Back From The Dead by Bill Walton
This inspiring memoir from sports and cultural icon Bill Walton tells the story of his devastating injuries and incredible recoveries, set against the backdrop of his triumphant years at UCLA under the legendary coach John Wooden, his storied NBA career, and his deep love for music and the Grateful Dead.
In February 2008, Bill Walton experienced a catastrophic collapse of his spine, the result of a lifetime of injuries. This left him completely paralyzed, unable to move. For three years, he was confined to the floor of his house, eating, and crawling to the bathroom. The pain was unbearable, and his recovery was slow and challenging. However, through incredible patience, determination, sacrifice, and groundbreaking surgery, Walton managed to regain his mobility. Now, he shares his remarkable life story in this extraordinary memoir.
Walton’s upbringing in San Diego in the 1950s and 1960s shaped his character, deeply influenced by the political and cultural transformations of that era. Although he strongly identified with the counterculture and admired figures in music and politics, his true role model outside of his family was the straight-laced UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden. Wooden was a disciplined and thoughtful mentor who remained steady amidst the chaos of the times. Despite occasional tension and conflicts, Walton and Wooden maintained a close relationship for forty-three years, speaking nearly every day until Wooden’s passing at the age of ninety-nine.
Despite battling with a lifelong speech impediment, Walton chose a career in broadcasting after retiring from professional basketball. His perseverance paid off as he achieved success in broadcasting, earning an Emmy Award and other prestigious accolades. He became renowned as a respected media pundit.
John Wooden once stated that true greatness requires sacrifice, and Walton’s story perfectly exemplifies this sentiment. In his own words, Back from the Dead chronicles Walton’s dramatic journey, including his basketball and broadcasting careers, numerous setbacks, inspiring comebacks, and ultimate triumph as one of the toughest champions.