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!

MONDAY, MAY 6: SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA

By Bill Walton

WOW! What a DAY... What a GAME... Why can’t EVERY DAY be like THIS?!!

WELL MY TEMPERATURE IS RISING … GOT MY FEET ON THE FLOOR .. CRAZY PEOPLE ROCKING ’CAUSE THEY WANT TO GO MORE...

Tip off is hours away and the bedlam outside Arco is already at a fever pitch in anticipation of this incredibly critical and important game... Mavs-Kings, 2 -- "Love It Live!" 17... A sea of Kings jerseys and colors -- purple, black and white -- flood the parking lot scene while bands play Spencer Davis’ classic “Gimme Some Lovin,” – today named the official song of the "Love It Live!" Tour... Fans with painted faces dance on the blacktop, while others sell cowbells ... the sweet aroma of hot foods cooking – everyone basking in the "Love It Live! experience ... AND I’M SO GLAD WE MADE IT, SO GLAD YOU MADE IT ... YOU GOT TO GIMME SOME LOVIN,’ GIMME SOME LOVIN’


The passion of the fans builds at each stop on the Where's Walton? "Love It Live!" Tour.
Aaron Ryan/NBAE


Sacramento Photo Gallery

TWAS SCARLET BEGONIAS ... AS I WAS WALKING ROUND GROSVENOR SQUARE ... NOT A CHILL TO THE WINTER BUT A NIP TO THE AIR... The Intermission is over. The second set is about to begin and it is time to crank it up. The "Love It Live!" Tour is swelling with energy, growing taller and bigger with each breath... As we embark on the closing 13 days, it’s just like the start of the second set of a Grateful Dead concert. You have to make sure that everything is in order. You have to make sure that all of your gear is ready because it’s about to get really wild. The lights are dimming and its getting faster and faster... OUT OF THE FRYING PAN AND INTO THE FIRE... All the while knowing, that it’s soon going to come to an end...

You never really care what song they start with. Whether it’s “Scarlet Begonias/Fire On the Mountain,” whether it was “Bertha/Good Lovin,” or “Aiko, Aiko.” The only thing you knew is that if they started with one of those, that they were ready -- and you better be ready for the ride of your life. The Kings and the Mavs are in the same situation as the pressure mounts in beautiful Sacramento today. The flight in was absolutely spectacular. The Delta, all the water, the rice fields, the food -- all growing in front of your eyes. It was another perfect day. I love Sacramento. I’m really sorry, Randy Newman.


Legendary former Princeton head coach and current Sacramento assistant coach Pete Carril gets on the bus.
Aaron Ryan/NBAE

The flight in, so reminiscent of the old days, the ’60s and the ’70s, and the days of The Dead on tour throughout California, every single weekend... I HAD ONE OF THOSE FLASHES I HAD BEEN THERE BEFORE The days of PSA – Pacific Southwest Airlines. The planes full of Deadheads, where you could fly anywhere in the entire state, round trip for $20. The stewardesses (that’s how politically incorrect we were) wore mini-skirts and hot pants and served free drinks... SHE HAD RINGS ON HER FINGERS AND BELLS ON HER SHOES … AND I KNEW WITHOUT ASKING SHE WAS INTO THE BLUES... The plane rides became an extension of the concerts. Today’s plane was filled with the Kings’ fans. The airports of California surging with wild and crazy dreamers of the "Love It Live!" Tour and their home state favorites, chanting: ‘GO, KINGS, GO.’ ‘GO KINGS GO.’ This is it. We’re on our way. We have found our rhythm. We have the beat... ALMOST ABLAZE, STILL YOU DON’T FEEL THE HEAT … IT TAKES ALL YOU GOT JUST TO STAY ON THE BEAT...

The plane ride in over the Sierra Nevada Mountains -- what memories... I HAD ONE OF THOSE FLASHES I HAD BEEN THERE BEFORE... The backpacking, the Kern River Canyons, Sequoia, Kings Canyons, Yosemite, Mount Whitney -- the first time I climbed it with my dad -- in high school. So many long walks during the course of my life with my dad. Not an athlete but a naturalist, an environmentalist, so concerned about the well being of life for all... The weeks spent camping at Buckeye Flats along the Kaweah River, flowing through the huge granite boulders that were so perfectly placed for sun bathing, diving and sliding down the river into the gigantic emerald green pools. The John Muir Trail. The backpacking trips with John Papanek. Toulamee Meadows, Clouds Rest, Olmstead Point. Yosemite Valley and the bike riding trips where it always seemed like you’re going down hill. The Ahwahnee Hotel: If by chance you can possibly luck into getting a room and maybe the only room they had left would be the Presidential Suite ... Lake Tahoe – the swimming, the crystal clear water, Emerald Bay. The time we took the Boston Whaler up there and just had the most dazzling of trips.

