Hosted by Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, and Mark Jackson, ESPN’s top NBA broadcast team was joined by special guests to help commemorate the anniversary, including Marv Albert, Bill Walton, and Bob Costas among others.
Guests joined the alternate broadcast on ESPN2 to emulate the ManningCast’s style of candid banter. But staying true to himself, Walton joined and just completely took over the broadcast, prompting Breen to search for ways of slowing down the 69-year-old Hall-of-Famer.
“Bill,” Breen attempted to interrupt Walton. “While you were talking, I texted Dave Pasch to ask him ‘how do I get you to take a breath?’” Breen sought counsel from Pasch, who knows Walton well, but I’m not sure anyone can answer that question.
“Who? I have no idea who you guys are talking about,” Walton joked, pretending not to know his college basketball broadcasting partner. After teasing Pasch, Walton proceeded to dive right back into dominating ESPN’s RetroCast.
With three minutes to go in the half, Jackson dared to ask Walton another question. But before the broadcast could reach halftime, Brooklyn called a timeout as Walton was deep in his response to Jackson, forcing Breen to interject again.
“Bill! Bill, Bill, there’s a timeout,” Breen said with a laugh, recognizing that attempting to stop Walton mid-story is like trying to slow down a freight train at full speed. “Bill we love you, thank you for coming on.”
But Bill would not be denied from getting the last word. “We love you guys, we love the ABA, we love the NBA, I’m not going back to…” he continued, before ESPN abruptly cut the Hall-of-Famer off and went to commercial, fully depicting the joys and challenges of featuring Walton during any live broadcast.