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Dave Pasch: Bill Walton Is The Type Of Person You Don't Forget

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen
The Truth Network Radio
May 28, 2024 3:48 pm

Dave Pasch: Bill Walton Is The Type Of Person You Don't Forget

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen

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May 28, 2024 3:48 pm

5/28/24 - Hour 2

In ‘Overreaction Tuesday’ Rich weighs in Broncos QB Bo Nix, Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence, Browns QB Deshaun Watson and more.

ESPN announcer Dave Pasch shares with Rich his favorite stories from his 12 years of being Bill Walton’s broadcasting partner after the basketball legend’s passing from cancer at the age of 71.

Please check out other RES productions:

Overreaction Monday: http://apple.co/overreactionmonday 

What the Football with Suzy Shuster and Amy Trask: http://apple.co/whatthefootball

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The one, the only, the Hall of Famer, Bill Walton. Yeah! Here we go! Live from the Rich Eisen Show studio in Los Angeles. I haven't broken any Tesla windshields today on the Rich Eisen Show, so what could be better?

It's a beautiful day in Southern California. I'm truly the luckiest guy in the world. Earlier on the show, ESPN NBA reporter Dave McMenamin. Coming up, Arizona Cardinals radio voice Dave Pash, author Harlan Coben.

And now, it's Rich Eisen. Our number two, the Rich Eisen Show is on the air. We just ended our number one with our tribute to the late, I can't believe it, great Bill Walton, whose broadcast partner for the last 12 years on ESPN, Dave Pash. He'll be joining us in 20 minutes time. He's calling the Western Conference Finals game number four between the Mavericks and the Timberwolves tonight on ESPN radio. Lots to talk about with Dave when he joins us.

The prolific, to say the least, author and novelist Harlan Coben, whose 36th novel of his illustrious career is out where all books are sold called Think Twice, another thriller from Harlan. He's on in hour number three. Hour number three also, we will be giving our sendoff to Angel Hernandez, Major League Baseball umpire of note. That'll be in hour number three of this program.

I wouldn't miss that if I were you. There'll be a door and we'll be hitting somebody on the way out. That's the way we're going to say it and be as respectful as possible. So there's that. No, we're going to do that.

We're going to do that. Also, later on in this hour, a conversation amongst us about what I did Friday night with Suze and Taylor, my 10-year-old, going to a fantastic night at Crypto Arena. When the Indiana Fever and Kaitlin Clark came into town to take on Cameron Brink, the number two overall pick in the WMB draft. And the crowd was just lit for the L.A. Sparks.

But there were a lot of Iowa fans in the crowd. So we'll be talking about that. And certainly with Mike Del Tufo not here, we're going to crap all over him. That's going to be later on in this hour. Don't miss it. Hey, listen, man, that's what happened. You snooze, you lose. That's the way we roll.

844-204-RICH is the number to dial. Terzo in Iowa wants to chime in here. What's up, Terzo? All rise. All rise. What's going on, Terzo? What's up, guys? A couple of things. I first won a hit on the bill, Walton loss.

Never. It's always difficult to really understand how complex a person is, especially like him. But you could just tell in everything he did that there is such a passion for his love of sports, for his love of people, for his love of music. And I think so many people could learn from him. And if they just paid a little bit more attention to kind of the levity that he would give to situations, just trying to bring people together. One of the greatest people that I've ever got to listen to.

Never had the opportunity to ever meet him, but it was always a pleasure to listen to him on your show, Dan Patrick, or whenever he was doing a broadcast. I'm with you. Well said, Terzo. Well said. Excellent summation, counselor. What else is on your mind?

Appreciate it, Rich. Well, I'm looking forward to the game tonight. I kind of am leaning a little bit to the T wolves to pull this one out tonight and Dallas finish it off back home. But I think Brockman said it best earlier in the show that it's been kind of amazing how both Boston and Dallas have been just clutched whenever it comes to the last seven to eight minutes of the fourth quarter.

And I think they've put the stranglehold. So I'm excited for this matchup if it's the one that that happens. I'm with you. And thanks to the call, Terzo, except I think the Mavericks complete the sweep tonight.

I really feel it. But I'm rooting for the Timberwolves. I'd like to have more basketball in the next nine days to be straight up with you. I would love to see what a game five looks like. And if they send it back to Dallas for a game six, then obviously pressure begins to mount and things of that nature.

