Nick Wright discussing Bill Walton's legacy as a player and broadcaster Photo Credit: FS1

Countless member of the sports media world have offered their thoughts on the great Bill Walton following his death on Monday after a prolonged battle with cancer. And while some will always remember him as the great collegiate and NBA star from his playing days, FS1’s Nick Wright will seemingly remember him more as a legendary broadcaster.

Wright and FS1 colleague Chris Broussard discussed Walton’s legacy following his death on Monday’s edition of First Things First. Broussard started things off by recalling some moments he spent with Walton during his time at ESPN.

“Obviously, he was a tremendous player,” said Broussard. “Some people might not know, the casual fans, that injuries ruined his career. It broke my heart, Dr. J was my favorite player. And Bill Walton led the Portland Trail Blazers to a series championship over them in 1977. So I remember him as a great player whose career was sabotaged by injury.

“But I worked with Bill at ESPN. He was a ton of fun to work with. He said my analysis was balder-dash and poppycock. But hey, he was a lot of fun to work with. I’ll remember him as a great guy. I was disappointed when they took him off the NBA broadcast. I remember him as a great player and a tremendous broadcaster as well.

Wright then shared his thoughts on Walton, highlighting some of his career achievements during his playing career, but then also added that he views Walton’s broadcasting career as “maybe even better” than his playing career, adding that he grew up wanting to be Bill Walton.

“If you ask the question who is the greatest college basketball player of all time, you are allowed to give two names. Either Lew Alcindor or Bill Walton, they are the only two eligible. Then when it came to the pros, he beat Dr. J at the peak of his powers. But with all that said, he may have been an even better broadcaster.

“When I was a little kid, Bill Walton is who I wanted to be. When I would tell people that I wanted to do broadcasting and want to talk about the NBA for a living, it was the Walton-Steve ‘Snapper’ Jones combo on NBC that I loved and wanted to do. So many of my memories as a kid growing up come from him and Snapper bickering at each other. He has a legendary career over 60 years, truly unbelievable.”

It’s pretty cool to hear that Walton is one of the people who Wright actually credits as an inspiration to get into the profession.

And while what Wright does in sports media is certainly different than what Walton did as a broadcaster, calling basketball games as a color commentator in both college and the NBA for over three decades, Walton certainly would have been quite appreciative of the high praise of his broadcasting talents from Wright.

[First Things First on X]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.