Age, Biography and Wiki

Bill Walton is a retired American basketball player and sportscaster. He was born on November 5, 1952 in La Mesa, California. He is best known for his college basketball career at UCLA, where he was a three-time National Player of the Year and a two-time NCAA champion. He was also a two-time NBA champion with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Boston Celtics. Walton is currently a sportscaster for ESPN and ABC. He is also a philanthropist and an advocate for environmental causes. Walton has a net worth of $15 million. He earned his wealth through his basketball career and his broadcasting career. He has also earned money through endorsements and appearances.

Popular As N/A
Occupation N/A
Age 71 years old
Zodiac Sign Scorpio
Born 5 November, 1952
Birthday 5 November
Birthplace La Mesa, California, U.S.
Nationality United States

We recommend you to check the complete list of Famous People born on 5 November. He is a member of famous Player with the age 71 years old group.

Bill Walton Height, Weight & Measurements

At 71 years old, Bill Walton height is 211 cm .

Physical Status
Height 211 cm
Weight Not Available
Body Measurements Not Available
Eye Color Not Available
Hair Color Not Available

Who Is Bill Walton's Wife?

His wife is Lori Matsuoka (m. 1991), Susan Guth (m. 1979–1989)

Parents Not Available
Wife Lori Matsuoka (m. 1991), Susan Guth (m. 1979–1989)
Sibling Not Available
Children Not Available

Bill Walton Net Worth

His net worth has been growing significantly in 2022-2023. So, how much is Bill Walton worth at the age of 71 years old? Bill Walton’s income source is mostly from being a successful Player. He is from United States. We have estimated Bill Walton's net worth , money, salary, income, and assets.

Net Worth in 2023 $1 Million - $5 Million
Salary in 2023 Under Review
Net Worth in 2022 Pending
Salary in 2022 Under Review
House Not Available
Cars Not Available
Source of Income Player

Bill Walton Social Network

Twitter Bill Walton Twitter
Facebook Bill Walton Facebook
Wikipedia Bill Walton Wikipedia



“It was a dream come true to be a part of a special team,” Walton said. “Helix is where it all began. It was a humbling honor and privilege to be on the same squad as true legends Monroe Nash, Wilbur Strong, Phil Edwards, and Bruce Menser. I’m the luckiest guy on earth.”

Said Walton of Coach Wooden: "I was John Wooden’s easiest recruit. I became his worst nightmare. I drove the poor guy to an early grave when he was 99. I had three different periods of my life in my relationship with him: (1) when I was a high school student and he was recruiting me; (2) when I played for him when I was 17 to 21; (3) and then 36 years of being his friend. I had no idea what we had at UCLA. I thought everybody had the same thing: great parents, great schools, great neighborhoods, great colleges, great coaches. Then I joined the NBA. And I realized immediately that I had just absolutely blown this whole deal with John Wooden. And so I spent the rest of my life, first of all, trying to make it up to him; and second of all, no longer [bringing] consternation into his life."

Overall, as a senior, Walton averaged 19.3 points, 14.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists. He was named 1st Team All-American alongside Marvin Barnes Providence, John Shumate Notre Dame, David Thompson, North Carolina State and Jamaal Wilkes UCLA.

Walton described doctors looking at his x-rays at the hospital after he arrived in Boston: “And then Red, he bursts in through the double doors...and he’s smoking his cigar in the hospital, and he walks in and says, ‘Who are you guys and what are you doing with my player?’ And they're saying, ‘Red, come here. Look at this. Look at his feet. Look at his face. We can’t pass this guy.’ And Red says, ‘Shut up. I’m in charge here.’ And Red pushes his way through all the doctors, comes over. I'm lying on the table there in the doctors examining room. Red looks down at me. He says, ‘Walton, can you play?’ I looked up at him with the sad, soft eyes of a young man who just wanted one more chance. One more chance to be part of something special, to be part of the team, to be with the guys one more time. And I looked up at him, and I said, ‘Red, I think I can. I think I can, Red.’ And Red, through the smoke, with a big, cherubic grin on his face, looked at the doctors, looked at me, and he said, ‘He’s fine. He passes. Let’s go. We’ve got a game.’ And we were able to go out and win a championship. I'm the luckiest guy in the world. Thank you Red Auerbach. Thank you Larry Bird. Thank you Boston Celtics. Thank you people of New England. Thank you Celtic nation. Wow. What a dream come true.”