I'd love to get that ball rolling. I saw also on my phone. I'm imagining it's true. Over the weekend, there's only been over the last 20, 24. That's two 20, 23, 20, 22, 20. I think 2021 was the last conference finals that had somebody win a game in the first three to make it two to one. Everything else has been three. Oh, wow. It's been a while since the conference finals has been tight.

So I'd like to I'd like to get a little bit of that going. And plus, we're big we're big fans of Cat here. He's joined the program multiple times. He seems like a great human. I have a feeling if the Timberwolves get swept, he's going to be the one that's going to eat it from the criticism front.

They were already I mean, I mean, him and Ant are both really struggling right now. But yeah, Cat's well, I mean, you saw you saw the inside the NBA crew led by Draymond. By the way, I find it I find it fascinating to me. We do this all the time on NFL Network as well. And I have no problem when when somebody joins us for the playoffs, you know. But I also feel like we're you know, the guys on the set, we had the chemistry. Like, let us do our thing and let somebody else come in every now and then. But Draymond is now a fifth chair on that on that set, which I find fascinating to me. You know, and he's got chops. There's no question about it.

But certainly if we might not get more than just one more year out of these guys, let them do their thing. But that's another thing. But Draymond was the one who basically was leading the charge of calling Cap on. Cat saying that he was taking fifteen hundred shots a day.

You see that one? Yeah, like he's getting his work in and he's like, Cap. And they all agreed, though, they were all on him and they were really all over him. And I have a feeling if they don't win tonight, he's going to be the one that's going to be just absolutely taking it from every possible angle. Fair or not.

So I'm rooting for the Timberwolves tonight. Cat also in the Swish video. Oh, was he really? Yeah, I did not know that. Well, again, we have a scene with you two, but you watch the video at the very end, he comes through. OK. I haven't seen it in a while.

You're one of the six hundred eighty five million downloads. I completely forgot about it, too, until I really watched it last night. And I was like, I forgot he was in this.

You know, it's interesting. Michael K's on tomorrow's show in studio at this very moment. We'll be chatting with him in town because he's calling Yankees Angels and and Coop and I are going to that game Wednesday night. We got the tickets on game time. Oh, yes, indeed.

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Lowest price. Guaranteed. Game time is the presenting sponsor of our podcasts, including overreaction Monday, which is out there for everybody to check out. It's only fitting that that's how we lead into this edition of overreaction Monday on a Tuesday. That was terrible. That was crap.

That was garbage. This place sucks. Overreaction Mondays on Monday on a Tuesday. Hey, nobody talked over. Well done, everybody. Nobody being me.

What's going on? Hey, everybody. Good. We're great. Hey, it was all right.

I saw Philly on a boat. That was fun. Very good. Glad you made it. Great.

How about this? I'm looking at barely who's still out there. Wide receivers. Nobody's getting the bag. Where's the bag? Where's the bag?

What's in the bag? We're very close to wide receivers being treated like running backs in the NFL. I think you're you're on to something here. Well, then who's going to play football? Just the quarterback?

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Who's going to get our contract? I am. I'm with you, man.

We're close. I think you're on to something here. I was thinking that the other day. Oh, coming back from the draft, actually, when you're seeing all of these really talented kids at the wide receiver position, getting chosen at the top of the draft and then second, third round, you're hearing, you know, the Jets talk about this this kid they drafted out of what, Western Kentucky, that they love so much. And Roger said was his favorite player in the draft. I mean, honestly.

But I mean, some are getting paid. And interestingly enough, A.J. Brown, Deebo Samuel, D.K. Metcalf for second round.

I'm on Rob right deep in the draft. But so some are getting paid. But my only push back here, my only push back here is that only like one or two running backs have gotten paid.

And that's it. And they're not going to get paid like the receivers. Honestly, the receiver, you can go either way on this one that you're right. They're going to turn into running backs where they're suddenly like, hey, we don't need to pay you. We're just going to draft some guys.

Or or one of them is going to start getting paid like a quarterback. Oh, that's the other way. That's the other way.

