Arizona Basketball

Bill Walton: Do you love him or hate him Arizona Wildcats fans? There’s no in-between

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Bill Walton spent some time with his son Luke, a former Arizona basketball star, last week during the Wildcats' Bay area trip (ESPN screen shot)

Bill Walton spent some time with his son Luke, a former Arizona basketball star, last week during the Wildcats’ Bay area trip (ESPN screen shot)

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Steve Rivera of FoxSportsArizona.com featured yesterday one of the hottest topics in Tucson — the love-hate relationship Arizona fans have with basketball hall of famer Bill Walton.

In the story, Rivera writes of Walton:

He meanders away from the game, often referring to subjects that have nothing to do with basketball, and that irritates some of the viewers.

Where did he get his style?

“I don’t have a style,” he said. “I’m just me. Just Bill.”

Either you love Walton, dad of former Arizona star Luke Walton, or you hate him. Just like Howard Cosell, there is no in-between. The subject is a wild one in social media, especially among Wildcats fans, some of whom become distressed when they learn he will announce an Arizona game.

I published this question on Twitter last night in relation to Rivera’s story:

As of this publishing, 25 people voted that they love Bill Walton, while only three hate him, a vast majority in favor of the big fella.

What does Luke think of his dad’s broadcasting style?

I posed that question of him last year at the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas for Bleacher Report. Luke broadcast a couple of games last year for Fox Sports 1. He contemplated following his dad’s footsteps to become a broadcaster before Steve Kerr hired him to be an assistant at Golden State.

“I love it,” Luke said when asked to critique his father’s broadcasting style. “It’s better now that I’m not playing because he used to do our game and just crucify my teammates and then I’d have to hear from their mothers.

“I think it’s entertaining. He loves it. He does it his own way. I called an Oregon-Oregon State game … and I had never done it so I was asking for advice. The advice (from Fox sports executives) was watch another game and listen to how they talk about the play but just make sure it’s not one of the games your dad does. They said, ‘We love what he does but we don’t want you to do it his way.’ I find it very entertaining.”

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Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo:
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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