Bill Walton is...what exactly is Walton? Has anyone nailed that down?
He’s a legitimate basketball great, a guy who could hold his own against any big man of any era - as long as his body held up, anyway, which was never all that long.
He’s a Deadhead, a dad, a proud product of John Wooden’s UCLA. And he’s also a broadcaster, which is....interesting.
Walton is prone to go off on great flights of fancy. He can talk about anything from The Dead to trail mix to the wonders of the natural world. His broadcast partners are usually just along for the ride more or less. What can you do? It’s Walton. If you’re lucky, he keeps his shirt on.
Walton is strange and loquacious, but also underestimated. For one, despite his injuries, Walton kept coming back. Most people would have given up.
And for another, Walton was a stutterer. Most people don’t realize that, but he had to overcome that. And his health issues were so severe that he contemplated suicide before back surgery saved his life.
So we all mock Walton to some extent, but he’s a formidable guy in many ways who has overcome quite a bit.
Still, he’s a fun guy to poke fun at and no one really does it much better than Frank Caliendo does here. He nails Walton’s cadence and odd speech pattern. Best of all, Walton is sitting right next to him and so you get to hear two Waltons back to back. It’s pretty great.