I mean, sour cap keeps going up. What you can't say about running backs. So I'll push back on this. But you're you're in the area code of proper reaction. I'll still call this an overreaction because Justin Jefferson is going to get that bag. And that's why Jerry should tell C.D. Lamb you're exempt from this all in craziness. You're exempt because we know you're not the reason why we're not winning in January. The chances. Jerry Jones just kind of like said some stuff and he doesn't remember it.

And now we're just the media runs with it like crazy. I don't know how I've been telling. What else you got over there?

All right. I was reading some stuff. Sean Payton talking about his quarterback competition that's going on there in Denver.

Yes. He likes what he sees out of the 12th overall pick. Bo Nix, top three rookie quarterback this year. I think that's not an overreaction because the other three quarterbacks might not play.

So by default, I was hoping you weren't going to put that together by default. Again, all I heard coming out of the draft is that Sam Darnell was told by Minnesota prior to the draft. We are going to start you even if we get some of these kids in the draft that we're targeting. If we draft a quarterback at the top of our draft in the first round, we're still going to plan to sit that kid. And we want you to become the next Baker Mayfield or Jared Goff.

Go crush it. We've got a playoff ready team. You go be the guy that we know you can be and we'll give you a year. And that's what I'm hearing is the plan for J.J. McCarthy.

We all understand that Drake May has got a lot of things to learn. OK, I think so. And I don't think he's going to you're going to see him in the first month of the season at the very least.

Hopefully not till December. OK, right. And so then you've got Michael Pennix, who, if he plays a lick this year, it's because Cousins is hurt. So by default, Bo Nix should be a top three quarterback as a rookie. That's the way I'm saying. Not an overreaction. Maybe not. Maybe not. The reasoning you're looking for. Orlovsky thinks J.J. McCarthy is going to be rookie of the year.

So I don't think J.J. McCarthy is going to get the time. I don't believe. Maybe I'm wrong. What else? All right. Speaking of bags, Rich, we talked about this on the podcast last week.

I wanted to bring it to the flagship show. I think the Jaguars should make Trevor Lawrence prove it before giving him a 50 million dollar a year contract. That's not happening. I mean, they might just give him one in the 40s.

He might be a 40 million dollar a year guy, mid 40s or something like that. But they're not going to do that. They're not going to do that. Has he proven to you that he is a franchise go to the Super Bowl guy?

But that's not the metric by which these quarterbacks get paid in the NFL. Why isn't it? Because no team is going to say to Trevor Lawrence, we're done here.

That's why. Because what are you going to do? You're going to go back to. Square one, you're going to go back to square one with somebody as talented as Trevor Lawrence. The number of people in this league that would be like, OK, thanks, Jacksonville, forgiving as somebody who's like age twenty seven, age twenty eight with this skill set, walking on the free agent market. No way. It's just not going to happen. And last year they were eight and three on the night that his favorite receiver, all due respect to Calvin Ridley, when I met with the Jaguars prior to their one of their London games last year, all they talked about, both him, Trevor Lawrence, Coach Doug Peterson and Christian Kirk was the chemistry between these two guys. Christian Kirk went down in the game against the Bengals first, then he got hurt.

Lawrence last and the team wasn't the same since. So I will just say that's not going to happen. Total overreaction.

And I know what you're looking for. You're looking for a team that will tell somebody we drafted you first overall, but we just haven't seen enough from you in the first contract for us to reward you generationally. That's just not going to happen. Brock Purdy has changed the mold. Teams need to look at that and say we can do that. We can build a super team around a guy who's good enough.

We don't have to pay them all this money and eat up cap space. Well, I think they would tell you that Trevor Lawrence is just as talented as Brock Purdy. Who are you taking to fantasy? Trevor Lawrence or Brock Purdy? Neither.

You would take Brock Purdy over Trevor Lawrence and you know it. What else you got over there, Chris? This is another one of my favorite topics, T.J., and I know you hate it, but I'm doing it anyway. Let's talk pressure. Quarterback under the most pressure this season.

Dakar Hoop. It's Deshaun Watson is under the most pressure quarterback this season. Well, again, again, my only pushback on this is to me, pressure is what Jerry Jones is trying to apply to his guy, which is like if you don't come.

