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#pounditSunday, January 23, 2022

Shaq: Bill Walton is not Hall of Famer

Bill Walton

Shaquille O’Neal does not think Bill Walton is a Hall of Famer based on his NBA career.

Shaq spoke on a recent podcast episode about the topic. The topic came up in a discussion about whether Dwight Howard was a Hall of Famer.

“Isiah Thomas explained this to me. There’s two types of Hall of Famers: there’s a bad mofo, shut-your-mouth Hall of Famer, which I happen to be a proud member of. Then there’s the other Hall of Fame,” Shaq said.

That’s when he cited Walton as an example of someone who doesn’t really belong in the Hall as an NBA player.

“For example, I don’t think Bill Walton is a Hall of Famer. Then somebody mentioned it’s not the NBA Hall of Fame; it’s the Basketball Hall of Fame. So, based on that, yeah, he’s in. Because he did work in high school, he won in college, and he won one in the NBA.”

Walton won two championships and three National Player of the Year awards in a row at UCLA and became the No. 1 overall pick in the 1974 draft. Walton led Portland to the championship in 1977 and won NBA Finals MVP that year. He won MVP the following year. But Walton had multiple injury issues and only played 468 career games over 10 seasons. His second championship, with Boston, came as a reserve.

Putting the centers side-by-side, Walton’s level of accomplishment and NBA career is nothing compared to O’Neal’s. But for a career body of work, and taking injuries into account, not a whole lot of big men were better than Walton. He’s also up there for funniest and wackiest basketball announcers in retirement.

Photo: JAYZWELLING/Wikimedia via cc-by 3.0


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