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!

TUESDAY, MAY 14: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

By Bill Walton

The TOUR is SPIRALING, careening WILDLY OUT OF CONTROL …


Bill, his brother Bruce (left) and The Team enjoy the Jabba the Hut Lounge.
Aaron Ryan/NBAE

We have reached the level in life where it’s EASIER TO GET FORGIVENESS THAN PERMISSION … WE ARE STARDUST, WE ARE GOLDEN, WE ARE BILLION YEAR OLD CARBON… AND WE GOT TO GET OURSELVES BACK TO THE GARDEN… REMEMBER: To live outside the law, you must be honest …

CAPTAIN JACK had us up and out early this morning. Our feet have not touched the ground since we saw the MALOOFS GIVING DANCING LESSONS TO THE WORLD … The new morning was indeed SPECTACULAR as the BIG ORANGE ball peeked its way over the Sierra to the east, and illuminating the GOLDEN COAST ranges to the west …SO HAPPY JUST TO BE ALIVE … UNDERNEATH THE SKY OF BLUE … ON THIS NEW MORNING, NEW MORNING, ON THIS NEW MORNING WITH YOU...

People in SACRAMENTO were still FROLLICKING, taking a CUE from JERRY GARCIA, that, ‘When you gotta get up early, you might as well stay up all night long’ …AND THESE VISIONS OF JOHANNA, THEY KEPT ME UP PAST DAWN …People were speechless this morning. They were UNABLE TO TALK. They had YELLED their LUNGS out … BUT EVERYBODY STILL TALKS ABOUT HOW BADLY THEY WERE SHOCKED … BUT ME, I EXPECTED IT TO HAPPEN AND I KNEW HE LOST CONTROL WHEN HE BUILT A FIRE ON MAINSTREET AND SHOT IT FULL OF HOLES….

Wherever we went, people were standing, FISTS CLENCHED into the air, MOUTHS WIDE OPEN, erupting in simultaneous CHEER. BUT THERE WAS NO SOUND, EVEN after WHAT THEY were able to POUR -- what we hoped was water -- down their PARCHED THROATS …TERRAPIN … IF IT’S THE END OR THE BEGINNING … TERRAPIN …SEVENTEEN YEARS OF LOYALTY and finally this … and how HAPPY WE ALL ARE …SCANTILY CLAD and merrily painted LADIES, dressed only in Kings jerseys, could be seen PRANCING through the streets of downtown SACRAMENTO …IT APPEARS TO BE A LOVE FARM …We can only HOPE that those jerseys were PURCHASED from LICENSED NBA VENDORS … SHE HAD RINGS ON HER FINGERS AND BELLS ON HER SHOES … AND I KNEW WITHOUT ASKING SHE WAS INTO THE BLUES … SHE WORE SCARLET BEGONIAS, TUCKED INTO HER CURLS …I KNEW RIGHT AWAY SHE WAS NOT LIKE OTHER GIRLS …OTHER GIRLS

After a LONG, STRANGE TRIP, we finally pulled into L.A. The weird thing about this city is that YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU GET HERE. YOU ALSO NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU LEAVE … I swear, since the last time I was here -- less than a week ago -- there’s 500,000 NEW SOULS … BY THE TIME WE GOT TO WOODSTOCK, WE WERE HALF A MILLION STRONG … AND EVERYWHERE THERE WAS SONG AND CELEBRATION… Where are they coming from? What will they do? Where will the water come from? The only thing that is known is that they’ll SOON become Lakers fans because of CHICK HEARN …


Bill impersonates his idol, legendary broadcaster Chick Hearn.
Aaron Ryan/NBAE

Knowing that we were in the middle of the WEIRDEST EXPERIENCE OF OUR LIFE, we had to come back to the middle … I CAN’T FIGURE OUT … TERRAPIN … IF IT’S THE END OR THE BEGINNING … TERRAPIN …We had to come back to our CORE, TO OUR FAMILY VALUES. The only destination to become grounded at this point was VENICE and HOLLYWOOD. A day spent on the beach at Marina Del Rey, the HOTELS WON’T TAKE US ANY MORE. It’s just TOO MUCH AND THAT’S FINE WITH US. We don’t even need to be PLUGGED IN any LONGER … THE GHOST OF ’LECTRICITY HOWLS IN THE BONES OF HER FACE…We don’t need electricity, we’re Running on Empty…RUNNING ON – RUNNING ON EMPTY … RUNNING ON – RUNNING BLIND … RUNNING ON – RUNNING INTO THE SUN … BUT I’M RUNNING BEHIND …