No, no, no. But what I'm saying, it's not Dak. Dak, I don't think will will will crack under that pressure because, OK, you don't want me here. I'll just make 50 million somewhere else. Remember the Pittsburgh fans that they please. The pressure is somebody who will be gone from a place that they want to stay in or B, have some sort of legacy that they have an opportunity to build on or create again like Russ. And this is a last stop, like no other team is going to give you a starting gig after your this is your last stop. I would say Russell is under more pressure than anywhere and anybody in that division. He's got a million dollar contract.

No, I know that. But if he does not do what he needs to do this year and try and get back to the Russ of dangerous, then he might not get another shot to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. So that's under more pressure. However, Deshaun Watson needs to take a team that Joe Flacco took to the playoffs after coming off the couch and became the comeback player of the year from not even having a gig in on on Halloween to being the trick and treat against the opponent and for the home team. So Watson has to show something, but he'll still be the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns in twenty, twenty five. So I'll push back on that is under the most pressure.

But he's got to show something. You got one more over there or that's about one more. But our guest is checking in. So I want to be I want to be on time. Very good.

Thank you so much. Is that Syracuse helping Syracuse? That is OK, because they love one of the finest from the Syracuse program is joining this program.

When we come back, 12 years of memories of working alongside Bill Walton, Dave Pash chiming in from the Metroplex, where he's calling tonight's game four of the Western Conference Finals for ESPN radio when we come back. Let's talk sleep number, people, because quality sleep is so essential. That's why the sleep number smart bed is dissolved for your ever evolving sleep needs. And the same thing for your partner.

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Last minute tickets, lowest price guaranteed. Passing the man who spent 12 years at the mic with Bill Walton, Dave Pash here on The Rich Eisen Show. My condolences, Dave.

Thanks, Rich. That picture you showed going to break really tells you what working 12 years with Bill Walton does to a man, because I had a full head of hair and it was nice and thick and dark. And here I am.

We look very much alike. You know, hey, man, listen, the brotherhood and we're part of the brotherhood of love and Bill Walton, too. You know, so I'll just throw throw you right to the curveball to start your what are you thinking about right now, Dave? Well, it's been cathartic, Rich, to spend the last 24 hours getting a chance to talk about Bill and honor his memory with the things that made Bill tick. And that was primarily making others smile and laugh. I think when you laughed along with Bill, it made his day. He didn't take life too seriously.

He certainly didn't take himself too seriously. Calling a basketball game and just talking basketball was too easy for him. He enjoyed to he enjoyed humanizing the players, talking about the mountain ranges that were nearby, promoting the school, having fun with it. And the memories will last a lifetime. He's the type of person you don't forget. And I think, too, Rich, the tributes you're seeing from guys he played with and against, they're not really basketball centric.

They're more about build a person. I think back to the first time I did the Paxful tournament with Bill. I remember a few days later, I had a sit down interview with Steph Curry. I was doing a Warriors game and I walked in, I sit down and step looks me goes, how come you didn't answer Bill's question? I said, huh? He goes, you wouldn't answer Bill's question. I said, step, what are you talking about? He goes, Bill asked if you've ever been inside of a volcano while it's erupting and you wouldn't answer. And what was funny about that is that Steph thought it was funny.

Like the players respected Bill who he was as a player, but he made them laugh and smile just like he made us smile and laugh. So I am mandated to ask you if you ever been in a volcano. Did you answer the question? We'll leave that one for the audience.

That's so funny. Oh, man. Oh, man.

Oh, man. Your first broadcast with him was where and when? When was it? So my first broadcast with him was actually an NBA game in 2006. So the bill always claimed he would say that never happened. But my first year on NBA, I did five or six games with Bill. And I remember LeBron James taking off his headband as a young player.

We were in Chicago and he took it. He tossed it towards the scoreboard. And I was just happy to be sitting next to Bill and happy to be doing NBA for ESPN. And Bill starts going off.

It's a technical foul. He's just going and going and going. And I'm not saying a word. And Mike Torrico calls me the next day and says, you have to stop him. That's your job. Mike was Bill's regular partner and obviously a master at working with anybody. And I filed that away thinking, well, at some point that'll come in handy. And it did when we were paired together when we got the PAC 12 contract, because I came to really try to understand how to stop him.

And it wasn't always successful. Sometimes I would join in. But he made me a better broadcaster in that way because, you know, you're trained. So I need to get struck my cues a little bit.

You're trained in a good way to call a game a certain way. And, you know, sometimes you're focused so much on that you're not letting your personality come out. But when you work with Bill, you don't have a choice.

