Bill Walton does not care. He’s been to hell and back because of his, well, back, and now that he’s in the broadcasting saddle once more, he’s going to say whatever he feels like, consequences be damned, knowing how quickly it can all be taken away. (Going full-on YOLO, as the cool kids might say.) Walton’s so done caring what anyone else thinks, in fact, that he’ll even make jokes about other ESPN personnel that might offend his corporate overlords. Other ESPN personnel like, say, Twitter-suspended Bill Simmons.
Walton had just finished a paean to Southwest Airlines during Pac-12 tourney action between Washington and Oregon last night when broadcast partner Dave Pasch reminded him he also might want to pay some other airlines some compliments too, lest he get in trouble. And then it was back to the game. Washington ran a possession. Oregon knocked the ball out of bounds. A full 15 seconds of game action elapsed. Walton said nothing. And then, suddenly, he decided to get to the punchline at the 35-second mark below. Pasch was, well, not sure how to handle this turn of events:
In our opinion, that was about as nicely as Pasch could have played it: acknowledge that it happened, and then acknowledge your intentions to act like it didn’t. You have to feel a little bad for the guy: Walton’s the legend, the guy expected to shoot from the hip, the guy with leeway… and Pasch is the guy who has to clean up his messes. Not that this wasn’t an entertaining Walton mess, but in this instance, we didn’t envy Pasch one bit. So far, though, about the only thing “possible” for anyone to do about Walton’s performance last night is praise it:
— Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle) March 15, 2013
Love Bill Walton. 1 of career highlights was visiting his 12-foot-high backyard tepee. TV commentary on fire lately.
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) March 15, 2013
Can’t get over this from Bill Walton last night: “Both teams riding quasars all the way to the top of the mountain and the promised land.”
— Paul Myerberg (@PaulMyerberg) March 15, 2013
Obviously Bill Walton is tremendous, but you gotta love poor Dave Pasch going w/the “we’ll just dismiss that.” deadsp.in/XNJIdR
— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) March 15, 2013
“Both teams riding quasars all the way to the top of the mountain and the promised land.” PLEASE BILL WALTON TAKE ME WITH YOU
— Eamonn Brennan (@eamonnbrennan) March 15, 2013
Sure, those raves aren’t from ESPN execs, but still, looks like not caring might be paying off.