Bill Walton

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Basketball player
Bill Walton
Bill Walton
Player information
Full name William Theodore Walton III.
birthday 5th November 1952 (age 67)
place of birth La Mesa , California , United States
size 211 cm
position center
college UCLA
NBA draft 1974 , 1st pick , Portland Trail Blazers
Clubs as active
1974–1979 Portland Trail Blazers 1979–1985 San Diego / Los Angeles Clippers 1985–1987 Boston CelticsUnited StatesUnited States
United StatesUnited States
United StatesUnited States

William Theodore Walton III. (Born November 5, 1952 in La Mesa , California ) is a retired American basketball player . He played between 1974 and 1987 in the US professional NBA league with the Portland Trail Blazers , San Diego Clippers and Boston Celtics . Walton is considered one of the best centers in NBA history, despite injuries plaguing him for much of his career. In the 1976/77 season he led the Trail Blazers to their first and so far only NBA championship, a year later he won the award for Most Valuable Player (MVP).


Bill Walton was born the son of a social worker and librarian in La Mesa, a suburb of San Diego . Because of his red hair he got the nickname redhead ( Eng . "Redhead"). Walton's basketball career began at Helix High School in his hometown. There he played with his older brother Bruce. His outstanding skills quickly brought him the attention of dozens of universities who wanted him to join their team. In the end he chose the University of California, Los Angeles because of the coaching personality John Wooden .

In each of his three seasons at UCLA (1971/72 to 1973/74) - he studied for four years, but Freshmen was banned from playing at the time - Walton was named the best college player in the country. The UCLA Bruins won the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship twice (1972 and 1973) and had a run of 88 straight wins. In the 1973 championship final, Walton scored 44 points, hitting 21 of his 22 throws from the field. To date, it is considered the greatest achievement of the college championship round.

During his student days, Walton became part of the student movement of the 1970s, particularly the anti-Vietnam War opponents . In this way he used his influence as one of the most popular athletes in the United States. People who were later associated with the bank robber Patty Hearst were among those around him . He was arrested while occupying UCLA's administration building with a group of activists.

In the 1974 NBA Draft , Walton was voted first by the Portland Trail Blazers. After an injury-ridden rookie season, Walton led the Blazers not only to their first playoff participation in club history, but also to the NBA title, and was honored with the NBA Finals MVP Award for his performance in the finals . A year later he got his first and only MVP of the NBA after losing the 1977 election in second to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar . However, Walton had to sit out the entire 1978/79 season due to his knee problems. The tension that then built up between Walton and team officials led Walton to request a move and sign on May 13, 1979 with his home team, the San Diego Clippers.

Walton played for the Clippers for five years, but at no point could he meet the high expectations of his hometown. Injuries repeatedly forced him to skip much of the season. On September 6, 1985, at Larry Bird's request, he joined the Boston Celtics. There he was planned as a bank player from the start. Walton benefited from the physical relief and completed 80 regular season games for the first time in the 1985/86 season. For his achievements, he won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award that year and helped the Celtics to the championship in 1986.

After the following season, in which he could only participate in ten games due to repeated injuries to his knee, he ended his active basketball career. After stuttering for a long time in his life , with the help of TV commentator Marty Glickmann , he was able to break this habit. Walton has also been working as a TV commentator for the sports broadcaster ESPN for several years .

In 1993, Walton was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for his career achievements as a player .

His son Luke also played for many years in the NBA, including for the Los Angeles Lakers , whose coach he has been since 2016. His other sons Chris, Nate and Adam played college basketball, but did not make the leap into the professional field.

In 2017, Bill Walton appeared in the music video for the single Swish Swish by Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj on the side of Rich Eisen .


  • Jan Hieronimi: Bill Walton. Broken dreams. In: Five . 12-2004, pp. 64-69.

See also

Web links

Commons : Bill Walton  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Swish Swish on YouTube , accessed September 11, 2017