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Bill Walton Detailed His Love For Bridges During A Michigan State Blowout


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Bill Walton loves a lot of things. He loves bikes. He loves the Pac-12 (the Conference of Champions, he’ll be quick to tell you). He loves the Grateful Dead. In general, Bill Walton loves life (but he does not love shoplifting abroad and will apologize on behalf of humanity for it).

Walton’s commentary on ESPN college basketball broadcasts are something we all love, because they so often result in a minutes-long diatribe about something completely unrelated to the game at hand, but at the same time fascinating because of the manic enthusiasm he has for whatever it is he’s raving about.

On Sunday night, as he broadcast the PK80 game between Michigan State and North Carolina, Walton started talking about Spartans’ star sophomore Miles Bridges, who will be a lottery pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, and how Michigan State was dominating the Tar Heels without needing their star too much. Naturally, that led its way into Walton spending the next minute detailing his love for bridges, the physical construction that allows people to pass over obstacles.

Bill Walton: Michigan State hasn’t even needed Miles Bridges, who I’m told is not related to Lloyd or Bo or Bill, the Bridge School, the Bridge Benefit Concert, the St. John’s Bridge, or the Golden Gate Bridge. I love bridges. It’s really the ultimate tool, because it allows you to get some place you can’t get on your own.

Roxy Bernstein: There are a lot of bridges here in Portland as well.

Bill Walton: 12 between the Willamette Falls and the St. John’s Bridge on the north. Including the Tillicum Bridge, which is the largest, longest non-car bridge in America.

Roxy Bernstein: And you rode across it this week, didn’t you Bill?

Bill Walton: I rode a bike across it! Beautiful pass!

It’s majestic stuff. Bernstein does a phenomenal job of egging Walton on to drop more and more bridge knowledge on the people (and who can blame him in a game that finished 63-45). Calling a game alongside Walton is no easy task with his penchant for looping off into tangents, but when the ship is steered correctly and you get the right balance of wonderful Walton stories and also keep him engaged with the game going on the court it’s nothing short of magical.

My favorite part of the call wasn’t even the bridges part, it was Walton, towards the very end, asking Bernstein if he remembered the ’66 Rose Bowl game between Michigan State and UCLA, when Bernstein wasn’t even born yet. Tremendous stuff as always.

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