I love what he says about the role of guards in the game. No wonder he's on TV instead of coaching.
Walton: Beware of Lakers
By DAVID MARTINDALE
SPECIAL TO THE STAR-TELEGRAM
Bill Walton, a game and studio analyst for ABC and ESPN's NBA coverage, is itching for the season to begin.
He's eager in part because what passes for basketball in the preseason makes his eyes glaze.
"All you have to do to understand the importance of the exhibition season is to realize that San Antonio [opened] 1-7," Walton said. "And I'm not about to write the Spurs off."
In fact, Walton expects an exciting season from the Spurs, as well as from the Pistons, the Heat and even the Lakers.
Does Phil Jackson's return make the Lakers instantly better? With the addition of Phil Jackson, Andrew Bynum, Kwame Brown ... everything is in place for the Lakers to move forward. But for anything to happen on a positive note, Kobe Bryant is going to have to become a team player and a team leader, along the lines of Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Paul Silas. Then the Lakers will move rapidly up the standings.
Fair enough. But you talk the same way about Shaquille O'Neal in Miami, do you? The problem Shaq had in Los Angeles was he and Kobe did not get along. That's not going to be a problem in Miami. These guys realize that Shaq is going to get them to the promised land. You're not going to have any individual agendas disrupt the major flow of the team, which is Shaq and Dwyane Wade.
Yours is truly the perspective of a former NBA big man, isn't it? The guards are basically there to inbound the ball and play a little token defense.
Your new ESPN/ABC analyst colleague, Paul Silas, coached you when you played for the Clippers. Is he a good pickup? I want to say how outstanding this is for the world of basketball to get this great legend on television. I am, though, concerned about Paul's longevity, because I have it on firsthand authority that he is next in line for the Supreme Court opening.
Your response to the new dress code? I have spent all summer sewing collars on my tie-dye T-shirts.