Luke Walton is named after Bill Walton's teammate and friend the late Maurice Lucas. “Maurice was so important in my life and in little Luke’s life,” Walton said. “Whenever there was a big moment for little Luke, big Luke would show up unannounced to make sure it all turned out right.”


His memoir, Back from the Dead: Searching for the Sound, Shining the Light and Throwing It Down, was released by Simon and Schuster in March 2016. It remained on The New York Times bestseller list for two weeks in April 2016.


Walton also considers himself a fan and friend of the late writer Ken Kesey. In 2015, he made a visit to the Ken Kesey Collection while on a stop at the University of Oregon.

Walton, who has a service dog, wrote the foreword to the 2015 book Unconditional Honor: Wounded Warriors and their Dogs by author Cathy Scott.


Prior to joining the varsity team, Walton (18.1 ppg, 68.6% field goal accuracy), along with Greg Lee (17.9 ppg) and Keith Wilkes (20.0 ppg), was a member of the 20–0 1970–71 UCLA freshman team. Freshmen were prohibited by the NCAA from playing varsity at the time.

UCLA again finished 30–0 overall and 14–0 in the Pac 8 conference in 1972–73. The Bruins averaged winning by over 20 points, averaging 81.3 points to their opponents' 60.1.

Walton was hurt and left the game for the final time, with UCLA leading, 75–62 and 2 minutes 51 seconds remaining. Playing with four personal fouls, Walton fell hard to the floor on a play and injured his left knee and ankle. He then limped off the floor, receiving to an ovation from the 19,301 fans.

Soon after the Notre Dame loss, UCLA dropped consecutive games in consecutive days at Oregon and Oregon State, nicknamed "the Lost Weekend." "There were so many problems," Walton said of the losses. "Injuries [he missed games with a bad back.] Team chemistry. It was just a nightmare." A week later, the Bruins beat the Fighting Irish 94–75 at home.

UCLA finished 26–4 and 12–2 in the Pac 8 Conference, with Walton playing alongside Jamal Wilkes, David Myers and Marques Johnson.

UCLA had to come back and play in the NCAA 3rd place game, in which they eventually defeated Kansas. "I didn't want to play and I told Coach Wooden that. We had a bitter argument over that, and I lost that argument, too," said Walton, who took only three shots as UCLA had a 78–61 win. He played 20 minutes in his last game for UCLA and Coach Wooden. "Twenty minutes too much," he said.

In his 87 career games at UCLA, Walton shot 65.1% from the field, averaging 20.3 points, 15.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists. UCLA was 86–4 in Walton's three seasons.

Walton led the NBA in both rebounds per game (14.4) and blocked shots per game (3.2) as he was selected to the NBA All-Star Game, but did not participate due to an injury. Walton was named to the NBA's First All-Defensive Team and the All-NBA Second Team for his regular season accomplishments. He averaged 18.6 points, 14.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 3.2 blocks and Portland finished 49–33.

In a 4–0 series sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1977 Western Conference finals, Walton averaged 19.3 points, 14.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.3 blocks playing against fellow UCLA alum Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Portland finished the regular season 58–24 and Walton returned for the 1978 NBA playoffs. He was injured and lost for the remainder of the playoffs in the second game of the first round series against the Seattle SuperSonics. After having received a painkilling injection to play, X-rays taken after Game 2 revealed the navicular bone below Walton's left ankle was broken. Portland lost the series to Seattle in six games. Walton would never play for the Trail Blazers again.

In the Celtics' 4–1 series win over the Atlanta Hawks with Dominique Wilkins in the Eastern Conference semi-finals, Walton averaged 8.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 13 minutes. In the Eastern Conference Finals 4–0 sweep against the Milwaukee Bucks, Walton averaged 8.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 18 minutes.

While broadcasting a Washington–Oregon January 2019 game with Dave Pasch, Walton mentioned he had appeared in the motion picture Ghostbusters. Ghostbusters was filmed in 1984 and Pasch questioned Walton about his claim throughout the game as to the specifics of his appearance and character, but Walton refused to provide more details. Research validated Walton's claim.


In July 2012, ESPN and the Pac-12 Network announced that Walton would return to full-time broadcasting as a game analyst for Pac-12 conference basketball coverage.

Walton appeared in the premiere of the third season in the reality TV show Shark Tank on January 20, 2012, where he helped to sell the "Clean Bottle", a water bottle that unscrews at both ends for easier cleaning.


