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Bill Walton - Ends Basketball Career With Celtics

Famous Sports StarsBasketballBill Walton Biography - Hooked On Basketball Early, Leads Ucla To Two Ncaa Championships, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments - CONTACT INFORMATION

Ends Basketball Career with Celtics

In 1985 Walton was traded by the Clippers to the Boston Celtics. In a last flash of brilliance, he rose above his injuries to play in eighty games for the Celtics during the 1985-1986 season, averaging 7.6 points per game. With Walton's help, the Celtics advanced to the playoffs and eventually won the NBA championship. The following season, Walton played only ten games before his recurring injury forced him to retire from professional basketball. For the whole of his career, Walton played in a total of 468 games, averaging 13.3 points per game, with 6,215 points, 4,923 rebounds, and 1,034 blocked shots.

By the time of his retirement, Walton's chronic injury had grown so severe that it limited his ability to get around. In 1990 he underwent surgery to fuse some of the bones in his left foot and ankle. However, the surgery forever ended any hopes of playing basketball again, making it impossible for Walton to bend or flex his left foot. To keep busy, Walton got involved in charity work and coached a handful of individual promising college players, including Shaquille O'Neal at Lousiana State University. In time, Walton decided to see if he could find a job as a sportscaster or color analyst. Making the transition proved one of the toughest hurdles in his life, Walton told ESPN. "When I started in this business…, I couldn't get a job. They'd look at me and say, 'No way, Walton. Don't call us back and don't come around here any more."

But Walton was not to be so easily discouraged. His persistence eventually paid off, and he landed a job in 1990 as analyst for cable's Prime Ticket Network. Not long after that he joined CBS Sports to cover the NCAA Final Four. He next jumped to NBC, where he provided commentary for NBA games and also the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics Games. In between jobs for NBC, he found time to fulfill assignments for a number of broadcast and cable networks, including Fox, KCAL in Los Angeles, Turner Sports, MSNBC, and the NBA itself. Although it wasn't easy for him to break into broadcasting, Walton over time proved a natural. The Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association honored him with its Best Television Analyst/Commentator Award seven times between 1992 and 2000. He's also been nominated for a number of Emmy awards and in 2001 won an Emmy for best live sports television broadcast.

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