Bill Freakin' Walton
Bill Walton's color commentary leaves you enlightened and hunched over, hysterical. Eventually, you're sedated. I laughed through the entire second half of the Arizona-UCLA game last night, listening to Walton talk about whatever he felt like discussing. And when it was over, I slept well. There's no greater stimulant that a Bill Walton spiel.
Regarding the actual play, Walton does manage to splice in valuable pieces of basketball information. He knows the game and at points, his announcing can be insightful. It hardly stands out, but it's there, resting on top of a rant about fans, a story about music, and a tale of some guy, somewhere, because that guy hung out with Bill one time.
Then it get's deeper. It get's important.
This passage--that I should have to pay money to enjoy, it's so delicious--didn't come from last night's Arizona-UCLA game, but rather a Lakers-Suns game from, shall we call it, the Boris Diaw-era.
"When you look at Boris Diaw, what he's done to this franchise [the Phoenix Suns], he's changed everything. As we celebrate his brilliance, when you talk to Boris Diaw, what a classical human being he is. It was 201 years ago today that Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E-flat, which escorted in the age of Romanticism in music. And when I look at Boris Diaw, I think of Beethoven and the age of the Romantics. This guy has got it all."
Bypass the Hall of Fame vote. Destroy it. It would only insult Diaw, and Walton, and all of mankind, really, because a Boris Diaw Hall of Fame induction would lump him in with a list of mortals. Diaw is not mortal. Diaw is a symphony.
Last night, Walton lived slightly more in the present. He bounced around history of the past 50 years, but he didn't leave the century and he didn't connect us to a deeper metaphysical existence. Normally, that's doing the listener a disservice, but Walton always pleases, and last night was pure gold. Bill Walton spits fire.
Listen, pupils. You'll need to know this information, not for the test, but for life.
Bill Walton: "Do you remember when people used to defect?" Dave Pasch: "Uh, I don't think this is the time to discuss that..."— Mike Young (@MYoung11W) January 10, 2014
Walton is talking about people wanting to defect to California. As usual, Pasch wants nothing to do with it. pic.twitter.com/HL8MJ2EwME— Andrew Felts (@andrewfelts) January 10, 2014
Wrong, Andrew. That's the face of enlightenment.
Walton is now talking about Jimmy Cliff. His broadcast partner goes "back to reality"— Corey Hyland (@CobraHy) January 10, 2014
Bill unfortunately deprived us of his obvious and premeditated response, titled, "The Reality of Jimmy Cliff."
Bill Walton last night "Gilbert Arenas, just lost his mind. Great kid though, used to sleep on our couch." - while doing color at UCLA game— Michael Dzik (@MichaelDzik) January 10, 2014
ESPN shows Gilbert Arenas sitting in the crowd, Bill Walton says,"Gilbert lost his mind." Pasch, "I'm sure he'll appreciate you saying that"— Jackie Pepper (@Jackie_Pepper) January 10, 2014
Listening to the truth of Walton, it can be hard to keep your mind. But rest easy, Gilbert. Bill is here for you with a warm meal and a bed.
And the final double-shot of whiskey knowledge. Because we all need a night cap after rollin' with Bill Walton: