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Bill Walton’s Colleagues Share Their Favorite Memories As He Passes Away 

Bill Walton’s Colleagues Share Their Favorite Memories As He Passes Away

Walton was an American original, the rare figure worthy of a documentary. The amazing thing about him was that he mentored many lives.

He was, in no particular order, a legendary college basketball player for UCLA, an activist arrested for protesting the Vietnam War, an NBA champion for the Portland Trail Blazers, an incredible backup to Robert Parish and Kevin McHale on the champion 1986 Boston Celtics, the father of four college basketball players and one NBA champion, a veteran broadcaster who overcame a stutter to work for multiple decades, a tie-dye wearing Deadhead who loved Bob Dylan and Neil Young, and eventually, a cult figure for ESPN and the Pac-12 Network.

Dave Pasch, the ESPN broadcaster had a lot of good things to say about Walton who died at 71 on Monday.

“The last game Bill and I did together, on Feb. 1 at USC, I think was a great example of just how fun Bill was. We were at USC, and George Lucas and “Star Wars” came up out of the blue. So I jokingly asked him how his audition went for Chewbacca. 

“He said he auditioned for the role but didn’t get it (he called him “Chewybacca”), but that the character was fashioned in his likeness. We just completely made up the story, and the next day the story is all over the news,” he said recollecting a fun memory.

Walton was not shy about his vulnerabilities. He would rather use them to team a struggling individual about courage.

Burke Magnus, ESPN president of content also had sweet things to say about the legend.

“Bill was an incredibly talented broadcaster— a special combination of fun, entertaining and authoritative based on his unique personality and knowledge of the game. 

“Whenever our paths would cross, I was left feeling that this guy is truly special and unique. But most impactful was the fact that he always asked about how I was doing personally. It was never about him.”

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