It's the Pac 12 Tournament and Bill Walton is ending the year with a bang. The redhead has had a glorious return to the broadcast booth working games for the Pac 12 Network and ESPN this year after being sidelined due to health reasons. Walton was in rare form today, even by his Grateful Dead infused high standards, so much so that the Pac 12 actually sent a press release with some of his best quotes from the early action. But those were nothing compared to what Walton said coming out of commercial with the Pac 12 mascots coming out of a limousine. It was worthy of a double take, a spit take, and any other _____ take you could muster. Bill Walton made a joke about being in the limosuine with ESPN's shiny new NFL analyst Ray Lewis, who just happens to have a bit of history with limos:
"I was way in the back with Ray Lewis and it was unbelievable how much fun, oh my gosh, how many people were in there!"
Dave Pasch's deadpan reaction may be the perfect complement to the clip.
If Bill Simmons can get kicked off Twitter for a few days for a tepid critique of Skip Bayless, what's going to happen to Walton for that punchline about Ray Lewis? Better get the #FreeWalton hashtag ready as a preemptive strike.
UPDATE: And fittingly enough, Walton also made a Bill Simmons joke after Dave Pasch suggested he'd get in trouble for only hocking Southwest Airlines. Again, Pasch plays his role as the straight man excellently. I'll have to check the record books, but I think Bill Walton may have just put together the greatest half in Awful Announcing history.
We'll provide updates throughout the evening to see if Walton keeps this performance up. Of course, he could also be escorted out of Las Vegas by ESPN security at any moment.
UPDATE: Here's some of Walton's best quotes from the second half…
"Fans beyond description, dancing angels of mercy, what more could you ask for. It's all happening."
Dave Pasch says working with Walton this weekend will age him 8 years. Walton: "Your wife's been calling me."
Pasch: "How much of that is instinctual as a shot blocker, how much of it is teaching?"
Walton: "100 percent of both."
"Lorenzo Romar just pulling his hair out!" (Romar is bald)
Walton on Arsalan Kazemi, "His parents own a candy factory four hours south of Tehran, oh my gosh how sweet it is."
"Both teams riding quasars all the way to the top of the mountain and the promised land."
Walton: "So many things here have defied rational thought."
Pasch: "You're not kidding."