Walton appears on Dakich, talks life and basketball

Bill Walton appeared on the Dan Dakich Show today, putting in what the host called one of his best interviews ever. Walton doesn’t really talk about UCLA outside of some mentions of John Wooden and Pauley Pavilion, but he does ramble on as few others can.

At one point, he misquotes Neil Young’s “Walk Like A Giant” as he tries to explain how excited he is to be on Dakich’s show:

“‘Breaks my heart to think about how close we came/Think about how good it feels/I want to walk like a giant on the land/I don’t want to float like a leaf in the stream.’ And that’s why I’m honored to be on your show today, Dan. So how are the football players?’”

I don’t think Dakich asks more than five questions, but Walton unsurprisingly manages to talk for 40 minutes. Here are some other excerpts. You can find the full interview here.

At a little after 19 minutes: “I’m not a good father. It’s my greatest failing in life on a personal level. My greatest failing on a professional level is the failure of the Clippers to survive, thrive, build and grow here in San Diego. This is my hometown. And this is where — my mom, my dad passed nine years ago, my mom still lives in the same family home. They moved there when I was born, 60 years ago. She’s just 10 minutes away. I talk to her every night before I go to bed. The conversation’s always the same: ‘Yay, Mom. Yay, San Diego. Yay, California. Thanks for the greatest life ever, Mom.’ Her conversation coming back, starts the same way every night: ‘Say, Billy. Did you ever get a job?’ The fact that we move to the direction of trying to address your failures, we run the risk of obsolescence through repeated failures. Just think of the challenge of being a parent. The most important jobs in the world are being a parent, being a teacher and being a coach, because you’re responsible for what’s next. …

“I missed so much of our children’s lives. So many regrets, so many second thoughts. But one of the biggest ones that I have is that I never insisted that our children take structured music lessons. The importance of music in your life and learning from the master teachers. If you ever need to find out where you’re going, just ask the people who are on their way back.”

After 23 minutes: “I was not a fan of Big Ten basketball until this year. It was just too slow and too grinded out. But to see what Indiana has done and the Hoosiers, and the style that they play with. And what Zeller does, and Oladipo and the two little guards, No. 1 and No. 11 — how cool is that? To have these two little midgets out there running around, stroking threes, pressing up in your face. And the ball movement. That No. 4 guy, hitting those 3-pointers and making those creative plays. It’s just such a fun team to watch.”

After 24 minutes, digressing a bit on the pillars of life: “With your health, anything is possible. Without it, nothing gets done.”

At 36 minutes, when asked about Bob Knight: “It staggers me to see and encounter people in life who are not positive. I just don’t understand it. I don’t understand why people are negative, why people are vulgar, why people are bullies, why people are boars. The job of a coach, the job of a teacher, the job of a leader is to make people better at who they are, at what they do. I just want the acceptance and realization that what leadership and what coaching is about … it’s about giving up your life so that other people’s dreams can come true.”

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  • Mark

    I wish he spent 40 minutes bashing Howland.

    • Michael Daly

      Hey Mark we get it, you want Howland gone and are doing everything in your tiny power to ensure that. But you are boring the hell out of us.

      • Mark

        No one says you have to read it. I’m not preventing anyone else from commenting. When did I get out in charge of entertaining everyone?

        • FreeShabazz

          Mark, who do you want to replace Howland?

          • Hank

            What do you mean? There TONS of options. Brad Stevens, Shaka Smart, Mark Few… just to name a few. Does it really matter at this point? Just get in new blood. Things need to change regardless of one’s opinion of Howland.

          • Mark

            Agree with Hank. Mark Few is top of the list. Tony Bennett from Virginia (formerly Washington State). Randy Bennett from St Mary’s. Would have loved to get Sean Miller but that probably ain’t happening.

          • John

            How about Steve Fisher?

        • Michael Daly

          Well since you asked….sports=fun. discussing sports=fun. discussing sports with someone who keeps repeating the same thing like a bad campaign ad…not fun and a disservice to the readers of this blog.

          • Mark

            I’ll repeat my response about having no obligation to entertain or inform readers herein. It’s an open forum. If I’m not proving a service, how can I be accused of proving a disservice? Additionally I’m one of the few people even bothering to comment and provoke some discussion.

          • maze949

            You’re “entertaining” in your laughable rants about supporting SUC tomorrow–that alone undermines your entire position. You’re obviously a casual basketball “fan” and couldn’t care less about the University at-large. Your comments have all the merit of horoscope readings…purely entertainment.

          • Mark

            I’m way more than a casual fan and I care a great deal about the university. But I have no affection or affinity for this team–players or coach. I’m telling you, we need a total implosion.

          • Hank

            The only way to promote change is to show your lack of support for the current. If nobody said anything, no reason or incentive to mix things up. This basically holds true in many facets of life. Sharing frustration with the current situation, nothing wrong with that.

          • Mark

            Finally, a kindred spirit! Thanks, Hank.

          • maze949

            Worst logic ever…

          • maze949

            You can hardly finish a sentence, “Hank”. Please stop embarrassing yourself.

          • maze949

            “We”? You’re not a Bruin. Keep parroting BN, you f’n joke. A Bruin would never wish defeat against the trOJans, ‘Fight on and F off, “mark”!

  • Marc

    Thanks for the highlights, Jack. Not sure I have time for the whole interview.

    Thanks, also, for including the comments that start at the 36 minute mark. Bill is right about remaining positive. I know that I am not always perfect in this regard, but when I have a positive attitude and talk positively, it infects others around me to be positive. Conversely, when I’m a downer, as I’m apt to be, it invites others to be negative and growth is limited.

    My 14 year old nephew is a pretty talented kid who started playing basketball his freshman year in high school. It being his first year of BBall, there was an obviously high learning curve. He struggled in quite a few areas, but has a nice shot and a generally good attitude. I know that when I’m being positive while working with him at the courts at the local junior high, he takes to what I’m telling him in a better at than when I’m criticizing and being overly tough.

    I suppose it wouldn’t hurt for us as commentators to be reminded of the impacts of our comments, whether they be positive or negative, and the impacts on the general health of this blog as well as the health of the Bruin community at-large.