clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The top 10 Bill Walton moments of the decade

New, 2 comments

Or: “Have you ever been to a volcano when it’s erupting?”

NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Chaminade Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Walton is a gem. He makes boring basketball games fun. He enriches your brain and injects humor into the wasteland that is Pac-12 basketball.

The past 10 years have provided us with no shortage of great Walton material. Below, you’ll find his 10 best moments of the 2010s. A lot of these are from the past few years, which is likely due to recency bias. However, it’s mostly due to people finally realizing how funny he is, leading to more and more people paying attention to what he says during each game. Enjoy.


10. Calling out UCLA for scheduling Liberty (2019)

Not many people in the college media landscape are willing to give much insight about Liberty University that looks beyond the basketball team and focuses on the controversial school as a whole. Given his outspoken nature, Bill Walton certainly wasn’t willing to withhold his true thoughts on Liberty, letting loose on his alma mater’s decision to schedule them during broadcasts throughout the 2018-19 season.

9. Changing shirts mid-broadcast (2017)

Someone gave Bill a new tie-dye shirt. He put it on in the middle of the broadcast. The most striking thing about this is how much better Walton looks at age 67 than I do at age 22.

8. Properly enjoying Proud Mary (2018)

There’s nothing that makes me angrier than going to a non-jazz/classical concert where people aren’t standing up and having a good time. Clearly, this is the case for Bill Walton too. The self-proclaimed Deadhead clearly has no problem letting loose and enjoying any type of music, which is what happened at a John Fogerty concert last year.

However, the best thing about this video is that the 6’11 guy is the only one standing up. Those poor people behind him.

7. Dressing as Uncle Sam and talking about football (2017)

During the College Football Playoff title game in 2017, ESPN decided to take a bunch of its personalities and (presumably) lock them together in a room for four hours while broadcasting their interactions on ESPNU. This “ESPN Voices” telecast was obviously the superior viewing choice, as it featured a Jay Bilas who clearly didn’t want to be there as well as Bill Walton wearing an Uncle Sam getup. If you think Walton is scatterbrained while calling a basketball game, just wait until you see him talking about a sport he doesn’t know.

This whole broadcast was a treasure. Seriously. Here’s the entire video of it because I cannot pick a single clip to embody what went on here.

6. Asking about milking (2019)

Dave Pasch has never been milked.

5. Obama to UCLA ( 2019)

When former blue blood UCLA fired Steve Alford during the 2018-19 season, the mid-season coaching search was underway. Walton, as one of the school’s most famous players, was obviously asked on air about who should fill the opening. He took a presidential approach.

The school ultimately chose to hire Mick Cronin.

4. Starting a creationism debate on ESPN (2015)

I’m not going to say anything about this except that Dave Pasch is a creationist. Bill Walton is not. Bill Walton gave him a copy of On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. It was extremely awkward and funny.

3. Revealing he was in Ghostbusters (2019)

Nothing fun really ever happens during those midweek, ESPN-aired Pac-12 games that Walton is found calling. Thus, no one is ever really surprised when he spices things up by talking about vulcanology or playing the glockenspiel.

However, things went a very strange route earlier this year when Walton claimed to have been in the original Ghostbusters film. The Washington Post put together a transcript of Walton’s claim:

“Were you one of the ghosts? Were you the ghost that slimed Bill Murray?” Pasch, who said he has seen the film “100 times,” asked Walton (Awful Announcing has the clips).

“Just check out the movie, okay, will you?” Walton replied.

This continued for a bit longer, with Pasch asking whether Walton had starred as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and Walton replying, “What’s that?” which isn’t exactly something a person asks if they truly had been in “Ghostbusters.” Yet Walton continued to insist that he had been in the film.

Thankfully, a Redditor found what is believed to be Walton’s “appearance.”

2. Eating a lit candle (2019)

1. Calling a random White Sox game (2019)

Remember how fantastic it was when Bill Walton called that CFP title game? Well, a bunch of people decided they should let him announce more sports he isn’t familiar with!

This past summer, he was in the booth with Jason Benetti for a random Angels-White Sox game. Our own Kyle Cajero wrote a fantastic recap of the entire night, which you should certainly check out.

Truly, baseball is the best sport for Walton to call. There’s minimal action to distract you from him, and he makes even the dullest moments worth your attention.