Skip to main content

Bill Walton's crazy basketball life


67 years ago, in La Mesa, California, the best 6th man in NBA history was born. Oh, by the way, he was also an MVP ('78), Finals MVP ('77), and led the Portland Trail Blazers to their only NBA championship in 1977.

His family in La Mesa was the farthest thing from an athletic family. His parents were interested in music, literature, art, and education. Your typical liberal family in California in the 60s. Young Bill was a complete outlier with his passion for basketball. The story about his father driving him to a game describes it best:

When I was in 7th grade, my parents would give up their weekends to drive me to these stupid little basketball games. I was so interested in playing in them, I was sitting there, and I looked over to my dad, and he's driving along. I said: "Dad, one day I'm gonna win the MVP in the NBA and for winning that you get a brand new car. I'm gonna give you that car." My dad looked back at me and said: "What's the NBA??" My dad still has that car. I'm very proud of that.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

His family is one of the reasons Walton was so unorthodox for an NBA player. His "unconventional lifestyle" as it was described, and political activism, his overall appearance - Walton was a flower child who happened to be one of the best big men to ever play in the NBA.

If there is one player I could go back and give full health to, it would be Bill Walton. He spent over nine full seasons injured and in recovery. He had two great years in Portland (1977 and 1978) and a swan dance in Boston, almost a decade later in 1986. Walton came off the bench that year and for 20 minutes per game reminded everyone how he won a championship in Portland with a supporting cast of Mo Lucas, Lionel Hollins, Bobby Gross, Johnny Davis, Dave Twardzik, and Lloyd Neal.

Recognize any of those names? My point exactly.

Jaylen Brown responds to Draymond Green's comments

Jaylen Brown fires back at Draymond Green: "Draymond got a podcast and lost his damn mind"

Draymond Green claimed he knew that the Boston Celtics were already defeated mentally after Jaylen Brown's statements. The Celtics forward had something to say to Green on his Twitter.

Tom Brady to Anthony Edwards - “I know the money is good but you’re playing the wrong sport”

Tom Brady to Anthony Edwards -“I know the money is good but you’re playing the wrong sport”

Edwards responded that since Brady’s friend and teammates Rob Gronkowski retired this offseason, maybe he could help fill his void

Dwyane Wade and Tracy McGrady call Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving the best duo ever

The Internet remains undefeated reacting to Kevin Durant's trade request

To be fair, a good portion of these are actually directed at Kyrie.


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tried mentoring Andrew Bynum by showing him Bill Russell's defensive highlights

Bynum would start to get it, but he wasn't too interested in playing defense, in Kareem's words.

Allen Iverson wearing the iconic 76ers black jersey that the organisation might bring back

Philadelphia 76ers may bring back the black jerseys Allen Iverson made famous

The Philadelphia 76ers’ most popular jerseys in franchise history are arguably the black-themed ones that many associate with no other than Allen Iverson.

Draymond Green explains why the Warriors will win three out of four next championships

Draymond Green believes that the Golden State Warriors will win three of the next four championships

Draymond Green may be confident the Warriors can win more titles but he's also setting the bar extremely high for the organization for the next few years

Kobe Bryant on the first time he went up against Manu Ginobili

"Who's this white boy?" — Kobe Bryant on his first meeting with a San Antonio Spurs legend

Kobe Bryant believes the NBA had to adjust to this legend's unique and unorthodox playstyle.