WEEI>On Demand>>Celtics legend Bill Walton reminisces on his time in Boston

Celtics legend Bill Walton reminisces on his time in Boston

Dec 12, 2012|

Bill Walton joins Mut and Lou in studio to talk about all things Celtics, past and present. He tells the guys that Rondo is the key to the Celtics making a playoff run, and he comments on KG’s impressive consummate professionalism. Bill also talks about his spinal injuries and how much they affected his life post-NBA.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Well like a family. If I could show you that tape we have a reunion a few weeks ago. Of all of our players that come back we know when they all law. We help them do things they're loyal to the solar X -- -- come back. Nobody has an alumni like we have we have somewhere write code 3040 guys come back. Everybody from Don Nelson the Bill Russell. The burn everybody -- all then they'll have to have that feeling these other teams don't have that. The great read our back talking about the all the sell -- Celtic alumni association -- all favors. Butler and 93 point seven WEEI a lot of us nice and enough to join us here in studio Bill Walton hanging out talking basketball bill great to -- -- Blue -- honored privileged to be on the show most importantly thank you for starting out with an -- it is time yet. Have read in your years at the beginning of the day what could be better than that ridge who is so important and so. He's incredibly gifted as a lever interest on the that with a focused now on leadership moving forward that there's just not treatises and there's not books and not volumes there's month. Television and radio programs. Devoted to read our -- leadership style with that guy it was absolutely incredible and he mentioned loyalty. Loyalty is the source of why we do things because -- is what makes this year. -- Beck he made this year and he built this incredible empire -- Celtic nation that. Stephen quick right now we're just absolutely carry on with great tradition and we're so proud restore champion a big game tonight got -- -- -- Dallas maverick Mark Cuban government him mark is about the most -- I got a thirty minute average now it. But they will play hard at Rick Carlisle coming back that. -- -- -- -- -- -- leadership -- that the Celtics team now the leaders Danny Ainge Doc Rivers you played against -- you played with Danny. When you play with -- you see that did you ever see. The player absolutely GM did the is upbeat fun loving and happy. Person and that's the kind of attitude that you want to have as the leader because. He has to always be able to inspire other people to get to a greater level that they can get two on their all and being the he'd learned from brilliant future -- family background his foundation. These experiences in Eugene in high school basketball is exposure to the Portland trailblazers at a very early age going on bid to be why you and then. -- with read our -- and learning from red and we've all learned everything from read some of us is just taken a lot longer. Are you surprised that Danny was able to bill instead of it's a lot of teams do money they make a run in the NBA now and -- they pair the team down at the build back up that. Able to convince Kevin to -- they keep Paul -- goes elsewhere but. It looks like they're gonna keep this this door open this championship door with an older team here with Garnett and pierce and now Rondo taking over as. That next leader like the doorman is Rondell he's -- guy who's gonna get the Celtics to the promised land he's the guy who is past Thabeet. The guy to -- calms the best players via -- your not gonna win the championship. In less you have the best player in the best players today are. LeBron. Dwyane Wade Kobe Bryant and watch other guys on the lakers right now Kevin Durant Rondo has to show that he can get to that level. On occasion he is there and there are so many nights when he is the best player in the game the best player in the league. What you have to be able to do that every single game and that's the challenge for Doc Rivers -- be -- to be able to nurture that and develop that just bored with that. It LeBron James or is incredibly gifted down in Cleveland. But it wasn't until he teamed up with Pat Riley and when he worried that all of a sudden this thing becomes a championship charter. You mentioned LeBron James and and -- NBA fans they watch this game now and -- was trying to compare everybody's right to be back in the days when you. An -- -- and nature of sports that everything is either the greatest works this guy is is it is the most. Unbelievable champion a performer ever or he really belong to be NBA LeBron James is fantastic and he's a really good. Do the I grew up watching basketball like 8586 yeah that was the highlight that -- early mid eighties. And I look at Larry Bird when Jordan came round -- that he's done not Larry Bird. You know so it's different generational thing where he was -- LeBron is. I'll be better what did you have -- I have one little boy okay so that you have one favorite I have four children. Larry Bird. The greatest player ever played with Michael Jordan the personification. Of excellence in everything with the exception of the Charlotte Bobcats but you don't get that better -- or improve. Did that. Standard of excellence that Michael Jordan brought to the NBA has not been matched since that point and so that's. One of the challenges for all the players Tuesday. -- any of them ever region will be LeBron absolutely outstanding on every front but we're still hoping we're still waiting for that. Next guy to come up but it -- -- is the standard rate. Is there anybody compares with pars physical skills of LeBron James the size the strength the speed. Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Who was the greatest player I ever played against Wilt Chamberlain. Hakim Olajuwon -- group yes you guys who were the ultimate winners of the genetic lottery and Kevin Garnett is -- that group to review if you looked at KG mutually disguised. He was. Generated on a computer screen. If somebody just sitting there with -- too much time on him through some of the most perfect player ever and and what he has been able to do because. The addition of KG and ray when they came to the team that is what made the Celtics championship tournament and now the challenge for Stephen wick and Danny and Doc Rivers has to be able to get more players to calm here. Via trade via free agency. Celtic freeagent history is not the spectacular run that. The lakers and right now the culture in the NBA has all the players wanna go to LA and fantastic cute about the like being bought in to. To be able to -- to have that culture we have be to have the identity of this title of the championship program at the Celtics all week represent. That is what is. All -- to bring all the top players to Boston. Bill wall is joining us and Kevin Garnett -- -- say -- read article you still watch. If not every Celtic involves every Celtic and I've followed the Celtics -- when you watch Kevin Garnett play basic computer generated. Are you surprised that the intensity is still there the way it is bill at this seventeenth eighteenth year of his career. No because he's incredible professional who takes great pride in everything that he does and he ignores the responsibility -- the gold -- Being one of the specially gifted players as if his combination of soul spirit mind horror vision passion and all the human attribute your personal characteristics that win to make you agree champion. Kevin Garnett he has that and if the rest of the guys a round would look at that level of dedication and commitment and sacrifice and discipline and focus and efficiency and all the things that go into being a great player. -- not only does elders would -- entire league ended our culture our society as a whole would be much federal. Did you watch his NBA games now in UC this. Awful lot of heart followed KG Rajon Rondo going ahead with our arteries now on what that I thought that's now that's that's got to think it was a hard -- the but The Who is there an overreaction from the NBA -- try to keep this thing and control of the the heart policies to see that Bakken play. It restarted made a great commitment to eliminate the violence from ask -- the players are so big and so strong and if fans wanna see violence there's the NFL they wanna see violence they're used to BV NHL and so now you have this. Sport basketball which is which is a ballot which is a dance which is a celebration of all look. Oh wonderful aspects of of sport and competition with that a theory that you're not spoke to smash it to the other guys did. I was just a little shocked that it was Rondo who tried to step in to do that that's is that Chris Wilcox -- -- and some male -- audacity to did it. Every team there. Number eight team Luskin is is up there in the rafters for a reason and he was the guy who was able to come in and re establish order in the universe in. You you have to pick your spot you have to make conscious decisions all the time. And. But it was a beauty of that to the pistons right the lakers -- the heart files in -- at the same area full but -- Uglier an awful -- you the rock we hate each other. At all or did brought admittedly an -- and the guys for -- and the sad thing about those guys. And about to dailies that they didn't have the. They were good enough they were supremely steal -- beer very very intelligent. And they've made a conscious decision to to be broached to be thugs and and to play dirty basketball -- it. It did the game a disservice -- I I'm much more into the grace of the beauty of Jordan in Japan and abroad and Colby KG and Paul Pierce and Rondo went. Just love watcher Ron this is a guy who who has. All the traits of -- Celtics. Has nothing to do with athleticism and my favorite players in the game today our our honorable old and god is impact full as they once war Steve Nash -- possibly all really right now and -- helped us all out with them. -- tendinitis but their game has nothing to do those guys industry. It's all about position its fuel and being in mental acuity and emotional commitment and and they get it done but it but not up their portion and Shelvin and and they are not out there. Capable of running faster and jumping higher than opposition and -- and that is the epitome of Rondell and Rondo when he's on his game. It's just such a thing of beauty and I walk through the house -- days of big Celtic. Eighties and argues easily -- go around all let's go come on we gotta have a tonight it's a bit vivid sometimes he just delivers and other times we. -- -- -- -- -- -- It's interesting you say I just one or opera fans -- when he's older players and that you -- three years I would order of the year old high school -- -- -- -- 64. Years UCLA in recent talking remote. The MBA right now you see raw skill maybe not -- these guys leaving after freshman you think that's bad for the league. Bad for them. It's bad for best for that after the talent if I were in charge and don't hold your breath on that. You get to be 21 before you -- -- this is -- -- Activities. Biederman. And you're not ready when -- coming -- and we're making. Policy decisions based on exceptional individuals policy decisions have to be me on. The greater goal all of what is good for. The entire picture. Beat 21 have been committed which one. Bill Walt -- -- the hang around talk to basketball -- in town for an event that's happening today with the Boston spine group doctor Louis Janice. Which wanna come back and talk about also -- talked to bill about. That is the best basketball team ever the 86 Celtics I've heard the best front court. Best team ever Bill Walton was there he saw and we'll talk to bill about that and his event next. Okay. This is a rare. Am sports I don't think it's ever happened that day celebration has started before the end of the game not only to the rockets go to the dressing room with the Celtics starters did too. There's -- are back home so. More Casey Jones they'll have to wait Phillips game is over back. First time that starters and celebrated. While the game was thought it was a great move to avoid the -- of the well fortunately nobody else. -- Dick Stockton and Tommy hides and on the call 1986. The Celtics celebrating their championship. As the game was going on in her smile and -- here to listen and like it's so great to hear Tommy's voice and my wife whom. -- -- Like basketball a lot more Toshiba read what you what you want to do bells and I -- the games on and one is not a Celtic do you work with anybody else well I've always says. Can't Tommy do all the tubes. And deceptive business. I think you'll walk on to this team 8586. I've fought my way don't. I begged I've pleaded it was so special that and I want to ask if you're in -- league for eight years built the reputation. The -- in the league for three against before that. Any talk at all about the number 32. And wearing the 32. Kevin -- He wore number 32 because as high school player he was looking up to meet. In the when I was in high school I wore number 33 because of Kareem Abdul -- when I got to UCLA. And had the privilege and owner of following Korean. Then. Coach -- -- be number 32. Now when I first got here to Boston I should've played Kiffin put that number I didn't play him to the very end. I beat him. Ten days ago I was in Minneapolis. I don't care but sadly barriers 23 year old daughter -- And it was just this that is in most emotionally draining moment if you want to awesome. I mentioned on which beat couples. And when I first got there early in the morning I walked openness or Kevin across the rule and we approached each other we embraced a good news. Sobbed uncontrollably for ten minutes and trying to expressed sadness and sorrow. And then after this. Unbelievable. Ceremony at church. Then where Sasha -- going to school and had it been a participant in everything. Yeah I was just sitting there by myself and the church just thinking and reflecting. And just how awful awful whole thing. And Kevin he came up to me and sent them next to me god -- put my hands. On news on news medium and decided to leave goodness Kevin. I took them to win that game. And maybe if I had babies should QB when. It -- all chipped. We love Kevin McKee post I was I don't think I -- Kevin Celtics at Kevin down in Houston. And all the Celtic nation please. Police say a prayer for can evidently -- That was a special team -- I've heard you speak in -- many occasions about the eighty and 86 -- what's the best basketball team ever assembled bill. There's no way that you could measure that's there. Every championship teams -- -- the lessons in life that you -- and pick up from a fantastic championship one. The beautiful thing about that team was that it was so versatile can do anything you had an incredible defensive foundation. Ankara office of machines and Robert Hirsch who was fantastically durable to do everything for