On Wednesday night, ESPN did something glorious and had Bill Walton and Dick Vitale call the Cavs’ game against the Pacers. It marked the first time the pair had called a LeBron James game together since his high school days.
It’s also been a while, in general, since the NBA-watching world has been blessed with Walton’s unfiltered and always entertaining commentary, and he didn’t disappoint.
In a wide range of off-the-cuff remarks, Walton revealed his obsession with Lady Gaga and flat out proclaimed that he wouldn’t want Carmelo Anthony on any of his favorite teams, stopping himself just short of saying ‘Melo can’t help a team win a championship.
He also referred to an ESPN producer as “Dr. Slave Driver” just before the half-time break and may or may not have briefly had his mic cut as a result.
Walton was notorious during his NBA broadcasting days for making similarly outrageous and confounding comments on a regular basis. Regardless of what you think about him, he always made for great television. It was a stark reminder just how lobotomizing some broadcasters can be (with a few notable exceptions such as Jeff Van Gundy).
Walton put the punctuation mark on his night at the broadcast table with a throwback line to that night so many years ago when he and Vitale called LeBron’s game in high school and rightly predicted his future stardom, and it was the perfect ending to a wild night of on-air entertainment.