That's Horrible! Injuries Force Bill Walton To Retire From Broadcasting
Walton, in a statement today: "As I return after a grueling multi-year, life-threatening, life-changing ordeal with back problems, it is time to dedicate the rest of my life to service. ... Thanks everybody -- for everything."
For many, Walton was a polarizing play-by-play man. Never one to withhold an opinion, you thought Walton either delivered verbal bon mots filled with liquid genius or that he was "theeeeeeeee worst announcer in the history of the NBA. No, not the NBA, the worrrrrrrrrrrld."
That's where the love-him or hate-him divide came. Because Walton delivered what seemed to be his most profound statements with a combination of hyerpbolic bombast and deadpan seriousness, you couldn't tell if he actually meant what he said or was just saying it to have a blast.
Love him or hate him, you can admire Walton's rise to the top of the broadcast profession. Painfully shy and hampered by a severe stutter when he was growing up, it was quite the testament to his hard work and perseverance that he was forthright and clear enough for people to enjoy ... or to loathe ... as a broadcaster.
Ironically, Walton's second-career comes to a close for the same reason his first career as one of the game's great centers -- and one of the best passing centers in history -- did not reach its potential: injuries.
Strangely enough, the intertubes don't have a lot of quality Walton-esque broadcast clips available. Here are a couple of the better ones.
Um, On Second Thought
"Pau Gasol is the anti-Kwame Brown"
Bill Walton is Appalled