FEATURE PHOTO: Hall of Famer Bill Walton, left, was color analyst for ESPN2 for Tuesday night’s Lobo loss to Colorado. Play-by-play announcer Roxy Bernstein is to the right before the game. (Mark Smith photo)
By Dr. Reuben Valles
For Enchantment Sports and Fan-demonium
On a wonderful night of college basketball in The Pit, Albuquerque and a national ESPN2 audience were treated to some fantastic hoops! Not only did this tight contest include plenty of full-court action, a barrage of 3-pointers, and some electric plays with a packed and boisterous Pit, but the game included ESPN color commentary by the incomparable Bill Walton. Walton really seemed to appreciate New Mexico, The Pit, the fans, and just about everything about his visit to Albuquerque.
Rarely have we had an ESPN analyst be so complimentary to the Duke City. Everything from the hot air balloon ride he took, the food, the climate, the friendly people of New Mexico, The Pit, coach Weir, and the talent on this New Mexico roster. Walton, who is known to be a PAC-12 homer, having plied his trade at UCLA alongside legendary coach John Wooden, spent the entire two hours speaking of the greatness of The Land of Enchantment, and even telling stories of how you use to come to The Pit to do clinics with Coach (Norm) Ellenberger. Walton and this game showed extremely well for New Mexico and this Lobo basketball team. That is until about the last 8 minutes or so, as Colorado guard Wright penetrated the Lobo defense at will and slowly erased a 14-point second half deficit and turned it into a three-point Buffalos win.
In the end, even our new native son, Bill Walton, had to admit this was a complete collapse by this Lobos team and it’s just “sad” was how he phrased it.
Dr. Reuben Valles is a Cibola High and University of New Mexico graduate who practices medicine in Los Angeles and is a contributor to Enchantment Sports. To reach Reuben, email EnchantmentSportsNM@gmail.com.