the team could run before it's. Powerful and didn't mind punching below him be your golden opportunity. That you had Kevin McHale who was the second greatest low post player that I ever played against after -- -- was the best player right for. But Kevin he torched all should keep every game Kevin has -- to go against either. -- dream. Team you're waiting. Robinson Sampson all these. Fantastically skew -- and polish guys who were bigger stronger and faster jump higher absolute winners of the genetic lottery -- just torched them in the torture chamber. That he had phenomenal shooters. Tests -- -- and a fumble Porsche Frontline game in DJ. In the change Scott -- jury she's staying Rick Carlisle all these terrific players and that it ended the day. We Hitler. And Larry Bird was the best players in basketball and he could do anything in a bit you opened with. A -- but of the final game when Tommy and Dick were talking about that the fans coming onto the court Larry. Acknowledges and describes that game as his single best game that he'd ever played and then we had confusion. And -- -- fees and -- she's like read we would do anything proposed that was a very very special treatment the way it could beaches in a power game in the fitness penis fueled game up tempo game and a slow down game -- rebound game and shooting game the passing game. Eighty typing game that Celtic team was able to him and the only team we lost to all year long were because I was just awful disgrace to build a loss to be terrible he's an old boy Daughtry go through a reluctant New Jersey toys we lost. Sacramento. We lost to Phoenix. All just vulnerable terrible if we lost to all the good team -- handled all feasible. What was it like four years ago like joining that team should take your ball away on two of the walking in to that that exit camp taking seep back I have it rolls. Actually my whole life has been about wanting to be apart. -- special and I grew up a shelter for him even norm from San Diego the heartily per country out there it was. Bill Russell and -- our back that drew will be in the Boston Celtics and I learned about them. From the -- broadcaster chipper who even though he was broadcaster for -- did jittery and ultimately will to deal all the liquor store to the day. Chicks respect and admiration and his ability to convey what Bill Russell did with a radio ultimately on television. Just led me to do is incredibly special human being Bill Russell to -- days of my favorite. Later on and off the court in the history of basketball and my mother who wrote a -- on athletic people you've ever seen -- never shot a basket with my dentists on the road one time the church picnic and fellow overlapping models are talking like a mile border town library and regroup and how -- on television. At first of record before one -- that by choice because my clubs have been in the field of television -- watching truer words never spoken. But we had radio we have music we have ports and my mom. In 1964. Shall brought -- whole bill Russell's first ball go well for glory it was the first sports book that I ever read parts. Eleven years old and it. Totally change in the way that Bill Russell stood up to a poll and proud with honor dignity. For. What he believed him and that sense that Bill Russell played with pride passion. -- He played for more than just off the Russell was not about. Physical gratification in return accumulation. He was playing with a purpose and he did it better then -- And finally they're gonna get the statue for Bill Russell about time here in this town. I love Bill Russell and I personally think the -- deal is over but. If anyone deserves dispatcher. Bill Russell and Boston and Kareem Abdul Jabbar were ever he wants and I was at two -- statute. Ceremony and it was fantastic. Did. They all gave incredible speeches have known better than magic Johnson and Magic Johnson did. He just. Captured it perfectly and he just talked about -- all -- through all this stuff fear that all these players here but that is the forty could be in existence of it wasn't for Kareem Abdul Jabbar who created who made college basketball. What it is today. Andrew -- -- NBA on his shoulders. For years and just absolutely staggering how great that was anybody who ever had to play against them will clearly say that he was the best putter very abruptly because as I do. And appropriately. The statue for -- Thirteen feet tall. Over 15100. Pounds in gross weight. And most appropriately that big left elbow was picked him out right in the face of everybody wants to -- get in the way you Mets got bad guys in his left leg belongs to the Smithsonian. Another ditching your mine is February 8 2009. You're dealing with serious back and spine issues and you go. And perform XL IXFX slips -- -- surgery that's why I'm here today. Six years ago my spine -- collapse of my life completely changed for ever. I spent two years on the ground on related to debilitating excruciating pain. My life -- I was standing on the into the bridge. Told what to do that by having gone I would've used to but my life was saved my life was saved by its. A brilliant surgeon in conjunction with the fantastic. Medical device company -- revolutionized and totally change spine surgery. Nuvasive and you capital VA SIV. -- I am here today in Boston because we are putting on a free spine health seminar. 