Current ESPN broadcaster Bill Walton took some time out of his busy week to give me a phone exclusive this week. The video of the Q&A is at the end. Walton, the Hall of Famer and one of the players in league history, was joined by his son, former NBA player Luke Walton.
Together, they are the third father-son duo to win NBA championships. Bill Walton is such a big icon of the game that even his Twitter parody account, @NotBillWalton is an internet star in his own right.
The real Bill Walton, The Big Red is one of the most colorful and controversial commentators in basketball history.
During the call I asked the Waltons about that famous 2001 Elite 8 game between Illinois and Arizona. What is like to have a father call a NCAA Tournament game that his son was playing in. I also asked them about the NBA All-Star game, the Chicago Bulls, Tom Thibodeau and Joakim Noah.
Also got some good stuff about Chris Collins and the job he’s doing at Northwestern. Of course, getting this interview has a trade-off, apparently commercials are now embedded within media availability these days.
That’s where we’re at, product placement in press conferences. Remember Peyton Manning telling the media he “wanted to have a Bud Light?”
However, it’s still Bill Walton, and there’s still some good stuff in there. I’m not saying you should skip ahead to around the 3:30 mark in this video.
However, I wouldn’t blame you if you did.
Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An MBA and Fulbright scholar, he’s also a frequent analyst on news talk radio; with regular segments on ESPN,NBC, CBS and Fox. A former NBC Chicago and Washington Times writer, he’s also been featured on the History Channel. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)Follow paulmbanks