Skip to main content

Bill Walton's crazy basketball life

Bill-Walton

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.

LeBron James

LeBron James believes the demand for youth basketball is “too much” and is becoming problematic for various reasons

LeBron James recently said that youth basketball in the U.S. has too many games and not enough time for the players to recover

Aaron Gordon

How Aaron Gordon’s improvements as a scorer have been highlighted by his recent historic stretch of efficient scoring for the Denver Nuggets

Gordon has hit over 60% percent of his shots in ten straight games for gthe Nuggets, which is tied for the second-longest streak on that type over the past 40 years

Mark Cuban & Kemba Walker

Mark Cuban explains the Dallas Mavericks' decision to sign Kemba Walker - “We wanted to add some flexibility to our offense”

Cuban said that he hopes that Walker will help provide more offensive versatility to a Mavericks offense that is struggling to get much production from anyone other than star guard Luka Doncic

Los Angeles Lakers forward A.C. Green

“You only missed 3 games in 15 years?!” — Byron Scott sits down with ironman A.C. Green

It's been two decades but Byron Scott still can't fathom former teammate A.C. Green's iron man streak.

Milwaukee Bucks head coach George Karl and Anthony Mason

“The huddles were the worst” — Ray Allen on chaotic Milwaukee Bucks with George Karl and Anthony Mason

It didn't take long for Ray Allen to realize bringing in Anthony Mason was a terrible idea

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

“I can tell you the truth and it won't sound like false modesty” — Michael Jordan on what made him a special basketball player

Tony Robbins asked MJ what made him the greatest player of all time, and he loved Jordan's answer.