Bill Walton

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Born

11/5/1952 , La Mesa, California, USA

Birth Name

William Theodore Walton III

Gender

Male

Biography:

One of the NBA's 50 all-time greatest players, Bill Walton will serve as an analyst for ABC Sports' coverage of the NBA and ESPN on Wednesday nights with Brad Nessler. Walton joined NBC in 1992, to serve as an analyst on "NBA Showtime." For two seasons, he and NBA columnst Peter Vecsey formed "The insiders," providing inside information, up-to-the minute reports and analysis of on and off-the-court action around the NBA. Beginning in the 1994-95 season, Walton serve as a game analyst, where he has since worked with regular-season telecasts as well as NBC's coverage of the NBA Palyoffs, Finals and the All-Star game. Walton has paired with Steve 'Snapper' Jones to form one of the most exciting broadcast teams in the sport and in 2001, the duo was named to the lead broadcast team for the NBA on NBC, alongside Marv Albert, the signature play-by-play voice of the NBA.

Additionally, Walton has worked select college basketball telecasts for the network and handled a variety of roles during NBC's coverage of the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games, including reporting courtside from the indoor and beach volleyball venues, Walton has also contributed as an analyst during the men's basketball competition.

One of the most talented centers ever to play the game of basketball, Walton was a member of the Trail Blazers NBA Championship in 1977, the youngest team ever to win an NBA Championship. After being selected by the Blazers with the top pick in the 1974 draft, Walton proceeded to become one of the league's best all-around players - in the areas of scoring, rebounding, passing, defense and shot blocking - through 1978. Serious ankle and foot injuries then interrupted Walton's promising career. He played only 14 games between the 1978-79 season and the 1981-82 campaign before returning to limited action for the San Diego and Los Angeles Clippers. Considered on of the best-passing big man in game's history, Walton experienced a career re-birth during the 1985-86 season when he was traded by the Clippers to the Boston Celtics. He played 80 regular-season games for Boston that year as the Celtics won their 16th NBA Championship, and was named the winner of the NBA's Sixth Man Award. In 1993, he reached the pinnacle of basketball recognition, as he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. From 1990-92, Walton serves as an analyst for CBS' coverage of the NCAA basketball tournament. During the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons, he served as an analyst for both the Los Angeles Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks. He still provides commentary on Clippers telecasts, and occasionally provides analysis on Turner Sports' cable television coverage of the NBA. Additionally, he is a full-time contributor on MSNBC and nbcsports.com. He is also a member of the of the All-Star Advisory Council for the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA, an international youth basketball support initiative.

Walton rose to national prominence as a member of UCLA's NCAA championship teams in 1972 and 1973. He was selected as NCAA's College Player of the Year in 1972, 73 and 74, and holds NCAA tournament records for highest field goal percentage in one year (76.3% in 1973) and in a career (68.6% through 1972-74). He won the Sullivan Award as the nation's outstanding amateur athlete in 1974, and he was named to the Verizon Academic All-America Hall-of-Fame in 1994 where he was a three-time academic All-American at UCLA.

Walton became the first player in NBA history to lead the NBA in shot-blocking and rebounding in the same season for the World Champion Portland Trail Blazers in 1977. He share Finals records for both categories: single-game defensive rebounds (20, two times) and single-game blocked-shots (8), against the Philadelphia 76ers. He earned the league's Most Valable Player award in 1978, and was named to both the All-NBA first team and NBA All-Defensive team, the latter for the second straight year. In 1994, Walton's first book, "Nothing But Net," written with Gene Wojciechowski, was published by Hyperion. In 1991, Walton received the Oscar Robertson Leadership Award. In 1999, the NCAA honored Walton the Silver Anniversary Award.

Walton graduated from UCLA in 1974 with a B.A. degree in History. He also attended Stanford University graduate school, studying law.

He resides in San Diego with his wife Lori and is the proud father of four boys, Adam, Nate, Luke, and Chris.