1 o'clock today at the west and wolf the Boston. Absolutely free -- where we talk about all aspects of spine to help. And after two years of trying everything to get bitter and nothing worked -- just lying there and -- Nobody wants to have surgery will be choked up when we operate on my spot but. You get to that point -- life is just not worth living and that's where I want to know I had this. Incredibly difficult. -- surgery and was hardest thing that ever gone. Animal better. And -- absolutely incredible I have an opening I take no medication I had no idea what life was like put them back pain it's a miracle what's happened can be. And with that miracle with the good fortune was approved each -- hell of responsibility. And that's why I'm here today. I traveled the country as a volunteer. Tortured of people like I used to be. His would you give up where you don't think it's worth going alone and so I spend every day hours every day to talk to people on the phone. On the Internet face to face up to about stepping back from that bridge to put the gun down. Or solutions we have a fantastic organization the better way back or website is thought better wave back dot org. Our full numbers 807457099. And every day. I work with people to try to convince them that yes there is life after your point fails and all the different problems doesn't matter how what happened why it happened we you're just here to help with an absolutely free program and two days. Group in conjunction with the local guys here in Boston the Boston spine group. Doctor Genesee and his incredible staff. We're all biewer -- NL all the options all the programs all the different modalities and techniques to -- to your church point better because. Over the course of these last six years I've learned a lot mostly the health and family and noble. With your health anything is possible without it nothing gets done. Again that time is 1:1 o'clock at the Westin Waltham in Boston it's a free event today -- at 1 o'clock you wanna go there. And listen to Bill Walton talk about and it's not just people that at that point we don't or expo people that you arc of constant pains but not maybe at that level it may prevent. Should do you have any issues whatsoever. We can respond and give your life is affected by what's going down with your spine health condition didn't come on out and learn from us about what your options or what the directions or what you can't do to be proactive. Because the spine. It does not get better by itself. You've got to work and you've got to treated you've got to. Sometimes operated on and with me. Even though I swore I would never have spine surgery to I got to the point where. I had dork shorts. A lot of people can get better without spine surgery but what do evasive in this new doctors like doctor Janice here in town have been able to do. With that new techniques the new technology the new equipment. Did it in all the different things at their door and were able to prove minimally invasive procedures were able to reduce hospitalization. Reduced blood loss reduced. The rate of infection increased. The rate of success in. I am living testament that. This does work and that's why I gore around every single day because. The team is sold or overwhelming where you're just can't give up you can't move it is done the pain medication works. And that's a huge problem because -- -- problems that radiate through your body in just. Destroy everything in your life not just of the patient but of the families of the of the caregivers of the spouses and -- Every day. The luckiest guy in the world. To be with -- pain after all the ordered a I had terrible fees on board were structural congenital defects in my feet which he -- the bad foundation which led to the industry industry ought to leave the 36 orthopedic surgeries that I had to get to fused ankle -- -- -- -- -- don't work. Got a few spine. Of the demand. Everything it passed and you feel good I could well I'm not in pain and it's absolutely incredible I can think. I have a life well you're still young. Sixty years old now and I just -- and started I have the time of my life and our event today is going to be absolutely spectacular I will not be the only person speak you know be doctors -- will be helped her practitioners to be all kinds of people will be dealing with insurance issues. This is a major major problem millions upon millions of people in our country alone suffer from constant chronic back pain. And we have a plan we have a program. The better way back the better way back dot org in 207557099. We have felt good to do about it because we're. We