Hall of Fame NBA center Bill Walton will return to his post in 2012 as a television analyst after a health scare forced him to take a three year hiatus from calling games, according to Michael Hiestand of USA Today Sports.
Walton will be an on-air analyst for PAC-12 games on ESPN and will occasionally call games for the Sacaremnto Kings, according to Hiestand:
[T]his season he’ll call ESPN Pac-12 games as ESPN — through a new deal — expands its coverage of the league. Walton also will join the conference’s soon-to-launch regional network. He’ll also return for occasional Sacramento Kings local game broadcasts.
Walton said that after he collapsed in an airport in 2007, he thought his life was over and contemplated suicide. After 36 surgeries, he’s in a much better position physically and mentally:
“I’m doing great. I’m starting over. I’m excited as can be about tomorrow. I’m the luckiest guy in the world.”
Walton won two NBA Championships throughout his 13-year career; one with the Portland Trail Blazers in 1977 and the other as a member of the Boston Celtics in 1986. While at UCLA for college, he became a two-time NCAA champion under legendary coach John Wooden.
Years after retiring from the NBA in 1987, Walton went on to become a television analyst for NBC, ABC, ESPN, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Boston Celtics and the Sacramento Kings.