Bill is a retired American professional basketball player and television broadcaster. He has a mouth-watering fortune. I guess most of his fans never knew. Don’t worry; we will tell you more as you keep reading.
Bill Walton’s Early Life
William Theodore Walton III was born in La Mesa, California, on November 5, 1952. He grew up with four siblings and initially took music lessons before focusing on sports, inspired by his older brother Bruce. While he struggled with a stutter and shyness, Walton found solace in basketball during his school years.
In high school, he teamed up with his brother Bruce, and they formed a strong partnership. Despite his potential, Walton struggled with injuries, experiencing broken bones and knee surgery during these years.
A growth spurt in his sophomore year made it challenging for him to adapt to his changing body.
After finishing high school, Walton chose UCLA for college on a basketball scholarship, even though other schools pursued him. In 1973, he played in what’s considered his best NCAA Championship game.
Representing the UCLA Bruins, Walton scored 44 points out of 22 attempts against Memphis State. This record for the most points in an NCAA Championship game still stands today.
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Bill’s NBA Career
The Portland Trailblazers selected Walton as the number-one overall pick in 1974 during the 1974 NBA Draft. His first two seasons were quite disappointing as he had high hopes.
He later had a case of Chronic foot injuries, but he managed to pull through as he performed well as a rookie within his first two years. Bill was great and led in rebounds and blocks, but missed the All-Star Game due to an injury. The Blazers won the NBA Finals against the 76ers, Bill MVP with 20 points and 23 rebounds in Game 6.
More injuries followed. He played with a broken foot in the 1978 Playoffs. He asked to be traded due to the unfair treatment of injured players. He went to the Clippers and struggled with injuries.
In the mid-80s, he improved but still hurt. In 1984-85, he joined Celtics, mainly as a sub. The Celtics won the 1986 NBA title against the Rockets. Walton played one more year before retiring.
His Broadcast Career Earnings
During his time in the NBA, Bill earned about $3 million, like $7.5 million today. His top-earning year was 1984-85, getting $1.35 million from the Clippers. Then, he earned $425,000 yearly with the Boston Celtics for three seasons.
At 28, Bill overcame a stuttering issue with help from Marty Glickman, a broadcaster. This made him think about being a sportscaster.
Bill started at CBS in the early 90s, later with NBC until the early 2000s, and is now known for his work with ESPN. In 2009, he left ESPN after 19 years due to a back injury, getting back after surgery.
He’s famous for his sayings while commentating and has a radio show named “One More Saturday Night.” He got an Emmy Award in 2001 for his commentating. He earned other honors, too.
After playing, he wrote a book named “Back from the Dead: Searching for the Sound, Shining the Light and Throwing it Down.” It was a “New York Times” bestseller for two weeks.
Walton’s Net Worth
Bill Walton, an American ex-pro basketball player and sports announcer, has a net worth of $20 million. He made a name in college basketball with UCLA Bruins before joining the Portland Trail Blazers in the ’70s.
In 1977, he won NBA Finals MVP as the Blazers became champs. He won again with the Boston Celtics in 1986. Despite his success, injuries, especially foot issues, troubled Bill. He missed seasons but returned strong with the Celtics, winning another title.
After retiring, he conquered a stutter and became a sportscaster known for working at ESPN. Bill and his wife, Lori, got a home in San Diego, California, for $3.2 million. Today, the house is worth $5 – 6 million.
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Bill wed Susan Guth from 1979 to 1989. Then, in 1991, he married Lori Matsuoka. With Susan, he had four sons, including NBA figure Luke Walton.
Bill’s Health Challenges
Due to his severe injury issues, Bill Walton had to get his ankles surgically fused. His playing career injuries were often linked to using too many painkillers from different doctors.
In 2009, he had an 8-hour surgery fusing his spine, adding titanium rods to his back. The surgery worked, but he couldn’t move quickly for about a year.