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…

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RE-AIR: UCLA vs Arizona | NCAA Mens’ BB

UCLA vs Arizona | NCAA Mens’ Basketball–Rivalries take time to build and this one has had decades.  UCLA and Arizona are two of college basketball’s premier programs.   Over the years the race for Pac-12 titles and the right to move to March madness has created high heat when they meet.

Today we hear the magnitude of that rivalry from two who were in the middle of the spotlight.

UCLA vs Arizona

Don MacLean

Don MacLean played at UCLA from 1988 to 1992.  They won the Pac-12 championship in the ’91-’92 season. He thrived on the rivalry.

Matt Muehlebach

Matt Muehlebach played at AZ from 1987 to 1991.  His teams never lost a game at home. Ironically, that streak would be broken by UCLA and MacLean.

MacLean was a pot-stirrer, especially on the court.  Listen to Matt talk about that while Don tells you how that went over with former UCLA coach John Wooden.

Matt speaks to what it was like to be on each of these raucous home courts when the two great basketball programs went head to head.  He’ll tell you about the “offer the hand and take it back move” made by Don to one of Matt’s teammates.  

Enjoy the story of an epic basketball rivalry through the memories of two who helped create it. 

Don MacLean with Coach Jim Harrick

Further Listening:

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

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Featured on ESPN Radio!

Featured on ESPN Radio | Huge thanks to Seth Greenberg for airing our ACC College Basketball | MD vs VT | Ep 7.

The episode featured on COURTSIDE with Greenberg and Dakich, a podcast on ESPN Radio.

For more COURTSIDE with Greenberg and Dakich listening, check out their podcast listings on:

Further Listening:

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TEASER | 1984 Tigers vs Blue Jays | Ep 4

This rivalry between the 1984 Blue Jays and Tigers, Buck Martinez and Jack Morris, is the subject of our latest The Sports Rivals Podcast.

Check out the full episode here.

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

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Sports Rivals Episode 4 Teaser