We’re being FUELED by LOVE, MUSIC and the GAMES…THE FIDDLER, HE NOW STEPS TO THE ROAD … ON THE BACK OF THE FISH TRUCK THAT LOADS, WHILE MY CONSCIENCE EXPLODES … The WORD IS OUT!!! … PEOPLE are just having TOO MUCH FUN … Fortunately, CAPTAIN JACK has the Bus well STOCKED and he found a place of perfect SERENITY in the Marina. As we watched the sailboats glide out for the afternoon breeze and sunset, we were terribly DISTRACTED by the OBNOXIOUS sound of some yacht owner revving his diesel engine. So HIDEOUS, so tortuous to the mind. I can only think that DENNIS RODMAN must be SOMEWHERE nearby with his 50-foot cigarette boat, Sexual Chocolate…

AIN’T IT JUST LIKE THE NIGHT TO PLAY TRICKS WHEN YOU’RE TRYIN’ TO BE SO QUIET?… While CAPTAIN JACK desperately searched to reposition the Bus, looking for a quiet place for afternoon meditation and prayers, my mind wandered off to the POOR SOULS in Newport – DENNIS’ NEIGHBORS … IMAGINE, having the PERFECT LIFE on the beach, wonderfully and gloriously SUNNY every day, so HOMOGENEOUS, so CLEAN, then all of a sudden -- DENNIS RODMAN BECOMES YOUR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR!! Newport is a good fit for Dennis. He BLENDS right in …

On the way to the game, we stopped and saw JIM ROME, the most POWERFUL MAN IN OUR WORLD. Jim is a guy who understands the IMMENSE POWER OF THE MEDIA. Something that many of the guys in our league DON’T … What TEAMS were MAGIC going to run AGAIN? … What CITIES and STATES are BARKLEY, MAGIC and Karl MALONE going to be MAYORS or GOVERNORS of?… I lost track. What was that that Shaq said about RETIRING to become a POLICE OFFICER? …The most notoriety I EVER received was after I won the Wheel of Fortune WORLD Championship, THAT only BEING topped WHEN I WAS A GUEST on the HOWARD STERN SHOW. Our session with Jim Rome today put us over the edge.

NBA STORE

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

After the JIM ROME SHOW, we were dying to stop at COACH WOODEN’S HOUSE and sit at the foot of THE MESSIAH. We needed to refresh ourselves in THE glory of his office den -- the HISTORY of BASKETBALL, LIFE and WESTERN CIVILIZATION, all in a 10 by 18-foot room. …But DARN IT! COACH is in FLORIDA, visiting friend and former UCLA Chancellor, CHARLES YOUNG …Hopefully, Coach Wooden is passing on my apologies to the Chancellor … Boy, those guys have everlasting PATIENCE.

We did get to pop in to the new GETTY MUSEUM. I like the old one better. IT’S SMALLER, More INTIMATE and CLOSER TO THE BEACH … We can never visit L.A. without stopping to pray at UCLA, the MECCA of the basketball world… In my DAILY conversations with COACH WOODEN, he is always so IMPRESSED with the JOB PHIL JACKSON HAS DONE, regularly mentioning that THERE’S A LOT OF COACHES WHO HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO WIN WITH TOP TALENT …

THE ABILITY of PHIL JACKSON, COACH WOODEN and a select HANDFUL of others, TO SUBJEGATE the EGO, from ALL directions, for the benevolence of the team. That is truly a GIFT OF THE MASTER TEACHER …Phil’s gifts and patience were on full display tonight. When like Tinker Bell, he sprinkled the Magic Dust on Lindsey Hunter and Brian Shaw … ONCE IN AWHILE, YOU GET SHOWN THE LIGHT ... IN THE STRANGEST OF PLACES IF YOU LOOK AT IT RIGHT... Only the greatest of coaches can keep players sharp who are not part of the regular rotation.

