Where's Walton? ... Day Two: Hanging in Los Angeles with Chick, Beautiful People and His Dog
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 nights 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 the Utah at Sacramento on Saturday, the Portland at L.A. Lakers game on Sunday, and then hopped in a jet for a cross-country flight. Walton will file daily reports on NBA.com and a special "Where's Walton?" section detailing the entire journey will launch early this week.
SUNDAY, APRIL 21: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world … And what a world we woke up to today, particularly to those who have been living in caves recently and still are not sold on the fact that the Lakers are a very good basketball team when they want to be…
Bill Walton catches up with his idol and L.A. Lakers announcer Chick Hearn in Los Angeles on the second day of the "Where's Walton?" tour.
Catherine Steenkeste/NBAE/Getty Images
But it would be hard to imagine a more perfect day in L.A., and that was before we even got to Staples…The wind was blowing straight down this morning during my morning prayers and meditations on the shimmering white sandy beaches of Santa Monica Bay…The waters of the Pacific so calm and glassy that the collegiate crew teams were practicing on the open ocean…The pelicans were fighting for air space with the giant birds of LAX and you could see the buffalo standing on the ridge lines of Catalina Island…
The Santa Monica Mountains were standing sentry over Malibu’s Pt. Dume and the entire L.A. basin — so green, so lush from some much needed recent but rare spring rains…To the east, Mt. Baldy and Mt. Wilson are still capped with snow and the canyons of the Angeles National Forest are teeming with all sorts of life — some of it natural …The red brick buildings of UCLA reflecting the warmth of a magnificent summer day while inviting all of us in for some much needed direction, inspiration, information and guidance …
QUOTE OF THE DAY
|"I’m very concerned for Kobe Bryant and his new haircut. He needs to listen to some more Bob Dylan, particularly the story about growing your hair out because if you don’t, Bob warns that it stays inside and scrambles your brainwaves.”|
And then to the game, the countdown brimming with tension…The importance of the game bringing all the beautiful people out for the show…No Lakers game for me is ever complete without the mandatory visit to Chick Hearn, high above the western sidelines preparing for his call…
Chick is the man who taught me how to play , love and enjoy this great game…I was 12 years old, growing up in a home without a television when, on the hand held transistor radio that I used to smuggle into bed with me, I discovered this true genius in 1964…It has been the most phenomenal of joy rides for me for the for the last 38 years and the man, the myth, the legend is better than ever…
Everyone wants in on the Where's Walton? tour, including Bill's dogs, Loma (left), who joined him in Los Angeles, and Annie.
Bill Walton/Amateur Photo Productions
And then on to the coaches meetings where Phil Jackson
was as sharp, focused and determined as the circumstances demanded … I always stop for a visit with Robert Horry
before these games, he’s absolutely one of my favorites and my fears for his health
could not keep him from laboring, almost staggering to the finish — the news -- a ray, a dash of hope for Lakers opponents…
This is not a good way to start two months of even more difficult playoff challenges…Portland played a decent game but that won’t be enough to get it done…You don’t back into or fall luckily into the title…You go out and take it…This will be extremely difficult for Portland unless they go small and try to outscore the Lakers with nothing but skilled players on pretty much a game long basis…No time or place for stiffs, specialists and shell games here…
Lori, my youngest son Chris, and Loma — our canine companion puppy in training—all made the drive north from San Diego for the game, a quick visit and dinner before the Love It Live! tour rolls east on the red eye late tonight … The pace is quickening, the wheel spinning ever faster…
Who can hold on ??? Who can keep up ??? There is no time to lose, as indeed we have finally become, the eyes of the world.