
That man loved life and loved the planet and loved people
Fuck no

this is hitting me hard
 

bosockboy

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Jul 15, 2005
20,901
St. Louis, MO
Yeah, the 30 for 30 on him was great! Stuff like watching never before seen clips of that amazing '86 team practicing and laughing, and he and Bird arguing over which was the best white player ever.

Still remember watching his incredible 21 for 22/13 rebound/7 block performance in the college championship game in 1973, once and maybe still considered the greatest NCAA bball perfomance ever.

On a persoannl note, my wonderful and beautiful late wife told me he tried to pick her up at I believe the Watertown Mall back in the day. All good as when she explained her love and marriage to me, he end up giving her a picture of him with a personalized autograph message to me

Still the greatest all round center ever?
With foul trouble throughout.
 

BigSoxFan

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May 31, 2007
47,858
We crossed paths many times here on Maui. He was equally engaging in person and loved being Bill Walton. What an incredible life lived.
What part of the Island did he live on? My parents are in Maui and I never knew Walton was there!
 

Marbleheader

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Sep 27, 2004
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Amazing player and seemed like an amazing guy as well. Lived a very full life. Hopefully he's enjoying a reunion with Jerry Garcia.
 

canderson

Mr. Brightside
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Jul 16, 2005
40,173
Harrisburg, Pa.
He understandably couldn’t live without his beloved conference of champions.

Without injuries, he’d be considered s top NBA GOAT imo.
 
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Coachster

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Jul 3, 2009
9,105
Maine
He was two years ahead of me at UCLA. You'd see him around campus, which was cool. More importantly, UCLA Basketball was so much fun to watch when he was there. His senior year; Jamaal Wilkes, Marques Johnson as a freshman. I saw a lot of games.

Cancer does suck.
 

bankshot1

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Feb 12, 2003
25,217
where I was last at
Fuck no!

Yesterday there was a reference to ally oop hoops in the NBA telecast and it brought to mind the first guy who I remember using it. Walton in the NCAA tourney so I watched his hi-lites of 44 point game against Memphis St. Where he was unstoppable low post.

YESTERDAY!

What a brilliant game and brilliant player.

And only fucking bad wheels stopped him from a long brilliant career and perhaps GOAT center status.

He did everything.

RIP Big Red
 

snowmanny

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Dec 8, 2005
16,143
When I told a friend of mine, a Laker fan, that the Celtics had gotten Walton, he said something like “what the heck, why?” Sure enough, he was great insurance for a title run.

RIP big man.
When the Lakers came to Boston in January for their first meeting with the Celtics that season they actually had a better record than Boston. 32-7 vs 30-8. Walton played 16 minutes: 11 points, 8 rebounds, 7 blocks, 1 steal. Celts by 15