Bill Walton’s world contains multitudes. It’s featured the heights of basketball success; the simple joys of creating and finding home; the lows of suffering and pain. It can go from psychedelic brilliance to rhapsodic reverie to sepia-toned history at the drop of a hat.
Later this evening, Charles Barkley and John Mayer step into his space, as they visit “Throw It Down,” Walton’s limited-time alternate broadcast, brought to you live only on the NBA App.
Let’s give you a taste of what it’s like to be in the company of one of the 75 greatest players in NBA history. It’s an experience worth having.
Last week, Walton opened the debut episode of ‘Throw It Down’ with an enthusiastic countdown, then raised his arms to the sky and shouted, “It’s time to throw it down! Here we go!”
His producer urged focus as Walton stepped out of his lean-to onto the path in his yard, walking familiar steps under colorful lights.
Walton described the journey as wandering “through the desert aimlessly, finding the water, finding the sun,” and urged the viewer to “follow the light.”
He introduced the viewer to the night’s game, weaving together names of Spurs and Blazers past and present to describe his perspective, then reached his home, “the promised land,” for the game.
“Oh my goodness, it’s all right here,” Walton said. “The NBA – the greatest players, the greatest business, the greatest everything in the history of the known world! I see the light!”
He waved away the haze hanging in the air and strode into the warm light of his home, which was festooned with jerseys and memorabilia from his Hall of Fame career and life in the NBA.
“This is what I love. This is where it’s safe. This is my sanctuary. This is where I come for the inspiration,” said Walton, backdropped against a Maurice Lucas jersey, pointing out the chimes of freedom to the side.
Other notable revelations from the course of the evening:
Walton said his favorite color was rainbow. Phil Knight, co-founder and chairman emeritus of Nike dropped in to reminisce.
Julius Erving, also one of the 75 greatest players of all time, discussed taking childhood inspiration from Elgin Baylor and noted that Walton reminded him of beating him for the title “every time we see each other,” but doesn’t gloat, as he’s “such a clever guy.”
Walton compared Damian Lillard to a Grateful Dead song, saying he has “taken the spectacular, the unexpected” and made it familiar.
Chicago White Sox play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti asked Walton’s opinions on jump balls.
“I love jump balls! I love jump balls, because that’s where you decide the fate of the known world!” Walton exclaimed in response.
“When the ball’s put in play, it’s up there for grabs and the first guy to get up there and touch it, and push the ball, those are the guys that write history!”
You, too, have the chance to see what else the legend Bill Walton does during his time reverberating through the NBA Monday only on the NBA App!
Here’s the complete schedule for ‘Throw It Down’ alternate broadcasts:
|Jan. 30||Toronto at Phoenix||9 p.m. ET|
|Feb. 6||Cleveland at Washington||7 p.m. ET|
|Feb. 27||Boston at New York||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Mar. 6||Boston at Cleveland||7 p.m. ET|