Bill Walton didn’t shy away from ripping a fellow ESPN colleague earlier this week. The usually colorful Walton, while on the call of a game on the Pac-12 Network, blasted resident bracketologist Joe Lunardi.
In the latest volume of Bracketology, Lunardi included two teams from the Pac-12 Conference: The Arizona Wildcats and UCLA Bruins. The USC Trojans were among his ‘First Four Out,’ so two teams are safely in as top seeds in his mind and one is just on the cusp. Did this have anything to do with what Walton said?
Not the first to offer criticism to Lunardi and probably not the last, Walton might have taken things a bit too far. Based on his words on the broadcast, one had to wonder while listening – if you actually have the Pac-12 Network, of course – if his feelings of resentment had inklings of truth to them.
Bill Walton just absolutely bodied Joe Lunardi. pic.twitter.com/HvJipTLyB5
— David Blattman (@davidblattman) February 17, 2023
Sports Illustrated writer Jimmy Traina transcribed the rather awkward conversation between Walton and long-time Pac-12 Network commentator Roxy Bernstein.
During the Utah-Arizona game, Walton, calling the game on the Pac-12 Network, took up for the conference saying, “Look, Joe Lunardi is a troll who has no respect or consideration for the conference or champion.”
Walton’s play-by-play partner Roxy Bernstein chimed in, saying, “That’s not true.”
“It is true,” said Walton.
“That’s not true,” Bernstein interjected.
“You’re entitled to your opinion, even when you’re wrong,” Walton clapped back.
Yikes. Walton has not steered the ship well in terms of getting on everyone’s good side. His opinions about the homeless crisis in San Diego are unsavory at best and horrible at worst. Blasting a fellow media member, a colleague at that, is pretty wild even for Walton. And doing so on another network is an interesting move as well.
A response from Joe Lunardi is probably pretty unlikely. It could be interesting to hear what Bill Walton has to say the next time that he works an ESPN game, though.