Walton has cameo appearances in the films 88 and 1, Celtic Pride, Little Nicky and Semi-Pro, and appeared as Sven the Wise in the 2011 Capital One Visigoth SportsNet commercials. He is also mentioned by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the 1980 comedy Airplane! ("Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes!")


Coach Jack Ramsay, in 2010, called Walton the best Portland Trail Blazer, "hands down no question," Ramsay said. "Walton could do everything, he had great timing, complete vision of the floor, had excellent fundamentals and was a great passer, both in outlet passes and in the half court. He loved playing basketball, just loved it, practices, games ... especially away games. He loved to win on the opponent's court. And he had a great head, a very dedicated team player." Of Walton's injuries, Ramsay added, "And that was very frustrating to both of us. To not be able to play was a crushing blow to him. And to me it was frustrating because I finally had a great team and a great player and it was all coming apart."

Walton's ankle problems became so severe that he had both his ankles surgically fused. His saga of injury and failed rehabs was connected to the use of painkillers by the doctor who was assigned to his case. Walton has said repeatedly in his broadcasts that he is just as much to blame for taking the medication as the doctor was for giving it to him. In a June 8, 2010, interview on The Dan Patrick Show, Walton admitted to contemplating suicide for a time due to the constant pain resulting from injuries sustained during his NBA career.


"I'm here to try and make amends for the mistakes and errors of the past," Walton, said to press in returning to Portland in 2009. "I regret that I wasn't a better person. A better player. I regret that I got hurt. I regret the circumstances in which I left the Portland Trail Blazers family. I just wish I could do a lot of things over, but I can't. So I'm here to apologize, to try and make amends, and to try and start over and make it better."

In 2009, Walton underwent an eight-hour spinal-fusion surgery. Two titanium rods and four four-inch bolts were inserted in his back. He could not walk to the hospital. After the successful surgery he was hospitalized for a week, and could not move freely for a year.


Walton's 2003 TV series Bill Walton's Long Strange Trip aired on ESPN with Walton as subject and star.

Luke Walton played at Arizona for Coach Lute Olson. In the NBA, he played for the Los Angeles Lakers (2003–2012), winning both the 2009 and 2010 NBA Finals. Luke's titles make Bill and Luke the first NBA father-son pair to have both won multiple NBA championships. Luke was the head coach of the Lakers (2016–2019), after two years as an assistant for the Golden State Warriors. In April 2019, Luke Walton was named head coach of the Sacramento Kings.

Nate Walton played basketball at Princeton. He entered the corporate world and earned his MBA from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. (Bill Walton had attended Stanford Law School for two years while with the Clippers, but never graduated.) Nate was on the ballot for the 2003 California Recall election, receiving 1,697 votes. He has been highly successful in the oil business.

Bill Walton is a playable character in the video games NBA Street Vol. 2 (2003), NBA Street V3 (2005), NBA 2K12 (2011), NBA 2K13 (2012), NBA 2K14 (2013), NBA 2K15 (2014), NBA 2K16 (2015) and NBA Jam: On Fire Edition (2011), and lent his voice to NBA 2K5 and NBA Shootout 2004.


In 2001, Walton received an Emmy Award for "Best Live Sports Television Broadcast" and in 2018 was the recipient of the CoSIDA Dick Enberg Award.


"I don't think anything ever meant as much to me as playing UCLA and one of John Wooden's best teams for the national championship." said Coach Gene Bartow in 1993. "We were able to go right through the press." At halftime, the game was tied 39–39. Bartow added, "I felt very good at halftime, very good. But to win, we also felt we had to control Walton. We couldn't let him dominate the game. Obviously, we didn't do a good job of that. Bill Walton probably had one of the best games anybody ever had in the history of college basketball."


After retiring from the NBA, Walton overcame stuttering and embarked on a second career as a sportscaster, working both as a studio analyst and color commentator, mostly for ESPN, with stints for several other networks and teams. He earned an Emmy Award in 1991. Walton is a noted fan of the Grateful Dead, as a self described "Deadhead", and often mentions them in his broadcasts. He has hosted several podcasts and satellite radio programs featuring the music of the Grateful Dead.

Walton resides in his hometown of San Diego with his wife Lori (m. 1991). He and his first wife, Susie, had four sons: Adam, Nathan, Luke, and Chris.


