Band Dead & Company pays tribute to Bill Walton

ByJ.J. Post ESPN logo
Saturday, June 1, 2024

Bill Walton is a legend in basketball, but the Hall of Fame player-turned-commentator was also well-known for his passion away from the court: the rock band Grateful Dead.

Walton's relationship with the Grateful Dead was longstanding -- he claimed in his autobiography to have attended over 800 of the band's concerts, and called being inducted into the group's "Hall of Honor" the highest tributehe ever received.

While performing Thursday at the Sphere in Las Vegas -- poetically, the city that hosted the final men's basketball game played in Walton's beloved Pac-12 -- the band Dead & Company, a group containing members of the original Grateful Dead, paid tribute to Walton.

The band played the Grateful Dead's 1978 song "Fire on the Mountain" while a montage of some of Walton's best moments supporting the group scrolled by on the panoramic screens of the Sphere.

Walton died Monday at age 71 following a prolonged battle with cancer. Dead & Company also paid tribute to Walton via social media.

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