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It made sense, in that light, that Walton’s next guest was Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike. They chatted amiably about Knight’s successes in business, again largely ignoring the game at hand. That was fine, really. It seemed destined to be high-scoring but unsatisfying, like a lunch full of empty calories. Neither the Blazers nor the Spurs play great defense these days. Benetti prompted Knight to talk about the time he tried to offer Walton a shoe contract and Walton declined. “It was the biggest business mistake of my life!” Walton groaned.
He will host “Throw it Down with Bill Walton” as an alternative game telecast streamed exclusively on select Mondays on NBA League Pass via the new NBA App. Walton will be joined on the broadcast by Jason Benetti, who will handle play-by-play duties. Walton and Benetti plan to have special guests across sports, music, literature, and business on their broadcasts. The first guests scheduled to join Walton and Benetti on the air are Julius Erving, Phil Knight, and Adam Sandler.
Bill Walton: Walton: Dr. J was the single most vibrant, exhilarating, and dynamic player I ever played against. Kareem was the best player. But Dr. J? Oh my gosh. He is a timeless icon and intergalactic treasure. Phil Knight is the most important man in the history of all sports. He started the most successful company in the history of sports. He is graciously part of our first show. Phil was there for me at the very beginning. I just was not smart enough. I was unprepared. I was unsuspecting and I was undiscerning and I didn’t know what I was doing. But he has continued to be kind and so generous and patient with me throughout my entire life. Phil Knight has been throwing it down for some time. It all rolls into one.
Bill Walton: The NBA is the best of the best in everything. This is my 49th year in and with the NBA. It is such a privilege to be part of the best. My life has always been about being part of something truly special. I’m the luckiest guy in the world. I had the greatest parents and the greatest childhood and the greatest schools in the greatest city. Then I got to go to UCLA. Then I got to be a part of the NBA. Like a Grateful Dead concert or a remarkable book or a poem or a song, you never know how NBA basketball is going to play out. With the live aspect of this, we’re going to let the show have its say. We’re going to let the music and the game throw it down.
What will it be like? Let’s let the 70-year-old Walton tell you. “We’ve got the NBA intergalactic platform,” Walton told The Post. “We’ve got the world’s greatest basketball players. We’ve got the business. We’ve got the entertainment. We’ve got the sports world. We’ve got the celebration of life and health and all good things here. We have fantastic guests. I’m the luckiest guy in the world. We are set for blastoff and the volcanic eruption on Monday night Jan. 23. Seven o’clock Pacific time, be there. Miss this at your own peril. You’ve been suitably warned. I’m fired up.
Anthony Puccio: NBA announces an alternate telecast hosted by @Bill Walton called “Throw It Down” The first telecast will be on Jan. 23 for Spurs-Trail Blazers, and will feature Dr. J and Phil Knight.