Hey, Bill Walton. Whatcha doing?
“Keeping my hands up on defense!”
Coach Wooden really taught you well.
“It was about preparation with Coach Wooden. We needed to be ready for what we would face on the court, and what we would face in life. And, you know, sometimes life contains bears.”
Have you encountered many bears, Bill Walton?
“I killed this one.”
“It was him or me. This was in ’79. Red Rocks Amphitheatre, which is a wonderful place to see a Grateful Dead concert. Over the years, I’ve seen them there a dozen times, and over that period I befriended several boulders.”
Okay, sure. The bear?
“So, me and some friends are biking through the beautiful Colorado scenery. Mountains, and trees. Nature at her most natural.”
“And then this hairy fellow tried to eat me.”
Out of nowhere?
“No, out of the woods.”
I meant that there was no warning.
“The bear was sneaky.”
“He was in spandex and on a bike and had infiltrated our group at the beginning of the day.”
“He even bought breakfast. The bear gained our trust.”
“Smarter than average.”
So how did you kill him?
“Y’know how people in stressful situations get a big adrenaline dump, and get momentary super-strength?”
“Well, I’m seven feet tall. I Hulked out.”
And then you had the bear stuffed and donated it to your alma mater?
“Well, first I ate his heart to gain his power.”
“But then I had him stuffed and donated him to UCLA, yeah.”
“I named him Jerry.”
Deadheads do like naming animals after him.