The basketball world is mourning the loss of Bill Walton this week. Walton recently passed away at the age of 71 after a fight with cancer. Walton is a legend in the basketball community. He played for UCLA basketball in college and had a truly remarkable career. He won two national championships with the Bruins and he won player of the year in college three different seasons. Many people have been sharing stories about Walton this week, and one of those people is Reggie Miller.

Reggie Miller is also a basketball legend, and he also played at UCLA basketball. The two of them didn't play with the Bruins at the same time as Bill Walton was there from 1971-1974, and Miller was there from 1983-1987. Miller ended up spending his entire NBA career with Indiana Pacers, and Walton was on the Boston Celtics during part of that time.

During a recent episode of the Dan Patrick Show, Reggie Miller made an appearance, and he shared some stories about him and Walton.

“At that time, he was playing for the Celtics, by the time I got to UCLA,” Miller said. “So there was bitter rivalries between the Lakers and the Celtics, he was a part of that. To have him come back and work with Jake Haley, Stuart Gray, Kenny Fields. Because we wanted to know what was it really like in those locker rooms and on the court, when Magic [Johnson] and [Larry] Bird, it was cool to hear those stories. Our friendship kind of grew even more, so once Larry Bird became our coach at Indiana, because he was around all the time then. He was also working with NBC during those mid-nineties as well so we’ve had a great relationship, it’s a sad day in Bruin Nation but we know he’s in a better place.”

Bill Walton has always been around basketball

Pac-12 Networks men's basketball commentator Bill Walton watches the game between the California Golden Bears and the USC Trojans during the second half at Haas Pavilion.
© Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Walton played his last season in the NBA in 1988, which was shortly after Reggie Miller started his career in the pros. The two of them weren't players in the league at the same time for very long, but as Miller noted, Walton was around the game of basketball very often, and because of their UCLA backgrounds, they formed a good relationship.

Walton played in the NBA from 1974-1988. He was picked by the Portland Trailblazers with the first overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft, and he was with the Trailblazers until 1979. He then played for the San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers until 1985, and he finished off his career with the Celtics. Walton's playing career was over, but he worked in the basketball industry for the rest of his life as he was calling games for ESPN this past college basketball season.

There was a brief period of time where Walton wasn't calling games because of back issues, but he worked with NBC, CBS and ESPN during his broadcasting career. He has most recently been working for ESPN calling Pac-12 basketball games. Walton was one of the most unique announcers in the game. You won't see an announcer eat a lit candle off of a cupcake very often, but Walton did it.

Walton passed away on Monday, and Reggie Miller and numerous other people that worked around him have had a lot of good stories to share.