The Freethinkers | Walton & Spaceman | Ep 36

I can see clearly now the rain is gone.
I can see all obstacles in my way.
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day.
-Jimmy Cliff

The Freethinkers | There are exceptions to every rule, so our two guests aren’t rivals, but kindred spirits who are living for that “bright (bright) sunshiny day! Two great athletes as well as two of the most outspoken athletes of their time. They’re freethinkers who speak to everything in the world. Neither is shy to express themselves, they’ve been outspoken and even controversial at times.

The Freethinkers

Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a two-time NBA Champion and a two-time NCAA Champion. He played college basketball at UCLA for legendary coach John Wooden and was the National College Player of the Year three times, from 1972-1974. In addition to those two NCAA titles in 1972 and 1973, including an amazing 88-game winning streak, he was also the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player in those years as well. He won the NBA title in 1977 with the Portland Trailblazers and in 1986 with the Boston Celtics. He was the NBA Finals MVP in 1977 and the league’s Most Valuable Player in 1978. These incredible accomplishments have landed him in both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as well as the College Basketball Hall of Fame. However, with all these feats, he might be best known as the biggest Grateful Dead fan on the planet.

Bill ‘Spaceman’ Lee

Speaking of planets, Bill “Spaceman” Lee had a 14-year major league baseball career with the Boston Red Sox and the Montreal Expos. He was an all-star in 1973 and in 2008 was inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame. Bill played college baseball at USC under legendary coach Rod Dedeaux when they won the 1968 College World Series. He then was drafted by the Red Sox in the 22nd round of the 1968 draft. Bill began his career mostly as a relief pitcher, but then went on to become a starter in two games in the 1975 World Series. However, his career took a turn for the worse in May of 1976, as he got injured in a huge brawl with the Yankees and suffered a torn ligament in his left pitching shoulder. But Bill’s dynamic personality would not be curtailed and his tremendous popularity as the “Spaceman” continued even after his playing days in books and films.

So, fasten your seat belts as two planets are about to collide and hopefully you can see clearly again once you hear these freethinkers’ words of wisdom…

Further Listening:

Be sure to subscribe to the Sports Rivals podcast to listen to this rivalry on your favorite podcast app:

If you loved this episode, check out our others:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.