Earlier this year, we noticed a Bill Walton clip in an ESPN Films promo. News about the project involving Walton had been sparse over the last six months, but that silence ended on Thursday.
ESPN officially announced the Walton 30 for 30, which will be directed by Steve James (of Hoop Dreams fame, along with the 30 for 30 No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson).
Here’s more from the release.
ESPN Films today announced that production has started on a 30 for 30 documentary about iconic basketball Hall of Famer, Bill Walton. Walton, when healthy, was arguably one of the greatest centers to play the game. The ultimate competitor, Walton embraced team play over individual glory. The documentary will tell Walton’s story, from his earliest days as a high school phenom in San Diego, to his glory days at UCLA, and through his injury plagued, but stellar career with the Portland Trailblazers and the story of their 1977 NBA championship team. It will also delve deeply into Bill’s tortured history of debilitating injuries, his personal relationship with John Wooden, his love of the Grateful Dead, his politics and activism that alienated basketball fans in the ’70’s, and his final incarnation as a basketball broadcaster who regularly draws a Twitter storm.
Among the interview subjects featured in the story are Larry Bird, Julius Erving, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Artis Gilmore, World B. Free, Robert Parish, Jim Gray, Luke Walton, Jamal Wilkes, Brent Musberger, Bob Ryan, and a number of close friends and teammates from Bill’s high school days to today.
No release date or trailer was available.
This has potential to be a standout 30 for 30 for several reasons, including the director, the interviewees, and, most importantly, the subject matter. It’s no secret that the staff of this company adores Bill Walton, and we’d be lining up to watch any Walton-centric project. But when you throw in James and the list of luminaries that will be featured in this 30 for 30, the potential skyrockets.