Bill Walton, known from birth as William Theodore Walton III, is a former basketball superstar who hung up his ball over three decades ago and is now a television sports presenter. Like many others who have reached the top of the sports world, Walton was a superstar back in college and represented his university’s basketball team, the UCLA Bruins, led by the enigmatic John Wooden. Not only did he single-handedly lead his team to two national titles, but he also won three consecutive College Player of the Year Awards, which was the perfect springboard for a prominent NBA career.
Bill Walton Biography
Bill was born on November 5, 1952, in a small California suburb called La Mesa, the son of his father William Theodore Walton, and his mother Gloria Anne. From an early age, Bill’s parents put a basketball in his hands and he began playing Helix High in high school. Walton also achieved an impressive performance for a teenager by being the youngest player to represent the Men’s National Basketball Team of the United States at the 1970 FIBA World Championship.
His exploits in high school did not stop at that level but carried over to his college days at UCLA when he won an impressive number of individual awards, including the USBWA College Player of the Year, the Naismith College Player of the Year for Best College Player for three consecutive seasons, and the prestigious James E. Sullivan Award for Best Amateur Sportsman of the United States in 1973.
His legendary skills in college basketball were so profound that most college basketball historians rated Walton as the best player who ever played the game at the college level. His influence on college play was so immense that his graduation in 1974 led to the retirement of his coach and marked the end of the UCLA dynasty.
After graduating in 1974, Walton was immediately appointed to the NBA Draft that same year and was voted number one overall by the Portland Trail Blazers. His arrival in the Portland franchise was eagerly awaited as Walton was called the franchise savior, but his first two seasons were ruined by a series of injuries to his nose, wrist, and foot, which helped the Blazers miss the playoffs in both seasons where Walton was not in.
In the 76-77 season, he returned to his full potential and was fit enough to prove his quality in about 65 games, leading the NBA in rebounds and blocked shots per game. After a series of recurring foot injuries, Walton decided to leave the Blazers and applied for a swap in the 77-78 away season, which he failed to obtain, so he had to sit out the 78-79 season in protest. When he was finally released, he joined the San Diego Clippers as a freelancer.
His time with the Clippers was short and fraught with the same recurring foot injuries; he played only 14 games in two seasons and underwent several reconstructive surgeries on his foot. Although there was a significant improvement in his foot, Walton had to switch to the Boston Celtics after the 84-85 campaign.
Three more seasons later at the Celtics, Walton injured himself again but made a good attempt to return to the playoffs in 1987. The injury reappeared and caused him to suspend the entire 87-88 season. In 1990 he decided to resign due to recurring injuries.
Although he retired prematurely to give his foot and ankle a chance to heal better, it got worse and he eventually had to have his ankles surgically fused. Walton once admitted on the air in June 2010 that he was thinking of suicide because of the recurring pain. So although he was an amazing talent, Walton had the undesirable record of missing most games during an NBA career.
Bill Walton Wife and Sons
Walton was married twice; first to Susan Guth, with whom he had four sons. Their marriage lasted a decade, from 1979 to 1989, and their sons include Adam, Nathan, Chris, and Luke. All four sons of Walton became athletes. They all played college basketball, but Luke had the greatest success with the game since he is the only one who played in the NBA.
His playing career lasted a decade from 2003 to 2013, he won two NBA championships and is, together with his father, the only father-son pair to win several NBA championships. After his retirement, Luke went into coaching. He served as an assistant at the Golden State for two years before being named head coach of the Lakers on April 29, 2016. He is married to his long-time girlfriend Bre Ladd, who has distinguished herself in college volleyball for Arizona.
Bill Walton married his second wife Lori Matsuoka in 1991. They live together in San Diego.
Bill Walton has an older brother named Bruce Edward Walton, who was a professional athlete like him. Bruce Edward Walton, born June 14, 1951, in San Diego, California, played college football on a scholarship and was selected in the fifth round (126th in total) of the 1973 NFL draft. He played for a short time in the NFL as an offensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys.
Bruce played in the 1975 Super Bowl X. The brothers made history by becoming the only brothers to ever play in the Super Bowl and the NBA finals, the highest level of sports in America.
Like Bill, his brother Bruce had to break off his career due to an injury. He retired in 1976. Bruce is 2.0 cm tall, which is almost 2.0 cm.
Height, Weight, Body Measurements
Basketball is a game of the giants, and Bill Walton is not missing out in this respect, he is a mountain of a man who, although he has a listed height of 6 ft 11, which is about 2.11 m, is actually 7 ft 2. Walton also has a listed weight of 210 lb, which corresponds to 95 kg.