Where's Walton? ... Day 12: Thinking of Tim Duncan
WEDNESDAY, MAY 1: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Hall of Famer and NBA on NBC analyst Bill Walton, who led his Portland Trail Blazers to an NBA championship 25 years ago, is making history once again as he "Loves it Live" by traveling to 30 NBA games in 30 days during NBA Playoffs 2002. Join Walton as he experiences the thrilling playoff excitement first hand, which is passionately documented in his daily reports on NBA.com along with an exclusive “Where’s Walton?” map
spotlighting his cross-country travels. Get on the Bus!
|By Bill Walton|
Dream and try as we might, reality is like gravity, you can’t beat it … Despite how desperately we try to achieve all of our dreams -- if it was only about effort -- Magic, Larry and Isiah would still be playing and Michael Jordan would never have had a knee operation … The Love It Live Tour is all about the celebration and joy and excitement of the NBA Playoffs. Whether you’re among the multitudes at the pulsating arena watching the action live or experiencing it with friends on the tele, it’s high energy …
Bill hosted a "dispirited" Craig Kilborn.
The Bus pulled up to Los Angeles today to pick up yet another crazed, deranged and determined passenger, joining the ever-growing band of merry pranksters. We got to keep our eye on this guy. He’s wounded, dispirited and psychologically tortured after having watched his beloved Timberwolves suffer yet another first-round exit. However, Craig Kilborn knows where to seek refuge and satiate his addictions. It wasn’t an easy decision to watch the Celtics-Sixers game with someone as dull, uninspired and boring as Kilborn – you think I can find somebody who at least likes basketball but the Love It Live Bus does not discriminate …
The story of the day in the NBA is Tim Duncan and his dad. Tim is one of the NBA’s most unique players. How tough it must have been to sit this one out. Here is a guy who basically never misses a game. He chose not to play last night in Seattle due to the harsh realities of life -- his father’s passing … OLD MAN TAKE LOOK AT MY LIFE, I’M A LOT LIKE YOU WERE … Our fantasies are always derailed – why can’t we get any satisfaction. How sad it is for Tim. There’s nothing more important in our lives than dad … LOVE LOST, SUCH A COST, GIVE ME THINGS THAT DON’T GET LOST.
I am so lucky that both of my parents are still alive and live, to this day, in the same house that we all grew up in. They’ve been in the house on the hill in La Mesa, California for 50 years now and I’m lucky enough to live a scant 10 minutes away. The close proximity allows me to visit on a daily basis, provided that I’m not on the Love It Live Tour … BUT I’M ALL ALONE AT LAST. ROLLING HOME TO YOU … My mom and dad are the most unathletic people you have ever seen. I have never shot a single basket with my dad. I saw him run one time and I nearly fell over laughing …
We're with you, Tim.
Chris Covatta/NBAE/Getty Images
My dad is the greatest man I have ever known. He worked three jobs: social worker, adult educator and a music teacher. My mom, she’s a librarian. They taught me about love, pride, family, work ethic, honesty, integrity, credibility and trust … OLD MAN TAKE A LOOK AT MY LIFE, I’M A LOT LIKE YOU WERE
… Even though my parents have never lived in the world of sports, they have become captivated and mesmerized by the Love It Live Tour. When my mom went out the other day, all of her friends asked, ‘Where’s your shirt?’
We live and feel Tim Duncan’s terrible loss. At least Tim’s dad was able to outlive his son. Too many of my friends have passed far too early. … UNBROKEN CHAIN OF SORROW AND PEARLS …Wavy Gravy said recently on his 65th birthday that at least now his friends are starting to die of natural causes … How sad it was when "Pigpen," Brent Mydland and Keith Godchaux, the three piano players for the Dead, died. Then when Jerry passed in August of 1995, we knew that things would never be the same.
But nothing is worse than the death of a young person. One of my best friends from college, Brad Saunders, a few short years ago, lost his 18-year-old son to Leukemia after a devastating two-year battle. A boy, really. So full of everything that any parent could ever want in a son. That life-changing experience on Point Loma, overlooking the Pacific, as we scattered Carl’s ashes is a moment of sadness, pain and dismay that I will never forget … BUT I COULD ONLY HEAR THE PREACHER AND THE BAYING OF THE HOUNDS …
The same feeling when Chick Hearn, a man who epitomizes optimism, happiness, positive attitude, joy and hope has already buried his only two offspring. I was there for his daughter. The tears are still flowing… BLUE LIGHT RAIN, WHOA, UNBROKEN CHAIN, LOOKING FOR FAMILIAR FACES IN AN EMPTY WINDOW PAIN.
Rightly or wrongly, NBA players are often defined by championship moments. On these special days when it all comes down -- not only to one game, but often down to one shot --- the NBA Playoffs provide a window into the heart and soul of our heroes. The anxiety of the big game is what you live for, waiting ever so impatiently for tip off (Red Auerbach used to always tells us, when things get a little tight, imagine what the other team feels like.) … Championship moments require a level of confidence resulting from you having put in a lifetime of work to become the certain winner. When you walk into that building, the Lion’s Den, the crowd has already reached a fever pitch, chanting for the team and chanting for you, lusting for blood. In the next 2 ½ hours, that ball is in your hands and it’s your opportunity to determine history.
Decisive games are what real players live for … Jerry Stackhouse, whose growth as a player this season, has been truly remarkable. He’s one of this season’s brightest stories along with Gary Payton. Stackhouse is a player who has seen the bleak landscape of statistics, individualism, selfishness and defeat. Today he is standing in bare feet on a fertile field of lush, green, moist grass as goddesses sprinkle rose pedals on his pathway … Ben Wallace -- the opportunity to focus undeterred on the relentless pursuit of the ball. Realizing that the outcome of the biggest games are always based on possessions. That is the nexus of Wallace’s game …
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Is there anything that makes you feel smaller than when you let your dad down and he looks at you with the sad, soft eyes, conveying the message: ‘You didn’t really do that did you?’ THEY’RE TELLING ME FORGIVENESS IS THE KEY TO EVERY DOOR.”|
The Toronto Raptors, who were already growing cold in the morgue as heaps of dirt were piled on their souls and decomposing bones, now have one last chance to escape and breath deeply once again ….
New Jersey, who after the last game, needed to take a shower to thoroughly wash that mess off themselves. The Nets desperately need every bit of resourcefulness at the franchise’s disposal to escape impending disappointment, embarrassment, humiliation and disaster. Swamps and bogs are only fun when your feet don’t touch the ground …
Indiana, a team so up and down this year, that they’ve changed their logo -- now it’s a yo-yo …
Four teams, two games, two winners, two losers --- who wants it? This is what we spend a lifetime chasing down …
Bill Russell, my favorite player of all-time and a personal role model for so many years, spoke at the Academic All-America Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Boston. He spoke about his dad. As he fought back the tears, he concluded … I’m proud to be my father’s son. … How proud I am to be my dad’s son … UNBROKEN CHAIN OF YOU AND ME …
Good luck, Tim. We stand behind you.