On the way to the game, we made a SPECIAL POINT OF STOPPING at GRIFFITH PARK. We needed to pay TRIBUTE to the GREAT CONCERT VENUES THERE. We REGULARLY partied with DYLAN, NEIL YOUNG AND VAN CLYBURN at the HOLLYWOOD BOWL and GREEK THEATRE … Then CAPTAIN JACK navigated toward the PLANETARIUM, where we made sure that our next hotel’s reservations at the MARS HOTEL and TERRAPIN STATION, were in order as the tour rolls on … WHERE CRICKETS AND CICADAS SING … A RARE AND DIFFERENT TUNE … TERRAPIN STATION … IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON …TERRAPIN STATION … AND I KNOW WE’LL BE THERE SOON… As we rolled out of the hills, past the WILTERN THEATER, the air of anticipation was UNDENIABLE. THE STONES ARE COMING!! MICK, KEITH and the poor boys will be playing this legendary venue on NOVEMBER 4. The line IS ALREADY FORMING. So what if it’s SIX MONTHS AWAY. DON’T TELL THESE PEOPLE THAT! …


Everyone wants a signed Where's Walton? T-shirt on the "Love It Live!" Tour.
Aaron Ryan/NBAE

Great to see JACK NICHOLSON at the game. The ULTIMATE EASY RIDER … Bringing back MEMORIES of the ’77 BLAZER CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON when JACK was in OREGON, making “Cuckoos Nest” … Jack would wait in his dark green Mercedes limousine outside the MEMORIAL COLISEUM late into the night … When MAURICE LUCAS and I would walk out after YET ANOTHER BLAZER ROMP, the JOKERMAN would stick his head out of the window and say, ‘HEY, DO YOU GUYS WANT TO COME TO CHURCH WITH ME TONIGHT?’ … JOKERMAN DANCE TO THE NIGHTINGALE TUNE …. BIRD FLY HIGH BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON ….OH, OH, OH, JOKERMAN …

I also saw college teammate and good friend Jimmy Connors, who brought his daughter to the game. This angelic teenager is just WHAT WE NEED at UCLA, like her DAD… On the way into the game, they were passing out Chick Hearn masks. How cool it was that there were 20,000 Chick Hearns tonight at STAPLES … Got to sit at the game with my good friend, Tolga, the most important man in the history of Turkish basketball. A man who hosted us at the International Coaching Clinic in Istanbul, that the NBA put on, featuring Jack Ramsay, Hubie Brown, Calvin Murphy and me. We are so grateful not only for his hospitality, but for bringing Hedo Turkoglu to the DANCE …

This is my first game ever as a fan in STAPLES. I go there all the time as the Clippers broadcaster and also do so many Laker games – to say nothing of the Dylan concerts …This is a place where you have to WATCH OUT because sometimes you run into FANS who are DESPERATELY TRYING TO BE TOO COOL. It’s understandable – so many Laker games are DEVOID of SUSPENSE, DRAMA, the UNCERTAINTY of the OUTCOME … NOW, LITTLE BOY LOST, HE TAKES HIMSELF SO SERIOUSLY … HE BRAGS OF HIS MISERY, HE LIKES TO LIVE DANGEROUSLY

But I do get a little confused when I stumble across people who are running from folks who AREN’T CHASING THEM ….NAME ME SOMEONE THAT’S NOT A PARASITE AND I’LL GO SAY A PRAYER FOR HIM …

The Lakers are at the point now where they can NO LONGER AFFORD THE LACKLUSTER, UNISPIRED PERFORMANCES that have MARRED this season (lack of inspiration was never a problem for Jimmy Connors)… INSPIRATION, MOVE ME BRIGHTLY…The Lakers often play NOT TO LOSE, rather than PLAYING TO WIN… STATEMENTS JUST SEEM VAIN AT LAST… SOME RISE, SOME FALL, SOME CLIMB, TO GET TO TERRAPIN …They could use one of COACH WOODEN’S LECTURES on HOW TO overcome ADVERSITY. It starts with MOTIVATION -- creating something IN YOUR MIND that will DRIVE YOU, that will FORCE YOU to become such a great player in practice, that the games become EXHIBITIONS of memorized brilliance … I didn’t have to create -- ABDUL-JABBAR was MY REAL LIFE source of MOTIVATION … WHEN RUTHIE SAYS COME SEE HER … IN HER HONKY-TONK LAGOON … WHERE I CAN WATCH HER WALTZ FOR FREE… ‘NEATH HER PANAMANIAN MOON… But things are different now for the LAKERS because of SHAQ’S INJURIES. The Big Guy’s burning feet have changed the LANDSCAPE … The Lakers now find themselves playing WITHOUT A NET …FEEL LIKE A STRANGER … LOOKS LIKE RAIN … WALKIN’ BLUES …