Walton worked for CBS (1990), NBC (1990–2002), the Los Angeles Clippers (1990–2002) and ABC/ESPN (2002–2009). After 19 years working in broadcasting, he left ESPN in November 2009, as the result of back problems, which dated back to an injury he suffered in college at UCLA. Following surgery on his back, Walton returned to broadcasting as a part-time commentator for the Sacramento Kings for 2010–11 and 2011–12.


The 1986 NBA playoffs were Walton's first taste of the post season in nearly a decade, at age 33. Backing up McHale and Parish, he averaged 6.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 2.0 blocks in 19 minutes as the Celtics' had a 3–0 sweep in the Eastern conference first round over the Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan (43.7 point average in the series).

In the 1986 NBA Finals, the Celtics defeated the Houston Rockets with "Twin Towers" Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson 4–2 to win the NBA Championship. Walton averaged 8.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.0 assists and 2.2 blocks in 19 minutes, in helping the Celtics win the championship.

Walton was injured again in the 1986–87 regular season, but returned in time for the 1987 playoffs. He then spent the 1987–88 season on the injured list. He attempted a comeback in February 1990, but injuries intervened and he retired as a player.


In 169 games with the Clippers, Walton averaged 11.9 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.3 blocks, shooting 53.2%. The Clippers never finished near .500 or made the playoffs in his tenure with the franchise. While his feet became more durable, the Clippers had won 30 and 31 games in his final two seasons. At age 32, Walton wished to move to a winning franchise and reached out to teams after the season ended in 1985.

On September 6, 1985, Walton was traded by the Los Angeles Clippers to the Boston Celtics for Cedric Maxwell and a 1986 1st round draft pick (Arvydas Sabonis was later selected).

In his first time in a Celtics uniform in the Boston Garden, Walton received one minute standing ovation from the Boston home crowd walking onto the court for his first exhibition game in 1985.

Walton played a career high 80 games for Coach KC Jones and the Celtics during the 1985–86 season. Walton averaged 7.6 points, 6.8 rebounds 2.3 assists and 1.2 blocks in 19 minutes, and finished with a career-high 56.2 field goal percentage. Providing a reliable backup to Kevin McHale and Robert Parish, and playing alongside Larry Bird, Danny Ainge and Dennis Johnson, Walton received the 1986 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award en route to the NBA championship. He became the only player to have won an NBA Finals MVP, Sixth Man Award, and regular season MVP.

"I knew we had something going when we got Walton," Larry Bird said on Walton and the 1985–86 Celtics. "It was all a matter of if he could stay healthy. We already had a pretty good team, and I think adding him and (Jerry) Sichting really helped us. Robert Parish accepting Bill Walton for who he is and what kind of player he was, I thought that was major. That's the best team I've ever been on, no question about that. I mean, we were good from top to bottom."


After the 1984–85 campaign, Walton called on two of the league's premier teams, the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. After several players on the Celtics said they liked the idea of having Walton as a teammate backing up Robert Parish and Kevin McHale, Red Auerbach made the deal happen. One anecdote that particularly illustrates Walton's decision to choose the Celtics over the Lakers involves Larry Bird, who happened to be in Auerbach's office when Walton called. Bird said that if Walton felt healthy enough to play that it was good enough for him, as opposed to Lakers GM Jerry West, who was hedging his interest in Walton pending a doctor's report.

Walton appeared in the 1984 motion picture Ghostbusters.


On May 13, 1979, Walton signed as a veteran free agent with the San Diego Clippers; the Portland Trail Blazers received Kevin Kunnert, Kermit Washington and a 1980 1st round draft pick (Mike Gminski was later selected) as compensation ordered by the NBA. Walton reportedly agreed to a seven-year, $7 million contract.

In his first season with San Diego, Walton played 14 games for the Clippers in the 1979–80 season. Walton re-fractured the navicular bone in the fourth 1979 exhibition game and subsequently missed all of the 1980–81 and 1981–82 seasons, undergoing several surgeries on his injured foot. Walton ignored doctors who said he would never play again and underwent surgery to restructure his left foot in 1981. His high arch, which made the foot bones susceptible to breaking, was lowered to relieve the stress on the bones.

Following extensive rehabilitation, which included biking and sand volleyball, Walton's foot began to improve; after playing only 14 games from 1979 to 1982, he played 33 games in 1982–83 under doctor's orders to play about one game per week. He played in 55 games in 1983–84, and a then-career-high 67 in 1984–85, by which time the Clippers had relocated to Los Angeles.


