Durham County

Is he stoned? Internet loves to talk Bill Walton’s college b-ball broadcast tangents

Bill Walton, right, ESPN sports broadcaster, works an NCAA college basketbll game between Portland and North Carolina at the Phil Knight Invitational tournament in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017.
Bill Walton, right, ESPN sports broadcaster, works an NCAA college basketbll game between Portland and North Carolina at the Phil Knight Invitational tournament in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017. AP

A public opponent of the War of Drugs, NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton provided the color commentary for ESPN’s broadcast of the UNC-Chapel Hill versus Michigan State basketball game Sunday night.

On Monday, people just kept talking about it – an internet flood of posts, tweets, shares.

Fortunately for Roy’s Boys, the yakety-yak was less about their shooting performance – 24.6 percent, the worst field-goal percentage ever in The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s long and storied basketball history – and more focused on the colorful nature of Walton’s talk.

Walton started talking about the Spartans’ star forward Miles Bridges.

Michigan State was handily beating Carolina without even needing to rely on its projected NBA lottery pick – Bridges – Walton was saying.

Then things took a turn.

“Michigan State hasn’t even needed Miles Bridges, who is not, I’m told, related to Lloyd or Beau or Bill, the Bridge School, the Bridge Benefit Concert, the St. Johns Bridge, or the Golden Gate Bridge. I love bridges,” Walton said. “The bridge is the ultimate tool, because it allows you to get some place you can’t get, on your own.”

Some social media users implied Walton’s bridge tangent was due to usage of – pot, weed, Mary Jane, ganja, green – the marijuana drug:

Some social media users were less subtle:

Walton’s co-commentator, play-by-play announcer Roxy Bernstein, played along, “There are a lot of bridges here in Portland as well,” he said.

To which Walton replied, “Twelve, between, the Willamette Falls and the St. Johns Bridge on the north. Including, the Tilikum bridge, which is the largest, longest, non-car bridge in America.”

“And you rode across it this week,” Bernstein said. “Didn’t you, Bill?”

Walton said, “I rode a bike across it, beautiful pass.”

And … back to the game …

“Theo Pinson lays it up in transition …” Bernstein said.

Colin Warren-Hicks: 919-419-6636, @CWarrenHicks

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