Ok, that might be a bit on the crazy, overly dramatic side.  But, how else could we welcome the news that Bill Walton is returning to ESPN as a college basketball analyst for select Pac 12 games this fall.  According to a tweet by Sports by Brooks, Walton will return to the network he had to leave back in 2009 due to his constant back issues.  This has to be outstanding news and should make that mysterious Not Bill Walton Twitter account even more popular than it somehow already is.

For many fans, Walton is a polarizing announcer.  A lot of basketball fans can’t take his grandiose statements and the wacky essence that makes Bill Walton who he is.  However, few can doubt his unique voice is missed when discussing basketball. His pairing with Steve “Snapper” Jones (who unfortunately has also fallen ill the last few years) over a decade ago still remains as one of the more entertaining NBA announcing teams in recent memory.

And while Walton has been making some small strides since 2009, appearing on a few Sacremento Kings broadcasts this season for example, this will be his first time back in a semi-regular role on a national network.  As this clip from March shows, Walton hasn’t lost his fastball.  What other analyst would think to compare Ray Allen to a river?

Hopefully the ability to stick close to his West Coast base will allow Walton to consistently contribute to ESPN’s college basketball coverage.  It’s just too bad he has to suffer through Pac-12 basketball.  Oh well, at least there’ll be plenty of opportunities for him to use his descriptive prowess.

[Arizona Desert Swarm]