NBA STORE

Join the fun with your own "Where's Walton?" Love It Live T-shirt

Into Sacramento, the railroad bridges... WELL, YOUR RAILROAD GATE, YOU KNOW I JUST CAN’T JUMP IT... Stories from John Wooden on how he used to walk eight miles to and from school every day in Martinsville, Ind., from the family farm to town and back. There was a short cut he would like to take over the railroad bridge, which traversed the White River. Coach Wooden wanted to take that short cut so he could get home early for extra studies and to get a head start on his chores. But he knew that it was always dangerous. The bridge was so narrow. He always contemplated the train coming while he was crossing. He prayed to the heavens every day that the train would not come. Because if it did, he would have to jump off the bridge into the White River and he was not a very good swimmer …

Then the stop at the Pyramid along the river in downtown Sacramento, bringing back incredible journeys with the Grateful Dead to Egypt in the late 1970s. We stayed Mena House Hotel -- a phenomenal walled-in compound. It was quite the sight to see Jerry by the swimming pool … The forays into the teaming madness of Cairo and Ken Kesey would get so frustrated with the morass of humanity and the teaming traffic. At the end of his rope, he would ultimately get out and direct the Cairo traffic as if he were a traffic cop … TEST ME, TEST ME, WHY DON’T YOU ARREST ME ... THROW ME IN THE JAIL HOUSE UNTIL THE SUN GOES DOWN... The concerts themselves, three straight nights, starting at 11:30 p.m. and ending at dawn. All of them perfectly scheduled to coincide with a total lunar eclipse of a full moon. The weather, 118 degrees in the daytime and as soon as the sun dipped down, it would cool off to a measly 110. Giant flying bugs would instantly come out and suck the life out of everything that moved. But when Jerry and the band struck up the first chords at 11:30 p.m. each night, even these giant bugs would sit transfixed and watch all night long...

And then dawn. The sun coming up out of the east over the Nile Valley. At 5:30 every morning, the big giant red ball teaming with energy, ready to bring new life to the day. The full moon was now going down over the Sudan Desert to the west. As the guitars, pianos and drums were put to rest for the day, there would be a herd of camels waiting for us and we rode off into the desert to a Bedouin tent that was set up for the feast after the concert. Now that was a trip...

While there is nothing in life quite like being on this tour, the speed, grace, pace and time demands always put a strain on your family relationships and obligations... Standing courtside in Arco, I made a bee line to Pete Carril, the master of creativity, the genius of the relentless attack, the architect of the free flowing offensive gem. I can never thank Pete enough for the job he did with my son, Nate, at Princeton. Coach Carril and Princeton did for my son Nate what Coach Wooden and UCLA did for me. A dad could never be more appreciative... My youngest son Chris came to the Lakers game yesterday and we got to spend a bit of time together in the crazed madness of the speed of the "Love It Live!" Tour. He’s dying to get on this bus. I told him that his life right now is all about school and education. It’s all coming to a close for the summer and these days won’t come again. You have to make the most of this opportunity... ONCE IN A WHILE YOU GET SHOWN THE LIGHT IN THE STRANGEST OF PLACES IF YOU LOOK AT IT RIGHT...

BIG RED'S
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“How sad for all of us to see John Stockton’s career – after 18 years – ultimately coming to an end ... YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE ME LONESOME WHEN YOU GO ... How lucky we are that Steve Nash is only 28 ... ONLY THE BEGINNING OF WHAT I WANT TO FEEL FOREVER ... YES, ONLY THE BEGINNING ... ONLY JUST THE START.

I spoke with Luke on the phone, who is closing out his junior year at Arizona. His team is on a school and NCAA sponsored trip to Australia starting this weekend. He was looking for friends, places and ideas based on Lori’s and my trip to Australia in the fall of 2000 around the Sydney Olympics. His pending journey reminds me of the days at UCLA in the early ’70s. Richard Nixon called J.D. Morgan, John Wooden and Dick Enberg up and wanted the UCLA Bruins to represent our country and make a breakthrough visit to China for him. I ultimately turned Tricky Dick down and it was one of the major mistakes in my life... BUT HE CAN’T BE BLAMED, HE’S ONLY A PAWN IN THEIR GAME... I can still see J.D., Coach and Dick shaking their heads in utter dismay. They knew from the outset that I am the slowest learner that these great teachers have ever came across... WELL I AIN’T OFTEN RIGHT BUT I’VE NEVER BEEN WRONG... IT SELDOM TURNS OUT THE WAY IT DOES IN THE SONG... Instead, Nixon sent a ping-pong team …

It was the best game I’ve seen this year... The pre-game pageantry would have made Bill Graham proud. Sacramento played a flawless first quarter … Mike Bibby was incredible throughout, but in the end, the day belonged to somebody named Dirk and Little Stevie... IF MERCY’S IN BUSINESS, I WISH IT FOR YOU ... MORE THAN JUST ASHES WHEN YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE... Does anybody remember whatever happened to Chris Webber?... IN THE THICK OF THE EVENING WHEN THE DEALING GOT ROUGH...

The second round of the playoffs has begun … The road team has won a game...

We’re dashing off to go see the Nets play now. How wonderful to see New Jersey receive so much attention. The New York-area publicity machine that the Knicks have treated as their own, has now shifted, flowing to the winners... The Nets have tried so desperately over the years to rid themselves of the curse -- the selling of Dr. J... Hopefully, as the pace quickens and in the closing 13 days of the "Love It Live!" Tour, we’ll have an opportunity to come back to the story of all of the curses that have changed the direction of Western Civilization. But right now, the Bus is rolling on ... forever.