Here at Awful Announcing, Bill Walton has brought us so much joy as a broadcaster. Whether it’s on the website or on social media, we’ve laughed with him and poked fun at him for the wacky things he’ll say and the amusement he causes for a play-by-play partner during a particular telecast.

Though it might seem as if Walton just floats in to call a college basketball game and share his hazy wisdom with viewers, he takes his broadcasting work much more seriously than fans might imagine. In an interview with The Athletic’s Christopher Kamrani, the Hall of Famer admitted that he’s still figuring out broadcasting and beats himself up when he feels he had a bad game.

“But like when you’re a player, you make mistakes, which I did a lot tonight, and I won’t sleep tonight. I won’t sleep really until the next game. Hopefully, I’ll be better the next time out. I’ll do my best. I work very hard at the job I have, a job that I love, a job that I hope to keep.”

Calling games remotely apparently contributes to Walton’s anxiety. Watching the action from a monitor rather than at courtside makes some aspects of the job difficult, such as identifying players. Walton felt that was an issue for him during his Jan. 25 Arizona State-Arizona broadcast on ESPN with Dave Pasch.

Yet Walton made sure to emphasize that he doesn’t mind working remotely. He loves his San Diego home and the opportunity to spend more time there. But like many of his broadcasting colleagues, he misses the scenes, people, smells, and sounds from calling games on-site. And getting a sense of the players he’s watching beyond what the stat sheet says.

“For me, it’s not about somebody’s 3-point percentage,” he says. “I’m about the quality of the person’s character and the dynamism of their personality. I think you play as a reflection of who you are, and that’s what I love.”

Yes, The Athletic is a subscription site, but the interview with Walton is yet another example of why their content is worth that monthly or annual charge.

Other highlights of Walton’s conversation with Kamrani include teasing Pasch (with whom he calls four games a week), some of the weirder references he’s made during broadcasts (because that’s just what popped into his head), and his great appreciation for life. Hopefully, that helps him sleep a bit more.

Oh, and Walton is not interested in being the Pac-12 commissioner. Just in case you were still hoping for that.

Related: Jason Benetti noted the silence when Bill Walton’s feed went down (and happy birthday to Bill’s dog)

[The Athletic]

About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.