College Basketball Analyst
Bill Walton – Basketball Hall of Famer, former NBA MVP and one of only four players in the history of basketball to have won multiple NCAA and NBA Championships – returned to ESPN in 2012 as a college basketball analyst for Pac-12 games. He originally joined ESPN in 2002 as a lead analyst for ESPN and ABC’s NBA coverage.
Walton won a Sports Emmy for best live television sports telecast in 1991 and was also named one of the top 50 sports broadcasters of all-time by the American Sportscasters Association in 2009.
He is currently the executive chairman of SD Sport Innovators (SDSI), a non-profit, business accelerating organization that connects and drives the growth of Southern California’s vibrant sports and active lifestyle economy.
Walton was drafted No. 1 overall in the 1974 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers, and was the Finals MVP after winning his first NBA championship against Julius Erving’s Philadelphia 76ers in 1977. He played with the San Diego Clippers from 1979-84 and also 1985, when they relocated to Los Angeles. He was a Boston Celtic for his last four seasons and won his second NBA championship in 1986, the same season he also won NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award. Walton is the second of only five players in NBA history to lead the league in both blocked shots and rebounding in the same season. He was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 1977 and 1978 and he is a member of the NBA’s All-Time Team as one of the league’s 50 Greatest Players Ever.
Walton graduated from UCLA in 1974 with a bachelor of arts degree in history. He won the NCAA Player of the Year Award all three years he played in college, which has led to his induction into the UCLA Hall of Fame. Walton was the starting center under John Wooden’s teams that compiled an 88-game winning streak, and brought the Bruins two undefeated championship seasons. He is a member of the NCAA’s All-Time Basketball Team.
Walton had just as much success in the classroom, as he earned Academic All-America honors all three years, and went on to become a member of the Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 1994.
A native of San Diego, Walton became the first and only high school player to ever make the USA Senior Men’s National Basketball Team and play in the World Championship and/or Olympics. He still holds the national all-time high school record for field goal percentage at 79 percent and is still the No. 3 all-time rebounder nationally in the history of high school basketball.
This has also led to Walton’s induction into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the 1993 class into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In addition, Walton is in the San Diego Hall of Fame, the Oregon Hall of Fame, the Academic All-America Hall of Fame, the Guinness Hall of Brilliance and the Grateful Dead Hall of Honor.
Sports are a family affair for the Waltons, as Bill and his older brother Bruce are the only brother combination in history to have played in the NFL’s Super Bowl and won an NBA championship (Bruce played for the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl X). Bill and one of his sons, Luke, are the only father/son duo to have each won multiple NBA championships.