Your personality better come out or it's not going to work. So Bill made me a heck of a lot better at a lot of things. And broadcasting certainly at the top. I love that story, Dave, not just because that also shows who Tariqo is, because he does that for a lot of folks. And but but also just hearing this story, just I hearken back to the days when I would do Sports Center with Stuart Scott, massive personality, right? Just a massive personality who would on occasion, he would just burst into my highlights as I'm reading them. Right.

So I'm having a certain way of thinking about this, how I'm mapping out the highlights that I'm going to do on Sports Center. And then that plan would just go up in smoke when Stuart jumped in. And I realized after a while that, you know, I had to rein it in. It was going to be my job to stop it, if you will, but not completely, but to work off of that and understand that it does enhance what I'm doing. And it was a process.

It was a complete process to work with somebody with such a massive personality and mix it all together. And, you know, I could tell as you're as you guys evolved together at one point, you even said, you know, I didn't know where that two minute long story was going, but you finished you finished this. You finished well, Bill, when he was telling the story, but I think about Danny Ainge or something like that and how he hated backup point backup guards. I mean, and so I love stories like that.

I really do. Yeah, I think he said to Danny one time, the only thing worse than guards are backup guards. But Danny's got unbelievable Bill stories. But it was the fun and the challenge, as I'm sure you had of working with Stu, that I didn't know what to expect each night with Bill. But I looked forward to it because it was a new challenge. I just didn't know what was coming.

I never rehearsed. I had no idea. You know, one time he gave me a big rock because there was a player for Arizona named Stone Geddings. And he pulls out this huge boulder that he'd been hiding and he gives it to me as a gift.

And he says, here, get stoned. Yeah. What can you say? Look, can can most of us get away with that?

No. But when you're one of the greatest players of all time and you're known for being unique and eccentric, the rules are different. They certainly were different for Bill.

And we just kind of rolled with it and had the time of our lives. Dave Pass here on the Rich Eisen Show, remembering Bill Walton. I also saw this morning you were thrown out for all of us to chew on some texts that he would send you. What type of text would he send you?

Dave, I'll give you the floor on that one. Yeah. And I wasn't sure that I was hesitant about doing that. But then I thought, you know, I kind of want people who have gotten to know Bill through television to see that Bill, what he's like off the air is the same. Like, first of all, he's loving and caring and thoughtful.

But, you know, he can be a wise guy and he's an all time ball buster. And so he would a lot of times if I'm calling a game, not with him, he'd be watching it and he would text me as if he didn't know I was calling the game. And so he would just say something like, check out this game right now. I'm not sure what channel. There's this announcer on there who's making no sense.

If you have the time, check it out. Just, you know, to bust my chops or and then I just sometimes we get random texts for him, like I'm staying up all night right now wondering how it is you come up with these crazy things you say. Shine on, you know, just again, showing everybody his personality. And then you sometimes text me. I love you. I miss you. Don't tell anybody because he loved people thinking we hated each other. He's just such a wonderful guy. And I'll miss him dearly.

Yeah, we're seeing that one on the screen here. You're awesome. I miss you. By the way, you have to read it in his voice. Right.

When you're reading his stuff. Oh, yeah. I miss you. I love you. I'm sorry for the grief I caused you. I just knew it had to eventually happen. I sure don't want to play them. Please.

Where do they get this stuff? I may never sleep again when I'm and I'm installing more solar panels. Now, that's a reference to what when he's talking about solar. Well, a couple of things. So he says, I just knew it had to happen because I sometimes would say you just knew they were going to make a run and he hated that.

Or you wouldn't want to play this team right now. And so he hated that, too. So he would text me those things. OK, and his nickname for me was Cole and he would call himself solar. So he would text me, hey, Cole, and then he would give the long list of things with the spacing in between. And he'd always sign off solar because in his mind, you know, because we're very different.

Our worldview is very different. But, you know, had a great relationship and love each other. But yeah, he would he kind of looked at me as somebody.

Oh, you're living in the past and I'm all about the future. And so that's where he came up with the Cole solar thing. And he would call me that all the time.

Not on the air. I think occasionally he did. He forgot. He would never call me Dave. So occasionally he would call me Cole.