His early career in the National Basketball Association (NBA) was very successful, winning the 1978 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) and an NBA championship with the Portland Trail Blazers, for which he was also named Finals MVP. However, his professional career began to be significantly hampered by multiple foot injuries requiring numerous surgeries. Walton sat out the 1978–79 season and was then signed by the San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers, for whom he played four injury-plagued seasons. His career was rehabilitated during two seasons with the Boston Celtics at the end of his career. Playing as a back-up center behind Robert Parish, Walton earned the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in the 1985–86 season, winning his second championship that same season.

During the off-season, Walton demanded to be traded, citing unethical and incompetent treatment of his and other players' injuries by the Blazers' front office. He did not get his wish and sat out the entire 1978–79 NBA season in protest. Walton eventually signed with the San Diego Clippers when he became a free agent in 1979.

Overall, Walton played 468 games in his NBA career. He averaged a career double-double of 13.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, with 3.4 assists and 2.2 blocked shots, averaging 28 minutes. He shot 52.1% from the floor for his career. Walton's injuries and surgeries limited his career, and counting his 1978–1979 year-long holdout, Walton played in 44% of the regular season games in his 13-year career.


In the 1977 postseason, Walton led #3 seed Portland to series victories over the Chicago Bulls with Artis Gilmore (2–1) and the Denver Nuggets with Dan Issel (4–2). He averaged 17.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 4.3 blocks in the first round series against the Bulls. In the Nuggets series Walton averaged 17.5 points, 13.0 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 3.0 blocks.

The Trail Blazers with Walton, Lucas, Hollins, Gross, Johnny Davis, Lloyd Neal and others matched up in the 1977 NBA Finals against the favored Philadelphia 76ers with Julius Erving, Henry Bibby, George McGinnis, Doug Collins, Steve Mix, World B. Free, Caldwell Jones, Joe Bryant and Darryl Dawkins. After losing the first two games of the series, Portland was inspired by a skirmish late in Game 2 between Lucas and Dawkins in which both were ejected. Portland then swept the next four games to win the NBA Championship. Walton had 20 points and 23 rebounds in the clinching Game 6 victory.

In the NBA Finals, Walton averaged 18.5 points, 19.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 3.7 blocks. Walton was named the 1977 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.

The following season, the 1977–78 Trail Blazers won 50 of their first 60 games, as Walton averaged 18.9 points, 13.2 rebounds 5.0 assists and 2.5 blocks in 58 games. Walton then suffered a broken foot, ending his regular season. He nonetheless won the 1978 NBA Most Valuable Player award and the Sporting News NBA MVP, as well. Walton played in his only NBA All-Star Game in 1978 and was named to both the NBA's First All-Defensive Team and the All-NBA First Team.


In 1976–77 season Walton played in 65 games and, spurred by new head coach Jack Ramsay, Walton and a newly acquired ABA draftee in Maurice Lucas, the Trail Blazers became the Cinderella team of the NBA. In a pre-season meeting with his new coach, Walton had advised Ramsay, "Coach, don't assume we know anything."


In 1975–76, Walton averaged 16.1 points, 13.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.6 blocks in 51 games as Portland, with rookies Bob Gross and Lionel Hollins, finished 37–45.


In Walton's senior year, UCLA's 88-game winning streak ended with a 71–70 loss at Notre Dame on January 19, 1974. Walton played wearing a back brace, as he had suffered a major back injury in a fall against Washington State the week before. He was undercut by a Washington State player and broke two bones in his spine, which remained damaged until corrective surgery in 2009. He missed three games. But, he made 12 of his first 13 shots and the Bruins led Notre Dame by 17 points at halftime. UCLA was leading 70–59 with 3½ minutes remaining. However, they were outscored 12–0, missing six consecutive shots with four turnovers. As was his belief, Wooden did not call time-outs late in games and stuck with the strategy. The Irish made six shots in a row, winning on Dwight Clay's shot with 29 seconds left, as Notre Dame prevailed 71–70.

In the 25 team 1974 NCAA Tournament, UCLA defeated Dayton 111–100. UCLA next defeated San Francisco 83–60 in the Western Regional Final to reach the Final Four. Walton had 27 points and 19 rebounds against Dayton and 17 points,9 rebounds and 4 assists against San Francisco.

