Obviously much has been made recently about the comments Bruin legend Bill Walton made about soon-to-be-ex-coach Howland. Our frontpage has appreciated his candor in support of the greatest program in college basketball. Also joining the Bill Walton fanclub, Yahoo Sports columnist Pat Forde in his Forde Minutes section subtitled "Throwing it down, on a coach's head":
...Walton is worth the weirdness that comes along with him. Mostly because he is notably honest, often quite humorous, and not the least bit interested in chumming up to the coaches working the games he is calling...
...It got to the point against Washington that play-by-play man Dave Pasch basically called Walton on it, and Big Red responded without flinching. In so many words, he said UCLA would have a different coach if he were calling the shots.
Which is when a lot of people started losing their minds. (The best part was when some folks started whining that Walton was disrespecting a guy who has been to three Final Fours. Um, Walton went to three Final Fours, too, in three seasons of college eligibility. And won two of them. And shot 21 of 22 from the floor in one of the title games. Don't get into a college basketball resume contest with Walton and expect to win, unless your name is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.)
The Minutes loved it. An analyst with a critical opinion of a coach, and he's willing to air it? That is ground-breaking television.
I especially like the point he made about the three Final Fours, as that has been the same stupid rallying cry for Howlers everywhere, smacked down in one fell swoop by Big Red, who, as Forde points out, not only knows what it's like to go to Final Fours, but actually win them.
Click through for some bonus thoughts on LDII and Shabazz in Forde's column.
Ground breaking television indeed. Good for Forde, and good for Bill Walton.