I’ve watched a few basketball games over the past few days and the commentary from Bill Walton was so bad I had to mute the television.
He seemed extremely confused and very incoherent the entirety of the broadcast. I found he rarely talked about the game itself, and that’s not what a color commentator’s job is.
To his credit, Bill Walton was a great college player and just maybe only Lew Alcindor was better at UCLA. He was a good but injury-prone pro that did lead the Portland Trailblazers to the 1977 NBA Championship.
He’s a nationally known individual, a former hipster and a wild man of sorts. But he’s also the absolute worst color commentator in sports. And it’s not up for debate.
Walton is now 68 years old and maybe he’s losing some mental acuity, but he’s downright ridiculous with his outlandish takes and deviation from the actual game. He literally made the game featuring Indiana and Providence unwatchable for me.
I mean, he just babbles for long stretches. Currently, the announcing team is broadcasting remotely with the pandemic ravaging the world. And just maybe that’s part of the disconnect to a degree, but Wild Bill couldn’t have talked about the actual game for more than fifteen minutes.
For some folks that may be okay, but for me a basketball junkie who simply wants to enjoy the game, he completely ruins it. For the better portion of both games on Monday, he had no idea what he was talking about. He said he hadn’t seen Indiana play in five years, but after the Hoosiers best player Trayce Jackson-Davis scored early to make the game 4-2, Walton says it’s the best he’s ever seen Davis play.
The math didn’t add up and it had me scratching my head.
The big redhead made mistake after mistake l, even confusing players from the Indiana-Providence game with players from the Davidson-Texas matchup.
ESPN should be appalled at this type of colorwork, and if your claim as the “Worldwide Leader In Sports” is factual you can’t allow that on a national broadcast. He should’ve been gone and his hippie act for a minute or two is okay here and there, but he literally went several minutes without talking about anything concerning the game.
Many sports fans tend to complain about announcers and commentators and I’m usually not one of them, but what he’s doing each broadcast is asinine. Deviating from the game tends to happen quite often, and is tolerable in bits and pieces.
Let’s take Dick Vitale aka “Duke Vitale” for instance. For years, his enthusiasm was often a lot for people to take, but once you peel back the layers, he’s a basketball savant.
His work with the Jimmy V Foundation for cancer research also makes him a fan favorite who can do no wrong.
Then you have Dan Dakich. Many basketball fans can’t stand Dakich and that’s okay. But he does know his basketball and he’s become one of the best and most informed analysts at ESPN. He’s gotten better each year and does a wonderful job of breaking the game down into the finest terms.
Another quality he brings is his research to tell you what each team wants to accomplish in a game. He actually ADDS to a broadcast, unlike Walton who absolutely kills the entire thing.
Of course, he strays as well but in much smaller doses than Walton. And he’s been rewarded by the network with more high-profile matchups every season.
There’s nothing good I can say about Walton as an analyst at the present moment. In Monday’s broadcast, he talked more about Sean Miller (Arizona Head Coach) than his brother Archie Miller (Indiana Head Coach) whose team was actually playing. He consistently butchered and shredded players’ names.
His partner Jason Benetton, who’s really good at this, kept trying to reel him in but to no avail with both broadcasting from their in-home basements.
The only folks who can slow this disaster down are the big wigs at ESPN. They’ve been laying off and firing folks left and right these days, so what’s the hold up on Walton? He’s plenty rich and doesn’t need the money and I’m pretty sure he’s got plenty to keep him entertained in retirement as well.
They’ve shown the door to bad analysts who just didn’t cut it on television before, Bobby Knight comes to mind. Bill Walton should be next and ESPN needs to pull the proverbial plug on this S@$&-Show ASAP