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#pounditWednesday, February 1, 2023

Bill Walton hilariously calls Jay Bilas ‘Jake’ again during interview

Bill Walton

Bill Walton has been one of the big winners of the NCAA Tournament thus far because of his knowledge of and confidence in Pac-12 basketball, and the Hall of Famer remains on fire.

Walton, who known as much for his eccentric personality as his basketball and broadcasting career, appeared on ESPN’s “College GameDay” on Sunday to discuss the success of the Pac-12 in Indianapolis. He repeatedly referred to the Pac-12 by the “Conference of Champions” nickname he has popularized. But the best parts of the interview were when he got Jay Bilas’ name wrong.

As he has done in the past, Walton referred to Bilas as “Jake” three times in a 10-minute period. The first was when Bilas asked Walton if he thinks the Pac-12 teams can channel the spirit of legendary UCLA coach John Wooden, who was from Indiana. Walton took a swipe at Bilas over playing for Duke.

“It’s not about channeling yesterday, it’s about channeling now,” Walton said. “This is about the poise, the confidence and the competitive greatness, Jake. Remember, you tried to get into UCLA and they sent you away. They said go over there to North Carolina, or whatever that state is called that you live in.”

Bilas and his colleagues immediately burst into laughter, but Walton just kept on going. He later called Bilas “Jake” again when talking about the success UCLA has had this season and as a program.

“One of the remarkable things about UCLA is that in 14 months, this team has gone from nothing to being on the cusp of winning another championship,” Walton said. “And never forget, Jake, that UCLA has the most championships of all the programs out there — three ahead of Kentucky, and then who knows who’s behind them?”

Walton pulled out the “Jake” one more time toward the end of the segment. You can see the video below, with the best parts coming at around 2:43 and 5:08:

Walton, who calls games for ESPN’s Pac-12 Network, hilariously put all five Pac-12 teams that made the tournament — USC, UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State and Colorado — in his Final Four. Most people thought he was being a homer, but the Pac-12 has shined in the tournament thus far. Four of the five teams remain alive, with 12-seed Oregon State already in the Elite 8.

If we know anything from his stories like the one about a high bike ride, it’s that Walton is often on his own planet. We’re not surprised he needles Bilas by calling him the wrong name.

Photo: JAYZWELLING/Wikimedia via CC-BY 3.0


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