Let me start with some background. At one time, I really liked Bill Walton. As I listened to him more and more, I began to dislike him very strongly as an announcer. However, my perspective has slowly begun to change again.
It all started when I was searching and came across a post from last year's playoffs where I mentioned Bill Walton:
While we're on the subject of announcers, I must admit I'm not a big fan of Bill Walton if he's in a 2-man team. However, the trio of Mike Tirico, Bill Walton, and Steve "Snapper" Jones is very enjoyable. Tirico is one of the best in the business at play-by-play, Walton throws in his great exaggerations, which are actually rather amusing ("Elton Brand represents everything that is right with the NBA. And with the world."), and Jones makes fun of Bill every chance he gets. They're very enjoyable.
Things started to hit me... yes, he's exaggerating. No, he doesn't really seem to bring great basketball insight. But yes, he's entertaining.
Then I came across a post from last March at Detroit Bad Boys that really just kinda summed up my feelings, without me even knowing it at the time. Here's part of the article:
For a long time, I was in the camp of the Bill Walton haters. I seethed every time I heard him laud praise upon Kazaam or fall at the feet of Kobe Bryant…I mean, Mamba. I chose to watch games on mute rather than hear his man-love for Coach Wooden seep into whichever game he was talking over. The incessant stammering coupled with the goofy, Deadhead persona made him unbearable. It seemed even his play-by-play partners were beside themselves at his stupidity.
But something happened along the way that caused me to reconsider my disdain for Big Red; I actually turned the volume up and listened to one of his games. And in doing so, I realized quickly that the joke was on me, that my naivete and/or blind-hate had kept me from appreciating Walton for what he is: a willing punchline. His hyperbole, his non-sequitors, his uncomfortable hetero-crushes–Walton is just playing along, throwing humorous tidbits against the wall to see which ones stick. Why else would someone say the following:
"You look at Vladimir Radmanovic, this guy is cut from stone. As if Michelangelo was reading and a lightning bolt flashed before him."
I mean, this just describes things absolutely perfectly. If you take him seriously, you won't like him. If you take him for what he is... a guy trying to lighten the mood and be entertaining, well, he's just that. Teamed with Steve "Snapper" Jones, and it's quite a treat.
Then I came across some other sites with Bill Walton Quotes... a brief sampling:
“Tracy McGrady is doing things we’ve never seen from anybody – from any planet!”
"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."
“John Stockton is one of the true marvels, not just of basketball, or in America, but in the history of Western Civilization!”
“Yao Ming is the best thing to happen to the NBA in a long time. He is just a beautiful person inside and out. The vision, the creativity, the gentleness of spirit … he has it all.”
"Show some respect to this living legend, this hall of famer...Arvydas Sabonis."
"Its a critical game, the battle for 10th place!"
I mean, this stuff is funny. Shame on me for not appreciating it sooner.
So that gave me an idea... there's not enough Bill Walton quotes out there on the internet. So I'm asking for your help... whenever you see an outrageous Bill Walton exaggeration, here's what you should do:
1) Post it here in the comments (I'll put a link to this post in the sidebars)
2) Email me the quote at uclabruins24 AT hotmail.com
3) Just post it in the comments of the most recent post... Bill Walton takes precedence.
And hey, if you post a quote, I'll give you some recognition and thanks... doesn't get better than that! So join me, in this, the Year of Bill Walton, as I hope to build the Ultimate Bill Walton Quote Library.
For more posts involving Bill Walton, look here.