But most of the time he'd just say, what's your name again or who are you? Who is this? Where am I? Like this one here where he and Laurie, his wife. I think that's Albuquerque, New Mexico, actually. But he texted me the picture of Cole Avenue.

We're nearby. You know, can Dave come out and play? It is Dave, right? Oh, man. Oh, fantastic.

Now, pardon me for asking, but I don't know the answer to this question. But were you in the chair next to him when he said he was milked that that he that he's but he milks cows and I've been milked. Were you in the chair for that day for that one? I was. I believe it was Tony Parker, not the Spurs.

Tony Parker is a player for UCLA a few years ago named Tony Parker. And we were talking about feeding the post. And I said something about, you know, you got a milk, you're going to milk him in that situation. He says, you know, I love I love when you talk about milk.

I've been milked. You know, that kind of thing. And people, of course, are like, what's he talking about? There was a context.

But of course, it's more fun to take Bill with no context. And so it's just him saying, I, I love milk. I've been milked. No, I think we have. I think.

Do we have it? Yeah, I mean, there it is. You know, there was another one this year where I did it again. I did it on purpose to kind of set him up. And so I love when you talk about milk. You know, the last game that he and I did together is the last time I saw him at dinner after.

But the game was at USC on February 1st. And we're messing around. George Lucas came up somehow. And so I jokingly said to him, how did that audition for Chewbacca go? And he, of course, just. Went with it completely and not only said that he auditioned for it, but didn't get it, but that George Lucas fashioned the character Chewbacca in his life. And that wasn't true.

Not sure. We we totally made it up. And and like People magazine and like all these entertainment writers are coming, like writing stories and like finding George Lucas quotes from 1978 refuting this statement. But we didn't care. So it was like we were just laughing.

Like, I can't believe they took that seriously. It was totally made up. So you're just riffing off.

That's not true. Oh, my gosh. Sorry. I don't know if I burst. No, it's great. No, it's great. It just means you're having a good time. And that's the perfect example of. Yeah. You know, obviously, people are coming to watch the game.

OK, people are coming to watch the game and being told what is going on with the action. But this sort of by play, it's so rare in our business, Dave. It really is, man. And and, you know, to have somebody like Bill have somebody like you to set him up and let him go and then rein them in.

It ain't easy. And I'm sure it's not easy to talk about him in the past tense. And I saw this on your feed today. And this is the thing that really hit me, that you had a T-shirt made up that includes on the front a photo of the moment. I can't believe we haven't talked about it yet where, you know, as a birthday cupcake and he ate it completely off the top with including the burning candle. And then you wrote on the back, I survived 12 years with Bill Walton and all I got was this shirt. And you had this made up for him, right?

Yeah, I was going to present it to him or wear it or something in our last game, which was scheduled to be, I think it was March 9th, USC, Arizona. And obviously, you know, Bill, the last game we did together was Feb one. And we actually were not supposed to work together for about a few weeks. But then obviously Bill at that point was ill and was not working. But I still have the shirt.

I just made one. Obviously, it's sad that I didn't get a chance. I did text it to him for him to see it. And he he enjoyed it because Bill, that's what Bill liked. He liked to play from this. He would take his headset off in the middle of games and say, keep coming at me. Don't stop. There's nothing you can say that will offend me no matter what I say or what I do. Know that I love you, but don't tell anybody. So he would take his headset off and say to you, you know, keep keep on, you know, ribbing me or or oh, yeah.

Or twist it. Right. Don't stop. Yeah. Just he enjoyed it. It was Lionel Hollins who he played with on the Blazers. You coached in the long for the league in the league for a long time would tell me sometimes like Bill kind of you bring Bill back to the locker room, like he's playing again because that's how Bill was. So according to Lionel and some of his other teammates, that's how Bill was in the locker room with just messing around. So Lionel thought it made a lot of sense, like because Bill will like he would stretch before games. He would be drinking water and eating protein bars and all these energy choose. And he'd get up and stretch. And after the national anthem, he put both arms in the air and yell as loud as he could. I mean, it was like he was getting ready to play.

And I guess in a way I was the competition. Did he have a special chair with him? Because that's what he had when I was shooting a music that Katy Perry music video with him. He had this big, huge metal chair because his back he couldn't sit. Is that did he broadcast on that chair?

