10 quotes from Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton

Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton’s life in basketball has been anything but dull. The Big Redhead, as the 6 ft., 11 in. carrot top came to be known, played on two championship teams, both in college, at UCLA, and in the NBA, with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Boston Celtics.  During his college career, he was the National College Player of the Year three times and turned in one of the most sensational individual performances in NCAA tournament history, making 21 of 22 field goal attempts and scoring 44 points in leading UCLA’s over Memphis State in the 1974 championship game. The native of La Mesa, Calif., is also known for attending 650 Grateful Dead concerts and overcoming his stuttering to enjoy a career as a colorful, quipping basketball analyst. He’s scheduled to come out of retirement this coming season to work Pac-12 Conference games for ESPN.

1.Second-guessing a referee


“Come on, that was no foul! It may be a violation of all the basic rules of human decency, but it’s not a foul.”

All-out effort


“Save some for later? Balderdash... this is the playoffs!”

Yogi-like logic


“A lot of people understand what not saying anything means, so, in effect, not saying anything is really saying a lot.”


Bill Walton (r.) with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (l.) AP

“I had the only beard in the Western Hemisphere that made Bob Dylan's look good.”



“Life is about growth. People are not perfect when they're 21 years old.”

Basketball as haven

Bill Walton (r.) with coach John Wooden (l.) Julie Harju/AP

“I was a skinny, scrawny guy. I stuttered horrendously, couldn't speak at all. I was a very shy, reserved player and a very shy, reserved person. I found a safe place in life in basketball.”

No outer limits


“No matter how good you get, there's always something further out there.”

Happy reserve

Boston Celtics player Larry Bird AP

“I have always wanted to be part of something special, and when I got to Boston... actually, when I bought, begged, and pleaded my way onto the Celtics... it was already a championship team. I was just glad to be able to sit there and cheer and to be Larry Bird's valet, to be sure that his shoes were fine and his uniform was folded neatly.”

Blunt assessment


"Atlanta needs all 13 lottery picks."

Calling a spade a spade


"If that's not a foul, then why have a rule book?"