Jay Bilas: Man, was Expense Walton fun

  • Jay Bilas,

  • College Basketball AnalystMay 27, 2024, 04:55 PM ET Close College basketball expert for ESPN and ESPN Insider
  • Played and coached at Duke
  • Practicing attorney

Heartbroken.That was the frustrating feeling that washed over me when I received the call that Costs Walton had actually passed away at the age of 71. The male who was always bigger than life had actually passed from this one, and he left a legacy of basketball achievement and of a fantastic human. Bill Walton was a distinctive individual who left everyone he was available in contact with sensation unique and among his inner circle. He was a generous, giving soul who constantly put others before himself.As a kid growing up in Southern California, my idol was Bill Walton.Editor’s Picks 1 Related He was, without argument, one of the two greatest players in college basketball history– along with

Kareem Abdul Jabbar, referred to as Lew Alcindor during his college days– and stays so to this day.Walton was the most complete center in the game: scoring, rebounding, obstructing shots, passing, outlet death and running the floor.

No center was as complete, and only Kareem might match Walton’s record as a winner and champion. In three seasons at UCLA playing for the famous John Wooden, Walton’s groups were unbeaten nationwide champions two times, reached the Final Four 3 times and put together an 86-4 record. Walton was a three-time national player of the year and first-team All-American and was acknowledged as the top amateur professional athlete in the nation. I remember my coaches informing me that Walton was the greatest center to play the game. Jay Bilas grew up admiring Expense Walton. Courtesy of Jay Bilas His NBA career was interrupted by injury. However when healthy, Walton was just as dominant as he was at UCLA. In 1976-77, he played in 65 games, leading the Portland Path Blazers to the NBA championship, and he made the All-NBA and All-Defensive teams and was Finals MVP. Injuries would limit his dominance. He completed his profession with the Boston Celtics in 1985-86, helping Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish win the title while being called the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year.Walton not only overcame an injury-plagued pro profession; he got rid of a speech impediment to become one of the most amusing, enjoyable and cherished broadcasters of perpetuity. He was incredibly intelligent, ridiculously funny and fast to poke fun at you and himself.

When all would be enjoyed hear Expense speak about himself and his rich life in the game, he would never ever stop working to ask concerns about you and put the spotlight on others. He was genuinely interested in you. I had the enjoyment– no, the joy– of working with Walton at ESPN. From Maui to Pac-12 games, or the MegaCast of the college football title game(where he was impersonated Uncle Sam ), not just did Costs never disappoint, he always brought a smile to your face, simply thinking of spending quality time with him.I rapidly realized that Walton was a better individual than he was a basketball player– and he was a Naismith Hall of Popularity player. Before we went on the air, if I tried to discuss what we might encounter during a broadcast, Bill would set up among his huge hands and say,”Save it all for the air, Jake.”He enjoyed calling me Jake, pretending to get my name incorrect, and nobody enjoyed it more than I did– that Expense Walton would include me in his wild sense of humor. Bill Walton was a lot more than Jay Bilas ‘associate at ESPN. Thanks To Jay Bilas On one broadcast with Expense and Dave Pasch, Walton was waxing poetic about former Kansas coach Ted Owens when he paused his soliloquy to say,”Jake, you’re too young to know who Ted Owens is!””Of course I understand Ted Owens,”I replied. “He hired

me.”Walton quickly answered back, “For what?! “I nearly fell out of my chair laughing. Get your favorite live sports

, stories and originals with ESPN +, Disney + and Hulu. Update to a Disney Bundle

strategy and start streaming something for everyone today! Walton made whatever fun. Whether he was detailing the history of the saguaro cactus or the magical powers of

the desert, or estimating the Grateful Dead as if it were bible, Walton had to do with delighting in every minute of his presence, and making your presence around him significant and unforgettable.He was a totally free spirit, with capitivating eccentricity. But deep down, he was about finding pleasure in others. Guy, was Expense Walton fun.For his

achievement on the flooring, Walton took an unique location in the game’s history that will never be forgotten. As a pal and associate, Walton had a spirit that was bigger than life. He was a showman. I will constantly like Bill Walton– he was a nationwide treasure, and there will never ever be another like him.Rest in peace, Bill.Love, Jake

Previous Article
Next Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.