Dave? Yeah, he would he would bring a chair when we were somewhere where he had driven and he could bring the chair with him. Otherwise, they'd set him up and stack three or four chairs for him because obviously his back was in pretty bad shape. I mean, he bites and moved around well, considering all that he had been through in his life with the feet injuries. And then the major spine surgery surgery, which basically saved his life. Thanks to Jim Gray, who knew this doctor when Bill was going through a time where he couldn't move. And, you know, as Bill documented in a lot of on a lot of platforms, he contemplated suicide. And he and Jim were really close. And Jim knew of a doctor that was kind of in the infancy stages of this spine surgery that Bill underwent and basically saved his life.

But still, it was really challenging for him to sit that long. And so you had you had to have a high chair. Yeah, I bring it up here is also because you've been so kind to share your stories.

I'll briefly share mine with you because we were shooting a Katy Perry music video together, of all things. And and there we were. And I just loved being around him. I just loved the way he talked to people and everybody couldn't get enough of him.

Right. And he was so open and giving and whatever. And but he wanted to get home to his wife and wanted to beat the traffic down to San Diego. And the car that was sent for him was late. So I agreed to take him to his hotel where they were. The car was going to, you know, have to go back to grab his bags from the hotel and go down.

I said, I'll take you. And I taught he toddled down the street with that huge chair down Flower Street in downtown Los Angeles to my car. And we put it in the back of my car, just the back of the car closed just in time for it to crack. And it cracked the windshield, cracked.

And Bill was so upset about it. I saved the windshield, Dave. Oh, my goodness. I saved the windshield. It's now a keepsake. And then a few weeks later, I got a note from him. I'm holding it up right here. I don't know if you've ever seen the stationary from Bill Walton. Right.

OK, so you've seen it and you see a scroll on it and I'll read it to you, please. Rich was how it started, please. Rich, sorry to ruin your life, career and your car all in such a brief period of time. Thank you for your kindness, patience, sense of honor and my life. Thanks for your moral clarity, ethics and humanity. Shine the light.

Be the light. Bill Walton. And he enclosed a check for a thousand dollars, which, of course, I never cashed, but I have kept all of it together, man. That's that. That's fantastic. That is that's Bill. That's Bill in a nutshell. But that's that's a great story. I mean, listen, that's my only one. But I figured I'd share it with you because that's him. Right. Let's notice him, you know, being he was mortified the entire 20, 30 minute ride because it was downtown.

Traffic was insane. Back to the hotel. Didn't stop apologizing about the winch. I'm like, Bill, stop.

Like, I want to talk to you about all other stuff like that doesn't matter. He was just awesome. One hundred percent.

And all that is sincere. You know, one of the things that Bill sometimes when Bill was going through a difficult time and I've heard this from friends of his that. You know, knew him really well when he was going through the the mental illness and the depression, you know, 15 years ago that he would isolate sometimes when things didn't go well. And when UCLA left a few years ago and then the Pac-12, you know, there were times where Bill wouldn't respond to texts or emails.

And then, you know, with the illness that Bill had been dealing with, you know, sometimes respond, sometimes wouldn't. And I think because he felt like he was being a burden or he was embarrassed by it. And so when he says to you, Rich, like, I'm so sorry, how can I make it up to you? Like, it's it's it's sincere. He feels genuinely badly.

And I think he just wants you to know that that he will keep repeating it because he feels genuinely badly about it, even though obviously it was completely accidental. And he just kind of puts that on himself. I know that was really just a remarkable moment. And just the one last thing, just that needs to be hammered home. This guy had a stutter.

You know what I mean? Like the stories that he would tell and the way that we're all remembering his ability to tell stories and just be wacky or goofy. He overcame stutter. And it's just one of the most that it could be one of his most remarkable achievements.

Forget, obviously, what he did on the quarter as a broadcaster. The fact is, he overcame a stutter. And I'm sure you probably witnessed him talk to people about that and try and help kids and other people. I'm sure you must have.

Absolutely. Yeah, Bill was incredibly charitable with his time, very involved with Challenge Athletes Foundation. But he had time for anybody that wanted to talk about any ailment that they had. And Bill dealt with a lot.

So Bill could relate and they could relate to Bill. And I mentioned earlier, Rich, the routine that he had before the game. And part of that routine was he would chew gum for about 30, 45 minutes. And one time I asked him, he never wanted to talk to me before the game. He just wanted him to be spontaneous.