wanna be like KG we want to be like Larry robbery wanna be like -- when you're a basketball player to be really good. Can't sit there and wait for the ball fall your. Spine problems you can't just lie I do expect to get better you've got to get out and do something about it that's what -- It's a great event today we will listeners are responding to us through social media. I was asking what you broadcasting career -- you sit here and talk with us and every once in the same thing. We love listen the talk basketball I'll say I'm unabashed Bill -- fanatic when it came to you calling games how many games. Will you go back to sort of won many points stop but we -- -- the same thing as you're honest about these things bleeding sugarcoat anything when you're an -- broadcast with you don't worry about we -- about players about the league. He said what you felt so what you felt the year. We go back to broadcasting at some point. I'm doing some broadcasting now but I'm not doing that with my entire life I chased that down for nineteen years trying to get to the top. In the I enjoyed the heck out of it was the time of my life but I have a new life -- -- you were when you live. Have freeze to death in the in my life. Mike is is one of life or death success and failure and hope and despair and just constant these constant battle all the time when you go through the stages. Of think if you're gonna dot. Wanting to do. And then the worst -- Which is when you're free you're gonna live and this is what your stock a body did just won't work. And that sense of absolute desperation despair and loss of control and nothing's gonna work all my god I'm here for ever. Both were all the stages that I withdrew but now or better and as so. Ever looked at life the same yeah. And as I faced those incredible challenges and ripped through just the worst. Of the worst. I had the -- -- -- at that I'd lost everything mostly what I lost was my dignity and self respect when you're just lying there and you're helpless and you can't -- and you need someone else to do everything for you. Or how about when I went there to Minneapolis ten days ago on I don't know root out with Kevin and Kevin who is he a hit the media of happiness and -- warrior the celebration of life and everything so wonderful it just so. Upbeat outgoing and all of a sudden your feast with this absolute. Awful situation of your child Angel dying in your arms and end. Very difficult to a comeback assail everything is fine and so. My life is different. I -- I -- do business career in San Diego which is there going well but mostly what I do is. Try to give other people to give the -- that I'm here today. Here in Boston. I'm a member of the Celtic family because of -- -- back in his decision his willingness to allow me to be on the team. And the people who sacrifice. And it gave -- pistol which of their life so that I could have a chance that same thing happened to me with my spine. My spine surgeon. This company -- feast of San Diego which is absolutely fantastic what they've been able to do they just worked so hard to help people because. That devastation. That happened to your life just absolutely takes everything away and now these people have given meet my life back. How do you begin. Begin to think the people who give your I expect you begin to think the people perceive your and that's why I'm here today at 1 o'clock of the west of west did. Wolf the in Boston. They can help a lot of people today at the west and middle could be better than that and it's for I want Larry I don't how many people have helped beat the best one is from one to three it is a free event today. And he can check out the website as well the better way back dot org. He can't make the event but do make the bank is bill's gonna be they're talking about his back -- people going to be there to help you out at the western wall in today from wonder theory bill I could never say -- a Boston. Spine group doctor -- bad guys after his whole team out there all over the top. He's like the Celtics he's like -- -- -- like -- reaper he's like Kevin McHale. Rob go Hillary go we got a game denies -- -- Rick Carlisle for Mark Cuban to be down there as well we're gonna have a grand time at the garden tonight the everybody. Oh thank you so much thank you might regular bill I don't -- the world one to three today at the Westin Waltham better away the better way back dot org will -- -- joining us in studio. We'll get a break come back with the -- 93 point seven. WE ya well like a family. If I could show you that tape we have a reunion a few weeks ago. Of all of our players that come back we know where they all law. We help them do things they're loyal to the -- material come back. Nobody has an alumni like we have we had someone write code 3040 guys come back. Everybody from Don Nelson the Bill Russell. The burn everybody -- all then they'll have to have that feeling these other teams don't have that.

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