Sunday, March 15, 2015

Bill Walton on ESPN is the Worst

My favorite pastime for unwinding and de-stressing is to grab a cold drink, a bag of chips, and watch a game of basketball. I watched it all the time with my father growing up and it loved it.

Let's face it when it comes to sports ESPN is still the king. The best part is watching the athleticism of the players along with the wisdom of past players as commentators of the game. It allows people of all ranges of knowledge of the sport to know what is going on.

I have never realized the importance of the role the commentator makes on the game until I heard Bill Walton nearly ruin my zen paradise of watching Arizona. Thanks to ESPN and their awful choice of hiring the previous NBA player, they are hearing more complaints than ever.

I have seen some horrible commentators in my life, but this one takes the cake. Sadly, no one at ESPN thought to have Bill “audition” prior to his “gig” as sports commentator.  ans are now in an uproar demanding that Bill be banished from the stadium.

Just check out this complaint I recently saw:
Bill Walton as a color commentator does not stay with the game. Seriously, he is a big distraction from the basketball game for the Pac-12 championship!!!! Why on earth do you keep hiring him to do the color on Pac - 12 games? If you are contractually obligated to Bill Walton get him out of the Pac-12 so we can enjoy the games! Send him to the SEC who cares about them!
These are only one of the many complaints about ESPN and their choice of commentators I have seen. I have even found a petition on the internet hoping to ban Bill from commentating altogether. I must ask, however, is it Bill’s fault that he is so awful or did ESPN direct him in any way to better his chances at being a professional commentator?

There are two requirements that every sports commentator needs to make the experience for all enjoyable: Knowledge and Communication.  

We can all agree that Bill knows the sport. He has played basketball on the collegiate level as well as the NBA. He put in more time on the court as a center, and his attributes follow him.  He has won championships, been the MVP, NBA All Star, NBA sixth man of the year, etc.

The accolades of Bill Walton mirror the kind of power player he was and there is no denying it. So kudos, Bill, you achieved half of what every commentator needs: knowledge. 

Bill lacks, however, the most crucial aspect: communication.

Bill communicates alright, just about his past life, his past achievements, and his opinions on what he feels in the moment. That is not what I or other sports fans want to listen to when we are watching a game though!

I have started muting the game just so I don’t have to endure his thoughts because a great commentator tells the facts not the opinions. Let’s get back to basics ESPN and give the real Bill Walton some lessons on how to be an effective communicator.

Or better yet, hire someone else who not only knows the game but knows how to communicate the game to us.