And so he just wanted no no interaction with me at all. But I remember asking him about it. He said it was something I think it was Marty Glickman that helped him get through the stuttering. And it was part of that was the chewing gum and the moving of the mouth to kind of warm it up for the broadcast. Dave, really appreciate your time, your your stories and, you know, my condolences as you're calling a game tonight.

I'm sure there'll be something I imagine prior to the game where the NBA will will pay their respects. And let's let's have you back on to talk some hoops next time. Thank you. Thanks, Rich. Bill is one of a kind. So honored to talk about him. You bet.

Right back at you. That's Dave Pash calling tonight's game on ESPN radio. From Dallas. Telling stories about Bill Walton. We'll take a break.

844204. Rich, your phone calls and we come back right here on the Rich Eisen Show. Get fifty dollars off your purchase of five hundred dollars or more.

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What's going on sir? But I grew up in Oakland in Portland. And I saw Bill Walton's bike get stole. That's my best story.

But the man was a mess here. My cousin, I'm going to steal his thunder. He's going to call Rip City Radio later on today. But he has the best Bill Walton story. He goes to the ballpark with my uncle and his brother. Uncle buys some Oreos. They got two bags of Oreos and some milk.

You could do that. Portland to give her a name. Sits down. Bill Walton's right next to him. Bill's like, he's got some red eye going. And he goes, what's in the bag?

He goes, some Oreos. Can I have one? Oh hell yeah. He just brought us a title bro.

No, they're all yours. So anyway, it was a mythical place at the time. I grew up in Oakland when they won three straight. Free agency didn't happen. They won ten. And then I watched that team win that title and bring this Portland onto the map.

That's what Bill Walton did. Go it down big man. That guy was just amazing. The best.

Really the best. This one hurt. I lost Jim Otto right before my birthday. And then right after this. So anyway Rich, you and your wife kill it. Thanks Raider Mike. I appreciate you saying that and I appreciate your two cents here. And certainly thanks to the call from Portland. Where I don't know how many folks are talking today about Bill's contributions to Portland, Oregon today. You know, we're talking about his broadcasting career or his UCLA career.

I even mentioned the Celtics, but this man brought a title to Portland. And Rich, what Mike said about his bike getting stolen. I remember watching the video, of course, years after where Bill was at the parade celebrating the Trailblazer championship. And he got on the mic and he asked, he said, hey, whoever stole my bike, can you bring it back?

It's my only way to get home. Like, so someone really did steal his bike. And, you know, if you've never seen the 30 for 30 on Bill Walton on ESPN, I can't recommend that enough. It's if you are a fan of his, if you don't know anything about him, you need to watch that because he truly he was the type of guy today. Guys who a lot of people would call woke because he believed in so many things. And he championed for people's, you know, indigenous people's rights, you know, people of color's rights. He was just he was truly was a one of one.

And another funny story. He's drafted number one in 1974 by the Trailblazers got this from the documentary. He is backpacking across the country at the time. He goes into a store because he ran out of food. The guy behind the counter tells him, Bill, I heard on the radio, you just got drafted number one by the Portland Trailblazer.

That's how he found that's how he found out he was backpacking across the country to go get food in the grocery store guy told him. That's amazing. Can you make it perfect? Perfect.

It makes sense when you make it up. Please, if you haven't watched that, it's so amazing. And the guy was just he was one of one.

And I'm sure I'm sure there are I mean, you could see all the tributes. Everywhere, somebody's got a story about having met Bill Walton or they remember what Bill had to say on a broadcast or how crazy it was. The things coming out of his mouth and the Grateful Dead stories because he was a big deadhead. Him telling a story about taking the 86 Celtics to a dead show. John brings his skewed sense of humor. Jeff brings tips to cut strokes off your next round. Together, it's those weekend golf guys.

They'll pay a lot of money to PXG and Tylus and Callaway. How many yards you think you're going to pick up with that extra? I think I get an extra five to ten. What if I give you fifteen to twenty? You pay me more. Jeff Smith teaches on a sliding scale. Those weekend golf guys. The podcast, part of the Believe Network. Just search BLEAV on YouTube or wherever you listen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-28 17:17:24 / 2024-05-28 17:37:32 / 20

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