Larry Bird June 24, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; NBA former player Larry Bird poses with his lifetime achievement award at the 2019 NBA Awards show at Barker Hanger. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The death of NBA legend Bill Walton on Monday has led to many sharing their thoughts on the person and player that everyone around Walton grew to love. Naturally, one of Walton’s most memorable teammates, Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird, offered his thoughts on his longtime friend on Monday night.

Walton famously played for the Boston Celtics in the final two years of his career alongside Bird from 1985-1987, famously winning the Sixth Man of the Year award in the 1985-86 season and helping the organization win an NBA Championship in 1986.

Walton has spoken quite candidly about his relationship with Bird over the years, hilariously joking that his role on the Celtics was as a “valet of Larry Bird” to make sure he got to games on time.

Walton may downplay his role on that team. But to Bird, it is quite clear that Walton was a player that was quite fond of during his time in the NBA.

Bird offered a statement on Walton’s death retrieved by ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, with Bird calling Walton someone he “loved as a friend and teammate”.

“I am very sorry about my good friend, Bill Walton,” wrote Bird in the statement. “I love him as a friend and teammate. It was a thrill for me to play with my childhood idol and together we earned an NBA Championship in 1986. He is one of the greatest ever to play the game. I am sure that all of my teammates are as grateful as I am that we were able to know Bill, he was such a joy to know, and he will be sorely missed. My family and I extend our sincere condolences to the Walton family.”


For someone like Larry Bird, an undisputed legend in the game, to call Walton a “childhood hero” tells you all you need to know about just how great Walton was during the prime of his career.

As the saying goes, Walton was your favorite player’s favorite player. And he will be deeply missed by not only the NBA community but the sports community as a whole.

[Tim Bontemps on X]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.