My all-time favorite Bill Walton moment,
however, was Horry-related. Back during, I think, the 2003 Spurs-Lakers series Horry made a good defensive play and Walton remarked "Robbert Horry -- one of the top five defensive players in the game" and his co-broadcaster responds, "Bill, I'm not sure he's even one of the top five defensive players on the floor right now." - Matt Yglesias
Wow. Since I forswore pro basketball several years ago, I'd forgotten what a pompous and ignorant man Bill Walton is. Back when my beloved Bullies were making their runs, he never missed an opportunity to bash Jordan and Pippen and to downplay the Bulls' dominance. EVERY GAME he announced, he found an opportunity to brag about how he was superior to MJ or really anybody else on the court.
For all that however, the most ludicrous thing he ever said was against Charles Barkley. I honestly don't remember the specific game, but it had to be the '97 playoffs. Charles got embarrased on D and Walton summoned all of his definitive false authority to proclaim that "Charles Barkley was rated the worst defender in the history of the NBA!"
Every single person in my dorm room (and there were probably a dozen of us crammed in there because my roommate had the biggest TV on our floor and we had a two-TV set-up so we could watch sports and play N-64 at the same time) uttered some version of "What the f*** is he talking about?" knowing that he was of course referring to no actually existing poll except maybe one he took of his three brain cells in the split second before he said that nonsense. My roommate, however, turned to me and deadpanned: "Has he never seen Dickie Simpkins play?"
PS In other basketball-related bloggage, I think it's A-OK for whites to root for the few white boys there are in the NBA. The same year as the Walton incident, every black dude on my floor could tell you what Tiger Woods shot at the Masters. I conducted a poll: excluding mini-golf, not one of them had ever swung a golf club.* There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Even though I don't follow the game anymore, I'm happy deep down inside any time a Hispanic player makes it at any level.
*For the record, neither have I.