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The Inside Track

Hot Corner

January 30, 2003|Larry Stewart

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here. One exception: No products will be endorsed.

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What: "Bill Walton's Long, Strange Trip."

Where: ESPN.

When: Sunday, 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. (first two of seven shows).

Now that Bill Walton is the lead NBA commentator for ESPN and ABC, do we really need more of him? Apparently so. NBA Entertainment has produced seven episodes of a new reality show that is all Walton, all of the time.

The show makes its debut on ESPN Sunday with consecutive episodes. Is it a good show? It all depends on your opinion of Walton.

NBA Entertainment cameras began following Walton in October. You'll see Walton relaxing in his Jacuzzi with wife Lori at their home in San Diego, talking about the Grateful Dead concerts he has attended. You'll see him visiting his nephew Cam at his Harvard student-housing apartment. You'll see him attending a Boston Celtic morning practice and a game that night. You'll see him teaming up with Dick Vitale on the Dec. 12 televised game between LeBron James' high school team and a Virginia school at Cleveland State.

There is one other regular character -- Walton's driver, Al. At times, he steals the show. When the two are headed for Cam's apartment, Walton says, "Every day is the best day of my life. Today is the best day of my life. You have to seize the moment."

Walton celebrates with Celtic fans at a sports bar the night after the Celtic game and he and Al miss their flight the next day.

A forlorn Al is shown alone in the car. "This is not the best day of my life," he moans.

-- Larry Stewart

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