Bill Walton has always been a tremendous basketball announcer, and Thursday during the UCLA/Washington game, the Westwood legend went all-in on Bruins coach Ben Howland. After taking repeated jabs at the poor attendance at Pauley, Walton’s on-air partner Dave Pasch basically challenged Walton to come out and say whatever was really on his mind. This made for great, powerful TV:
Pasch: “OK, well, that’s obvious. How do you play better basketball?”
Walton: “Better style.”
Pasch: “Alright, so, is that the coach? Is that the players?”
Walton: “It’s the coach.
Pasch: “So you’re not a Ben Howland fan?”
That’s a damning indictment of a coach who, as Pasch notes, took the Bruins to three straight Final Fours. Is it accurate? A little bit, certainly. The real story here is Walton, who is criminally-underused by ESPN and remains one of the best in the business. Walton, 60, has had some health issues, and the hope here is that he replaces Bob Knight in 2013 and does more than just West Coast games.