In the 1974 Final Four, UCLA's record seven consecutive national titles was broken. North Carolina State defeated the Bruins 80–77 in double overtime in the NCAA semi-finals. Walton played 50 minutes and scored 29 points, with 18 rebounds and 4 assists in the loss. The UCLA–North Carolina State game was no. 13 on USA Today' s list of the greatest NCAA tournament games of all time. Walton called the game the most disappointing outcome of his entire basketball career, as UCLA had a 5-point lead late in regulation and a 7-point lead in the 2nd overtime, before NC State with David Thompson rallied to win, 80–77.

In 1974, the ABA's San Diego Conquistadors tried to persuade Walton to sign with them, after drafting him in the 1974 ABA draft. San Diego had also signed Wilt Chamberlain as a player-coach as further incentive. Walton was not swayed.

Walton was the number one overall pick by the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers in the 1974 NBA draft. Walton signed with the Trail Blazers.

As a rookie in 1974–75, Walton averaged a double-double 12.8 points, 12.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.7 blocks in 35 games. The Trail Blazers with Geoff Petrie, Sidney Wicks and LaRue Martin finished 38–44 under player/coach Lenny Wilkins.


In the 25-team 1973 NCAA Tournament, UCLA defeated Arizona State 98–81 and then San Francisco in the West Regional Final 54–39 to reach the Final Four. Walton had 28 points and 14 rebounds against Arizona State, on 13 of 18 shooting, and 9 points and 14 rebounds against San Francisco, taking only 7 shots.

In the 1973 Final Four, the Bruins Won the National Semifinal 70–59 over Indiana and Coach Bob Knight. Walton had 14 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists against Indiana.

In the 1973 NCAA title game against Memphis State, Walton had arguably the best NCAA championship game ever played. On March 26, 1973, at the St. Louis Arena, Walton scored 44 points on near perfect 21 of 22 shooting. He added 13 rebounds, 2 assists and one block, in leading the UCLA Bruins to the championship, their seventh straight. UCLA defeated Coach Gene Bartow and Memphis State with Larry Kenon and Larry Finch 87–66. Walton set the record for most points in an NCAA Championship game that still stands. Walton was named the 1973 NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player.

Walton was the 1973 recipient of the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States. Walton also received the USBWA College Player of the Year and Naismith College Player of the Year as the top college basketball player in 1972, 1973 and 1974. He earned Academic All-American honors in 1972, 1973 and 1974. Some college basketball historians rate Walton as the greatest who ever played at the college level.

Walton was drafted by the American Basketball Association's Dallas Chaparrals in the 1973 ABA draft as an underclassman in an attempt to lure him from UCLA. In the locker room after the 1973 Championship game, Coach Wooden introduced Walton to representatives of the ABA, who hoped to convince him to turn pro. “Of which I had no interest in doing,” Walton said.

Bill Walton's other brother, Bruce Walton, played in the National Football League with the Dallas Cowboys from 1973 to 1975. They were basketball teammates in high school. Bill followed Bruce in attending UCLA. Bruce played in Super Bowl X, making Bill and Bruce the only brothers to play in the Super Bowl and NBA Finals.


Walton played for John Wooden and the UCLA Bruins, winning three successive National college player of the year awards (1972–1974), while leading UCLA to NCAA championships in 1972 and 1973 and an 88-game winning streak. After being selected as the first overall pick in the 1974 NBA draft, Walton led the Portland Trail Blazers to the NBA Championship in 1977, earning the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award that season. Walton won another NBA title, playing with the Boston Celtics in 1986. Walton was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

With Walton, UCLA won the NCAA Championship in 1972 over Florida State and again in 1973 with an 87–66 win over Memphis State in which Walton made 21 of 22 field goal attempts and scored 44 points.

In the 25-team 1972 NCAA Tournament, UCLA defeated Weber State 90–58. They defeated Long Beach State and Coach Jerry Tarkanian in the Western Regional Final 73–57 to reach the Final Four. Playing 20 minutes due to foul trouble, Walton had 4 points and 12 rebounds in the victory over Weber State, taking only one shot. He had 19 points and 11 rebounds against Long Beach State.

In the 1972 Final Four, Walton had 33 points and 21 rebounds, on 11 of 13 shooting and 11 of 12 free-throws, against Louisville in the NCAA Semi-Final, as UCLA won 96–77. In the NCAA Championship game, he had 24 points and 20 rebounds in the Bruins' 81–76 victory over Florida State. Walton was named the 1972 NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player.