Phil Jackson continues to perform the balancing magic, always walking the finest of lines …WALKIN DOWN THE LINE … THINKIN’ ABOUT MY TROUBLED MIND …How difficult it must be for Phil and any other of the great coaches in history who have had the privilege of coaching the game’s best players … I never got a sense that motivation was a problem for Kareem, Magic, Larry or Michael …PEOPLE ALWAYS SEEMED TO LEAVE SATISFIED, even if your team lost …The Lakers often play just well enough to win and are now dangerously testing the SHARK-INFESTED WATERS -- seeing how far out of it they can get and still come back and win in DESPERATE FASHION. By following this scary script, they run the risk of someone from the other team getting hot. It looked tonight as if that guy might be Tony Parker …But SHAQ, like KAREEM, like WILT, will NEVER be able to give enough to satiate the ever-hungry crowd … HEY, HEY, HEY … THAT’S WHAT I SAY … I CAN’T GET NO SATISFACTION … I CAN’T GET NO SATISFACTION …. ’CAUSE I TRY AND I TRY AND I TRY AND I TRY … I CAN’T GET NO, I CAN’T GET NO… As Wilt perfectly coined, ‘NOBODY EVER ROOTS FOR GOLIATH.’

BIG RED'S
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Even though Jimmy Connors and I were only together for our freshman year at UCLA, his competitive greatness, fiery spirit, industrious enthusiasm and glowing radiance has inspired us for eternity. I sure wish he would sprinkle some of his magic dust over the entire Lakers squad.”

How wonderful it is to see ROBERT HORRY play for the Lakers. The HISTORY of GREAT PLAYERS, GREAT CENTERS, great big men, GREAT TEAMS is the story of the IMPORTANCE OF THE WHEEL …STATEMENTS JUST SEEM VAIN AT LAST … SOME RISE, SOME FALL, SOME CLIMB … TO GET TO TERRAPIN …The guy that KEEPS THE FLOW GOING --- JOHN HAVLICEK, BILL BRADLEY, JAMAAL WILKES, BOBBY GROSS …What a STROKE OF GENIUS for JERRY WEST to be able to pick up ROBERT HORRY, immediately after acquiring Shaq. To think, ALL IT TOOK was a TOWEL THROWN IN DANNY AINGE’S FACE … BUT EVERYBODY STILL TALKS ABOUT HOW BADLY THEY WERE SHOCKED … BUT ME, I EXPECTED IT TO HAPPEN … I KNEW HE’D LOST CONTROL … WHEN HE BUILT A FIRE ON MAIN STREET … AND SHOT IT FULL OF HOLES …

I can only hope that one day the story doesn’t come out of JERRY WEST standing on the SANTA MONICA FREEWAY on a sunny day up on a grassy knoll, opening and closing an umbrella …

Kobe Bryant is making a habit of turning the spectacular into his own fourth quarter routine. Kobe is more Jordan-like by the day as his overall game is skyrocketing. He’s becoming, like Michael Jordan of his era, the best rebounder in the game …Lori came up from San Diego …. I FOUND AN ISLAND IN YOUR ARMS … COUNTRY IN YOUR EYES …This woman is amazing, she keeps getting better looking by the hour … AH, BUT I WAS SO MUCH OLDER THEN, I’M YOUNGER THAN THAT NOW … My older brother Bruce, THE PERFECT BIG BROTHER, was also in from San Diego. We had a good laugh at the Arena Club, the evolutionary progression from the old Forum Club. The only thing that can come close to rivaling this meeting of the flesh is George Lucas’ creation in the Star Wars Trilogy of the bar scene dominated by Jabba the Hut …AND THE LADIES TREAT ME KINDLY … AND FURNISH ME WITH TAPE …BUT DEEP INSIDE MY HEART, I KNOW I CAN’T ESCAPE …LUCAS, by the way, IS A UCLA alum ….

We’ve spent the last 48 hours on the tour in California, the Golden State but the COLORS here ARE NOW ALL PURPLE --- JIMI HENDRIX is SMILING somewhere… PURPLE HAZE ALL IN MY BRAIN … LATELY THINGS JUST DON’T SEEM THE SAME … ACTIN’ FUNNY, BUT I DON’T KNOW WHY … ’SCUSE ME WHILE I KISS THE SKY

In the end, it was another typical Laker game … toying with an outmatched opponent … basically playing about eight minutes of good basketball, if that …In the immortal words of the legend, Jim Rome, ‘THAT DIDN’T SUCK.’ …There was just TOO MUCH Shaq. As he walked off the court to chants of ‘MVP,’ ‘MVP,’ the word-meister himself said, ‘Duncan? MVP? That has to stand for, ‘He Must Vacate the Premises.’