In news that will leave many sports fans with a "Finally!", or "Who cares?" reaction, I am left feeling absolutely devastated. The news I speak of is the retirement of Bill Walton from broadcasting. The longtime NBA color commentator and analyst is stepping away from the job due to injuries(back problems), which also derailed his exceptionally promising career as an NBA player, after being one of the greatest college basketball players... in the history of Western Civilization.
While many people thought much of Walton's commentary during NBA games was asinine, I was always entertained. His voice, trademark sayings, and frequent "anger" at random players and things about the game of basketball never failed to crack me up.
I also think he was greatly misunderstood by many of the people that couldn't stand him as a broadcaster. He was having fun and saying things in jest that weren't taken that way by a great amount of people watching the broadcasts. Some will say, "Well his job was to analyze the game and break it down in a serious manner..." Fine, I get that. But you know what? I dislike about 90% of the analysts and color commentators we have in the sports world these days, and usually disagree with their analysis. It was fun having a character like Walton to listen to.
To give everybody a better idea of the brilliance we won't be hearing any longer during NBA games, I thought this would be the perfect time to show some of my favorite Bill Walton quotes. These are the things my friends and I say pretty much everyday, in the seven-footer's voice of course. It's how we answer phone calls. It's how we spend half of our bar nights talking. It's what we yell out randomly while watching basketball games. It's what makes Bill Walton one of the five people on this planet I'd pick to have dinner with, as I told a friend just in the last few days. It's why I'll miss listening to him so much.
Anyway, here's a bunch of outstanding Bill Walton quotes that I either remember or found all over the Internet. It's possible some of these aren't entirely accurate, but regardless, they're all hilarious and things Bill definitely would say, so enjoy them. Feel free to add any of your own favorite Walton quotes and moments in the comments, and let me know if any of these quotes should be edited. Oh, and make sure to picture them in Walton's voice...
Bill Walton (Unofficial) Quotes
"Throw it down big man... throw it DOWN."
"What IS a foul?"
"How could you let the SHOOTER get the rebound?"
"Dale Davis, pick ONE pivot foot, PLEASE!"
"Mick Jagger is in better shape than far too many NBA players. It's up in the air whether the same can be said of Keith Richards."
"The only man who can stop Cliff Robinson IS Cliff Robinson. The man is unstoppable, even at 38."
"Tracy McGrady is doing things we've never seen from anybody, from any planet."
“Memo to Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker: Couldn’t you wait until at least the All-Star break to have the franchise suffer its worst loss in its storied history? Bill Russell just called looking for an address to send his 11 championship rings back to the Celtics because he is so disappointed.”
“The art of tossing up the jump ball has really declined. These officials need to spend more time practicing in the off-season.”
Walton: "John Stockton is one of the true marvels, not just in basketball , or in America, but in the history of Western Civilization!" Tom Tolbert: "Wow, that's a pretty strong statement. I guess I don't have a good handle on world history." Walton: "Well Tom, that's because you didn't go to UCLA."
"Greg Ostertag is one of the top centers on this planet."
Announcer: "Here's Luke Walton. Bill, you know a little something about him." Walton: "Yeah, he's a 6'8" forward from the University of Arizona."
"If Eric Piatkowski continues playing at this level, he's going to replace Jerry West on the NBA logo."
“Robert Sarver had the vision to somehow acquire Boris Diaw. And when you look at Boris Diaw and what he’s done to this franchise- he’s changed everything. We celebrate his brilliance and when you talk to Boris Diaw you realize what a classical human being he is. It was 201 years ago today, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat, which escorted in the age of Romanticism in music. And when I think of Boris Diaw, I think of Beethoven and the age of the Romantics. This guy has it all.”
“You look at Vladimir Radmanovic, this guy is cut from stone. It's as if Michelangelo were reading and a lightning bolt flashed before him.”
“Yesterday we celebrated Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery of gravity. Today, Fabricio Oberto is defying it.”
Walton: "That has to be a foul." Steve "Snapper" Jones: "Against who?" Walton: "Against the game of basketball."
On Larry Johnson: "What a pathetic performance by this sad human being. This is a disgrace to the game of basketball and to the NBA. He played like a disgrace tonight. And he deserved it."
“Why would the Pacers ever double-team Larry Johnson? He wants to be double-teamed so he can pass. Why is Indiana double-teaming a man who only scores eight points a game?”
“Tonight the Spurs look to extend their lead to 3-0 over the Lakers. This time, however, they will have to do it on the Lakers’ home court. Duncan and Shaq have been magnificent for both teams, but so far the edge has gone to San Antonio. However, the real storyline that awaits us tonight in Los Angeles is whether or not Kobe Bryant will actually throw a pass!”
Walton: "That's a terrible defensive effort by Robert Horry. He didn't even make it difficult for Rasheed Wallace to score." Snapper Jones: "Well, what do you expect? Earlier you said that Wallace could be one of the best players in the game, and now you want Horry to guard him one-on-one?" Walton: "No, I said Rasheed Wallace could be THE best player in the game."
“Come on, that was no foul! It may be a violation of all the basic rules of human decency, but it’s not a foul.”
"Amare Stoudemire: Winner of the genetic lottery!"
"Tractor Traylor is treating this game like a buffet line."
"Eddie Griffin has put up the two worst shots in the history of the Rockets franchise here tonight."
"Save some for later? Balderdash, this is the playoffs!"
Brad Nessler: "And Samaki Walker enters the game." Walton: "So THIS is what it's come to?"
On Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: "His left leg belongs in the Smithsonian."
“Oh my, Kobe is really putting on a show out there. He’s making Ray Allen look like a sixth grader!”
"That has to be the quickest substitution in the history of the NBA."
"But you have to understand, my beard is so nasty. I mean, it's the only beard in the history of Western Civilization that makes Bob Dylan's beard look good."
Snapper Jones: "I think Paul Pierce is the best scorer in Celtics history." Walton: "Uh, have you ever heard of a player named LARRY BIRD?!"
Jon Barry: "Bill, do you think Steve Nash is better than John Stockton was with the pick and roll?" Walton: "That's like asking me to pick which one of my sons I love more."
"If Anthony Johnson ever gets a jumper, who's going to stop him?"
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