There is no NBA player who is more strongly tied to a band than Bill Walton and The Grateful Dead. Walton is one of the most famous and loyal Deadheads in the world – he has estimated that he’s attended more than 850 shows in his lifetime and he was inducted into the band’s Hall of Honor in 2001. He even remembers the exact moment that he became a Deadhead when he was a 15 year old, and he considers the band members his best friends.
So, really, it’s not a surprise that Walton made a cameo at the band’s New Year’s Eve show in California, because one of the two things that Walton does is go to Grateful Dead shows (the other, of course, is go on long and delightful rants about whatever he wants during Pac 12 basketball games for ESPN). It’s also probably not surprising that the guy known as “Grateful Red” by fans of the band had one of the silliest outfits that you’ll ever see at the show, as he wore a long robe, a gigantic white beard, and a crown made of roses. He also had a lightsaber, because of course Bill Walton would have a lightsaber at a Grateful Dead show. To ring in 2016, Walton hopped up on stage with the band, much to the delight of the crowd.
Walton has long been one of the most delightful personalities in all of basketball for a myriad of reasons, one of the main ones being his unwavering support for The Grateful Dead.
(via SB Nation)