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Bill Walton: LeBron James should play for free

May 7, 2010, 10:35 AM EDT

I’ve missed Bill Walton.

He was a larger-than-life person and personality, a great player and a broadcaster who made the game fun with hyperbole. He rubbed some people the wrong way — I’ll admit he annoyed me at times — but he always a reminder that this is a game and supposed to be fun.

Back pain knocked him down. Hard. But now he is back up, getting back into the game of life and playing evangelist for the doctor and back procedure that has him up and back in the game of life.

Oh, and he has basketball opinions, as he told the New York Times’ Howard Beck:

What I would really like to see is LeBron play for
free. There are rules that you cannot do that. You have to get a minimum
salary. Say, ‘I’ll play for the minimum, I’ll make my money in the
endorsement market — just spend the rest of the money and buy me some
real players. Pay them. And lets make a real super team. And lets change
the history of basketball…

(The Celtics have the) Best point guard in the Eastern Conference, best coach in the Eastern
Conference, best home-court advantage in the East Conference. Best
depth. Tremendous size across the front line. Fantastic individual
offense in Paul
, a phenomenal big-game finisher in Ray
and Kevin
, a historical-level figure who’s playing as well as he can,
based on his physical limitations. I see the Celtics winning the East….

But (Pau Gasol’s) game is unique, because it’s 100 percent based on skill. There’s
never any pushing, shoving. You win the championship when you have the
best player, and the Lakers have that in Kobe — Kobe and LeBron are
the two best players — and you have the best coach, Phil Jackson; and
you dominate the paint. And that’s what Pau Gasol does. And
he does it with his mind, his heart, his soul, his spirit and his
incredible skill.”

I’m fairly sure that among LeBron James’ free agent options, playing for free will not be one of them.

But the idea is fun…. I’ve missed Bill Walton.

  1. JC - May 27, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    First YES he can pay for his kids college education like 10x over….seriously….
    Bill Walton didn’t say that the tickets should be free….
    Yes, Lebron is selfish when it comes to the game of basketball… if he wants to win he has to think beyond the money and more about having a great core that compliments his style of game.
    Besides, he has said in the past that he wants to be the first billionare athlete. He keeps saying that his goal is to win championships then he needs to re-evaluate his priorties.
    The money will be there but his commitment to the game, the TEAM game of basketball, will win him championships.

  2. joeyvegas - May 31, 2010 at 9:34 PM

    Lebron would do well to heed Waltons advice. One problem.. LeBron really doesn’t want a championship. He shows that every year in the playoffs. He’s the greatest regular season player ever. Maybe he’ll change.MJ did. He was 27 or 28 years old before he knew what an assist was, so there’s time.
    If Lebron leaves Ohio, he’ll never be great. Name me 1 all-time great player in the history of the NBA that moved around alot. Okay, Wilt, Kareem. But how many rings did Wilt get? 1? And do you really think Lebron will play 20 years like Kareem? Do you really think the next team LBJ plays for, if its not Cleveland will be his last team? He will go down in history as another great player that never won. So What?

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