RIP Bill Walton

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RIP Bill Walton

Postby Andrew on Tue May 28, 2024 8:51 pm

2-time NBA champion Bill Walton passes away at 71

Bill Walton, who starred for John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins before becoming a Hall of Famer for his NBA career and one of the biggest stars in basketball broadcasting, died Monday, the league announced on behalf of his family. Walton, who had a prolonged fight with cancer, was 71.

He was the NBA’s MVP in the 1977-78 season, a two-time champion and a member of both the NBA’s 50th anniversary and 75th anniversary teams. That followed a college career in which he was a two-time champion at UCLA and a three-time national player of the year.

An obligatory middle finger to cancer, first and foremost.

Second, what a player! By the time I started watching the NBA, Bill Walton was retired and working as an analyst for the NBA on NBC, but to that point, he was always fun and entertaining in that role. From the time I got into basketball, I loved learning about the history of the NBA, and hearing the stories of players like Walton and seeing the old footage. It's weird to call a Hall of Famer underrated, but due to his injuries and subsequent lower career totals, I do think that some people underrate or overlook Bill Walton, which is a shame as he was a tremendously skilled and smart player. So many prominent figures in the sport have positive stories about him. One of the great players on the court, and great personalities off it, too.

Rest in Peace, Bill Walton. Throw it down, big man.

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