Bill Walton: Back pain nearly led to suicide

April, 19, 2010
4/19/10
5:29
PM ET
Abbott By Henry Abbott
ESPN.com
Archive
In a column that reads a tad like a press release for some new medical procedure, Bill Walton delivers some very serious news.
"It got to the point where my life wasn’t worth living. I was standing on the edge of the bridge, figuring it was better to jump than to go back to where I was.”

“You can’t understand until you’ve been where I’ve been.”

A little over a year ago, Walton says, his back pain was so intense that he says he considered suicide. Walton says that the good news is that new treatments have drastically reduced his pain, and he is once again embracing life with his trademark enthusiasm.

The back trouble began 35 years ago, Walton tells Nick Canepa of the Union Tribune:
In 1974, when UCLA was riding the longest winning streak in college basketball history, he and the Bruins played at Washington State. Late in the game, Walton was low-bridged by a Cougar and fell hard to the floor.

“A despicable act of intentional violence and dirty play,” is how he put it. “I broke two bones in my spine that night, and things were never the same for me again.”

Via The Baseline.

Henry Abbott | email

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