NBA legend Bill Walton is not only known for sharing his opinions. He’s also one of the most famous “Deadheads,” or fans of the Grateful Dead.
Walton talks about bringing his Boston Celtics teammates, except for one, to meet members of the legendary band in the 1985-86 season. He chatted it up with host Trill Withers on Withers’ “Legends Live” show.
“They looked at me and said, ‘Are the Grateful Dead in town?'” Walton said. “I said ‘no.’ ‘Are the Grateful Dead coming to town?’ ‘Yes.'”
“That’s two different questions,” Withers said.
“‘Are you gonna go?'” Walton was asked by his teammates. “‘Yes,'” he replied.
“‘Can we come too?'” they asked, according to Walton. “And I said, ‘I think we can work something out.'”
Bill Walton Makes The Formal Introductions
Walton goes on to say that he worked it all out with the band, whose members included guitarists Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir and drummer Mickey Hart.
“We all met at Larry’s (Bird) house, the whole team was invited,” Walton said. “Everybody came except for Danny Ainge, whose wife wouldn’t let him come.
“And so here was a situation where Larry, Larry the ultimate teammate, was looking out for his guys,” Walton said. “He arranged for a fleet of limousines, a fleet of limousines to take us from his house to the concert. So we get there and it was fantastic. We drive right into the arena, they pull up the gate, and all the limos pull in.
“We go backstage and I’m introducing everybody around,” Walton continues. “Jerry and Phil and Bob and B.K. (Bill Kreutzmann) and Mickey and Brent (Mydland) was playing piano at the time. And then Larry, Kevin (McHale), ‘Chief’ (Robert Parish), and Jerry (Sichting) and Scotty (Wedman) and D.J. (Dennis Johnson) and Greg (Kite) and everybody…it was fantastic. And Rick Carlisle, too.”
Boston Celtics Dealing With Loss of Gordon Hayward
In the meantime, this year’s Celtics team is having to adjust its plans after losing Gordon Hayward to the Charlotte Hornets.
Hayward signed a four-year, $120 million deal with the Hornets, ESPN NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski reported at the time.
Hayward became a free agent earlier this week after declining a $34.2 million player option with his previous team, the Boston Celtics, for next season, according to ESPN.
This past season, Hayward averaged 17.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 52 games played after a rough start to his Celtics career. The forward was severely hurt six minutes into his debut game with the team and went on to miss the remainder of the 2017 season. During his three-year run with the Celtics, he missed 142 total games.