One of the “joys” that many people on late-night Twitter seem to get all up in arms over is whenever noted basketball legend Bill Walton is calling a PAC 12 or NBA game.
Many of these people seem to enjoy the numerous and never-ending stories that Walton has, as well as his views on life that are…a little out there if we’re being honest.
But I’m here to give you the hard truth: Bill Walton is awful. It is not enjoyable listening to him on a broadcast, and I have gotten to the point where I refuse to watch any game where he is the announcer.
I get that too many announcers take their job way too serious and think they are the be-all-end-all when it comes to knowledge and opinions about college or NBA basketball (looking at you Dan Dakich), but Walton is the opposite. He often looks like he just wandered in off the street, and seems to have no interest in talking about the game he’s calling at all.
I get the reason for bringing in Walton on games, I really do. He’s one of the best basketball players of all-time, and legit might be THE best college basketball player ever for the most storied basketball program ever, for the greatest college hoops coach ever. So he has a large amount of experience that he can dwell on and go back to in order to make points about the game. But rarely does, and often doesn’t just so he can tell us a story about some weird out-of-body experience he had at Bonnaroo or on his daily bike ride on shrooms. It’s awful.
There’s a fine line between being fun and conversational and absolutely insane, and Walton steps over the line, hops on his long-board skateboard and rolls another 10 miles past.
The best announcers find some way to be knowledgeable about their sport without being an asshole, while also being able to be fun and conversational. Bill Walton is neither of those things and it’s a pain in the ass to listen to.
I honest to goodness think Bill Walton has never done a game on ESPN where he isn’t stoned out of his mind. Just watch him for five minutes. There’s likely some story about seeing String Cheese Incident or whatever other hippie jam band in concert for the 49th time, some weird and awkward remark to his partner that brings the broadcast to an absolute stop, and zero talk about basketball.
And yet a large portion of the late-night hoops fans on Twitter will sit there and rave about every one of his dumb stories or weird anecdotes or gifts. We get it, he’s a non-traditional broadcaster, but that doesn’t make him good.
So yeah, you clowns that love to watch late-night basketball between two trash teams and even trashier announcer, go ahead, enjoy listening to a senile old man who had his last remaining brain cells washed away by acid. I’ll be doing something else.
Bill Walton sucks.