Bill Walton has certainly had his share of issues that plagued his Hall of Fame basketball career. A broken back clearly hampered him, as well as foot injuries which forced him to miss several seasons.
Despite the setbacks, the 6-foot-11 Walton made the most of his time when he was on the court. He was named league MVP for the 1977-78 season. He led the Portland Trail Blazers to a title in 1977 and played a key role with the Boston Celtics in their championship season in 1986.
During a recent interview, Walson also opened up about the struggles of being 6ft 11in. He said thefts are becoming a big problem. In typical Walton fashion, the big, exuberant man got a little sidetracked and explained why flight attendants have the third-worst job in the world.
Bill Walton showed he could be both ‘the guy’ and a piece of the puzzle during his NBA days
Walton was one of the most decorated college basketball players during his days at UCLA. Portland made him the first pick of the NBA Draft in 1974. He played four full seasons before missing the entire 1978-79 season due to a foot injury that limited him to 14 games over the next three seasons. After playing those 14 games in the 1979-80 season, he sat out the following two years.
In his first four seasons, the Blazers relied heavily on him. Walton led the league in rebounding (14.4) in his third season averaging 18.6 points. He was the main man on a championship team when healthy.
After missing consecutive seasons, Walton played three seasons for the San Diego Clippers before the Celtics traded him before the 1985-86 season. With Boston, his role was to spell out Kevin McHale and Robert Parish. Walton fulfilled this role to perfection.
That year, he played the most games of his career (80) and helped bring a championship to Boston.
Bill Walton said he lives in a world ‘built for preschoolers’
In a recent interview on the Al Franken Podcast, Walton described how not only did he live in pain during his playing days, but he also had issues with being so tall. He described it as living in a world “built for preschoolers”.
Being 6-11 had its advantages on the hardwood, but it can certainly be a challenge on the road.
“When you’re at home or you’re on your bike or at the gym, it’s all good for you,” he said. “Try to be 6-11 and be on a plane every day. Try to be 6-11 and try to check into a hotel. Oh, I’m sorry Mr. Walton, we only have a single bed, and the shower ceiling is only 6-5. And the toilet is only six inches from the floor. And the mirror is only for someone who is 6- Four years.
Walton is 69 years old. He remains active. He says he needs to go in the pool and the weight room to stay healthy, but he also said he needs to keep getting on those planes.
“When you ride bikes and fly in these airplanes, you see the best in humanity and you see the worst in humanity,” Walton said.
Walton said he thinks flight attendants have the third worst job in the world
While Walton, with his 6-11 frame, is cramped on a plane, he told Franken he doesn’t feel sorry for himself while traveling. His sympathy goes to the flight attendants.
“I feel really bad for the flight attendants,” he said. “There is no more confined space other than solitary confinement in prison than being on an airplane. Here, these flight attendants, who work so hard, always have that smile on their face.
“Flight attendants have the third worst job in the history of the world. The second worst job is the one who makes my trips. The worst job of all is my wife Lori, but she has always been there for all these years.
“We had four children and nine grandchildren. Then my older brother died. He was a football player and he just had tons of health issues. The last two years have been terrible. Just before the pandemic, he couldn’t take it anymore. He had two adult children who were the same age as our adult children, so we adopted them and their five granddaughters. So now Lori and I have six children and 14 grandchildren.
“Until the kids left home, Lori started taking on the responsibility of raising service dogs. When I came down on Feb 24, 2008 (back pain/major depression) she had to stop. Taking care of me was a full time job. She is still fully invested in the program, but she does not raise the dogs herself.
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