IT NEARLY HAPPENED! The basketball legend was forced to change careers after a seemingly endless string of stress fractures in his foot during the late 70’s and early 80’s. He was told by doctors to stop playing basketball and, if things didn’t turn in the right direction soon, amputation of his foot was the most likely next step. A PIVOT TO LAW Embarking on a new and sedentary life, BILL WALTON entered Stanford Law School, in the fall of 1981. He went full-time for the first year. He played in no sports of any kind. He was just a student for the first time since fourth grade.
It’s about time! That’s what fans of basketball legend BILL WALTON said when they heard the news that ESPN honored him with a 30 for 30 documentary about his incredible life and career. But unlike most subjects covered in the 30 for 30 series, director Steven James, who directed Hoop Dreams, among other films, said that once he got into the project, he realized the story was bigger than he could have imagined. In the end, Bill’s documentary covered four episodes – not just a single hour – because Bill’s life can’t be distilled to 60 minutes without leaving out much of what’s so inspiring about the man.
BILL WALTON is a wonder of modern medical science. He should not be standing, but 39 – yes, you read that right, 39! – orthopedic surgeries have made it possible. Bill’s physical health problems began in college when an undiagnosed foot abnormality led first to stress fractures and then more serious issues – culminating in a complete collapse of his spine in 2008.
THE BILL WALTON ZOOM INTERVIEW - A POSITIVE FORCE OF NATURE Basketball legend BILL WALTON is no stranger to spending time in front of the camera. Lately, though, his on-camera work has been for appearances at virtual events for companies and organizations looking for a message on resilience, overcoming the odds, and finding a way to win. If you are feeling down…if you’re feeling like you just can’t face one more curve ball life has to throw at you…you need to spend some time with basketball legend Bill Walton. And if you need to get something done…anything done…BILL WALTON is the guy you want on your team.
“Learning to speak without a stutter is without a doubt my greatest accomplishment in life…and your biggest nightmare,” said basketball legend BILL WALTON to an audience of financial professionals recently. The crowd laughed because it was 30 minutes into his 60-minute talk and they'd already discovered what Walton fans everywhere already know -- the man can talk!
As entertaining in the broadcast booth as he is a keynote speaker "Bill Walton is a national treasure," read one headline. "Walton was tapped for color commentary in Friday night’s White Sox broadcast and it was a treat for the senses," it went on to say. The Chicago White Sox tried an experiment in the broadcast booth last weekend. Regular announcer Steve Stone was taking the weekend off and the team paired Jason Benetti with four guest broadcasters, one of which was basketball legend BILL WALTON. The decision was inspired because Bill Walton lit up the online universe - becoming the #1 trending topic on Twitter that evening. Walton preceded his trip (no pun intended) to the broadcast booth with a pre-game talk to the team about the challenges of playing professional sports. It was uplifting advice from an icon who knows a thing or two on the ups and downs of a pro sports career. Bill then ambled up to the White Sox booth on the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, wearing extremely bright Sox branded tie dyed t-shirts with a mindset to match. Benetti knew the kind of evening he was in for, having worked with Walton at the Maui Invitational Basketball Tournament for ESPN in the past. He gave Bill lots of room to be Bill. With that the evening began and the headlines after the game said it all:
Basketball legend BILL WALTON could be the most colorful character from the world of sports. He is a curious guy with wide-ranging interests and pursuits – and he loves to talk about all of them. If you’ve ever watched a basketball game he’s broadcasted, you know just how off topic Bill can go – pulling in obscure references to science, literature, music, and more. Some sports fans find that distracting, but most everyone else watching finds it uniquely entertaining.
Happy Valentine's Day! On the day that we celebrate the heart, I want to share a story about a very special man. Basketball legend BILL WALTON is a true gentle man whose limitless kindness toward others reveals deep humanity and enormous heart. Not a week goes by that I don't hear one or two stories about Bill's generosity of spirit, but this one especially caught my attention.