Great piece in the NYT today on the Big Red. Here is an excerpt:
It would take something extreme to rip Walton from the press table and push him into virtual solitude. It happened in February 2008. A back injury sustained decades ago had become a chronic, intensely painful condition that was destroying Walton’s spirit.
There is no hyperbole in his description, only acute anguish and sorrow.
"I had a life that was not worth living," Walton said Thursday. "I was on the floor and unable to move. The closest that I can come to describe it is, visualize yourself being submerged in a vat of scalding acid, with an electrifying current running through it. And there’s no way to ever get out."
He added, "I had nothing."
Walton, 57, has not called a game since that day and has only recently begun to re-engage with the world. He is healthy again, thanks to a surgical procedure that he says saved his life. He has become something of an evangelist for the doctor and the company that provided the template. He has no plans to return to broadcasting, but Walton has found a new outlet for his enthusiasm and oratory skills.
"Basketball is one of those rare opportunities where you can make a difference, not only for yourself, but for other people as well," Walton said in an interview at an East Side Manhattan hotel. "And now, as I’ve been able to climb back into the game of life one more time, that’s where I am."
Read the rest of the it by clicking on the link above.