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 again as he "Loves it Live" by traveling to 30 NBA games in 30 days during NBA Playoffs 2002. Walton, who has been known to "tour" with the Grateful Dead, began his long, strange trip this weekend when he called games in Sacramento and Los Angeles, and then hopped in a jet for a cross-country flight to New York. Walton is filing daily reports on NBA.com and fans can track his journey with the exclusive "Where's Walton?" map on the web site.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24: NEW YORK, NEW YORK

By Bill Walton
The sky was yellow, the sun was blue, and things just only get stranger on the Love It Live Tour!...


Bill delights in appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman, but seems mystified by Dave's insistence that the Pacers are the team to beat in NBA Playoffs 2002.
Courtesy CBS

I thought I had hit rock bottom when room service took more than an hour yesterday, but when I left a 7:45 a.m. wake-up call, dreaming about possibly catching just a couple hours of sleep, when the phone actually rang at 5:45 a.m., I knew that I had reached new depths of incompetence in the world of a harried traveler. I was fortunate to be able to fall back into dreamland for one more hour of sleep, but the mounting pressure of having to get to my next destination -- Detroit -- in order to keep up the blistering pace would not allow my mind to find a still and settled place...

Dashing to the airport, I realized that I had left more than just my heart and soul at the game last night, I had given away my entire wardrobe. Knowing that I was totally out of shirts, gear and at this point --- my mind -- I had to quickly zip into New York, get back to the NBA Store and re-supply...

NBA STORE

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

What a small world it is. Besides being on this long, strange trip, I ran into the second greatest point guard in UCLA history, Mike Warren, John Wooden’s all-time favorite player (Greg Lee is UCLA’s greatest point guard). We caught up on family affairs, the greatness of the Bruins basketball tradition and shared a few of our favorite Woodenisms. What a wonderful impromptu reunion it was....

As I was settling in the car, fully laden with the gear for a few more days of this frenzied tour, the phone exploded. It was The Late Show With David Letterman. They wanted a piece of the Love It Live Tour! Suddenly, I found myself diverted from Mo Town to 1697 Broadway and the beautifully restored Ed Sullivan Theatre...


Bill sees tie-dye. Bill signs tie-dye.
John Hareas/NBAE

Life-long friend Bonnie Raitt was already there as a previously scheduled musical guest. She’s on tour now with a No. 1 hit single and I knew that things had finally come full circle. Bonnie and I go back nearly 30 years. Our life-long relationship through mutual friends and the Grateful Dead only gets better with time. It was simply wonderful to be able to spend a few precious moments with this dazzling and incredibly talented Red Head...

The Letterman show was truly a unique experience of a lifetime. Those guys know how to have fun; they get paid for that? (and I used to think being an NBA player was the world’s greatest life)... Thanking Dave for the chance to spread the word of the Love It Live! Tour that is taking the world by storm, I realized how privileged I am to make my first ever appearance on his planet. I was impressed with his unyielding passion for his beloved Indiana Pacers yet stunned and confused at his insistence that the Pacers would go all the way. Dave has clearly become an overzealous homer. Dave, what are you thinking? Do you get cable at your home? As I mentioned on the show, maybe he was a passenger on Kesey’s Bus and I couldn’t see him through the haze...

BIG RED'S
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The Paul Shaffer band, in their two-minute rendition of Spencer Davis' "Give Me Some Loving," perfectly captured the mood and atmosphere in New Jersey on Monday night. That guy's really got talent. He deserves his own show. Who's this Dave guy?”

I plan on taking the Love It Live! Tour to Indianapolis and intend to sit with Dave’s mom, who I invited to the game while on the show. What a treat it would be to welcome her on this whirlwind, magical basketball extravaganza. This is an all ages’ party...

As I greeted the throngs of fans outside the Ed Sullivan Theatre at the conclusion of the show, I looked at my watch and realized that time had run out and I had lost my way. It was simply too late to catch the last flight to Detroit in time for the tip off of Raptors-Pistons...

Life is easy when you’re hot, but the true measure of a man on this tour is what you do when the ball bounces the other way. I realized immediately that if you’re truly going to be in the NBA and on the Love It Live! Tour, that you have to believe that life is about what’s next and it’s about never looking back. Life is indeed like your jump shot: Once it leaves your hands, there is nothing you can do about it any more. You can’t ogle it, nor can you express your frustration with a terrible attempt. You simply have to chase that ball down. This tour, like the NBA, is the ultimate transition game...

I immediately was back in attack mode and jumped on the next shuttle to Boston, preparing myself for the incredible Game 2 that is on tap tonight at the FleetCenter. This is going to be really special... What color was that sky again?