Bill Walton Statue Lands at Valley View Casino Center

The statue of legendary San Diego basketball player Bill Walton has found a new home- for now.

After a near two-month stay at Petco Park, the 6-foot 11-inch, 850-pound bronze statue of Walton has been moved to the concourse of the Valley View Casino Center, formerly known as the San Diego Sports Arena.

The statue depicts Walton standing with his arms spread next to his road bike while donning a tie-dye Grateful Dead t-shirt. An image of Walton blocking Hall of Famer and NBA Icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and another of former University of California, Los Angeles head Coach John Wooden, with a championship net draped around his neck, shadow the statue on the concourse wall.

The statue’s relocation comes weeks after the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority decided against making permanent space for the statue at the San Diego International Airport, and weeks before Valley View celebrates its 50 year anniversary.

According to Bruce Walton, Bill’s older brother, Bill was unable to attend Monday’s relocation ceremony due to prior obligations: Recovering from “Oldchella” and preparing for the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s Million Dollar Ride, a seven-day, 620-mile bike ride down the coast of California from San Francisco to San Diego.

Despite the recent decision, Bruce Walton says that there is an ongoing discussion about permanent placement at the airport between proponents of the location and the Airport Authority.

“We think it’s a great selfie opportunity,” Bruce Walton said. “We would like to have it in a place where the most people possible could walk by it, enjoy it, take a picture with it, send that picture around the world and to have it be a part of San Diego.”

In 1969, Walton won his first of two consecutive California Interscholastic Federation Championships with Helix High School (La Mesa) in what was then called the San Diego International Sports Center.

On Wednesday, October 19, Walton’s son Luke, head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, will make his first coaching appearance in San Diego when the Lakers take on the Golden State Warriors at Valley View.

Bill Walton played for the San Diego Clippers from 1979 to 1985, playing his home games at the Sports Arena until 1984 when the Clippers franchise moved to L.A.

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