Overall, in 1972–73, Walton averaged 20.4 points and 16.9 rebounds in 30 games on 65.0% shooting, as UCLA again finished 30–0 and 14–0 in the Pac 8 conference. Walton was named 1st Team All-American Alongside Ernie DiGregorio Providence, Ed Ratleff, Long Beach State, David Thompson North Carolina State and Kermit Washington American.


Walton played for UCLA under Coach Wooden from 1971 to 1974. His older brother Bruce played football at UCLA, enrolling a year ahead of Bill. Bill Walton led the Bruins to two consecutive 30–0 seasons and the NCAA men's basketball record 88-game winning streak. The UCLA streak contributed to a personal winning streak that lasted almost five years, in which Walton's high school, UCLA freshman (freshmen were ineligible for the varsity at that time) and UCLA varsity teams did not lose a game from the middle of his junior year of high school to the middle of his senior year in college.

The Varsity UCLA team, led by seniors Sidney Wicks, Curtis Rowe and Steve Patterson defeated Villanova in the 1971 NCAA Championship Game for UCLA's 5th consecutive NCAA title.

The 1971–72 UCLA basketball team had a record of 30–0, winning its games by an average margin of more than 30 points, averaging 94.6 points to opponents' 64.3. With Walton playing alongside Henry Bibby, Larry Farmer, Wilkes, Lee and Swen Nater, UCLA finished 14–0 in the Pac 8 Conference.

Overall, in 30 games in 1971–72, Walton averaged 21.1 points and 15.5 rebounds, shooting 64.0% from the field. He was named 1st Team All-American with Jim Chones Marquette, Bo Lamar Louisiana-Lafayette, Ed Ratleff Long Beach State and Tom Riker South Carolina.


Walton was featured in “Faces in the Crowd” in the January 26, 1970 issue of Sports Illustrated, his first national media recognition.

At age 17, just out of high school, in the summer of 1970, Walton was selected to represent USA Basketball on the United States men's national basketball team at the 1970 FIBA World Championship. The USA team, under coach Hal Fisher, failed to win a medal in the tournament, coming in a disappointing fifth place. By far the youngest player on the roster, Walton played minimally in five games, averaging 2.6 points.


Walton overcame all obstacles and led Helix to 49 consecutive victories in his two varsity seasons. Helix won the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Championship in both 1969 and 1970, finishing 29–2 in 1968–69 and 33–0 in 1969–70. Walton had entered high school at a height of about 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) tall and graduated at about 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) tall. Walton averaged 29 points and 25 rebounds, as Helix finished 33–0 in his senior season.

As a senior in 1969–70, Walton made 384 of 490 shot attempts, 78.3 percent, still the all-time national record. In addition, Walton's 825 rebounds that season ranks No 3 all-time. His 25.0 rebounds per game in a season ranks No. 7 all time.


Hall of Fame Coach Denny Crum was then an assistant coach at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) under coach John Wooden, sent to watch Walton play. Crum first saw Walton in 1968 as a high school junior and was at first dubious when hearing of Walton, but went to scout him anyway. "I came back and told Coach Wooden that this Walton kid was the best high school player I'd ever seen," Crum recalled.


While Walton was in high school, the NBA Expansion team of 1967, the San Diego Rockets were in town. The Rockets had no set practice facility and would often play pick-up games at Helix High School. Rocket players learned that to get into the Helix gym they could call the teenager Walton, who somehow had his own gym key. Walton recalled Elvin Hayes calling and telling his mother, "Tell Billy, Big E is calling and we need him to open the gym tonight. I said, 'Mom, that's Big E! Give me the phone!' I was never so embarrassed in my life. Elvin and I are still close friends. All of those guys all still my friends to this very day."

Walton is a fan of the Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers Band, Neil Young, Phish, and Bob Dylan. Walton is particularly attached to the Grateful Dead, whose concerts he started attending in 1967, while he was still in high school. He attended more than 850 Grateful Dead concerts, including traveling with the band to Egypt for its famous 1978 performance before the Pyramids (joining the band on drums), and quotes Grateful Dead lyrics in TV and radio interviews. To fellow Deadheads, Walton is fondly known as "Grateful Red" and the "Big Red Deadhead" and "World's Tallest Deadhead". In the video for "Touch of Grey", Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart is wearing a Celtics jacket given to him by Walton. In 2001, Walton was inducted into The Grateful Dead Hall of Honor.


William Theodore Walton III (born November 5, 1952) is an American former basketball player who is a television sportscaster.