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Trail Blazers Legend Bill Walton Visits Portland Japanese Garden

Bill Walton enjoying the view near the Moon Bridge in the Strolling Pond Garden.

On November 22, Portland Japanese Garden had the pleasure of receiving NBA Hall of Famer, Bill Walton. Walton led the Portland Trail Blazers to a championship in 1977, was a key contributor to the Boston Celtics’ 1986 championship, and has been named to both the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players and 75th Anniversary Team. After his retirement, Walton became a beloved and award-winning broadcaster of both professional and collegiate basketball.

Bill Walton strolling by the Wisteria Arbor.

Ahead of the Phil Knight Invitational, a three-day tournament hosted by ESPN to honor Knight’s impact on college hoops, Walton asked to film in the Garden ahead of the games. Wearing a Blazers hoodie that was decorated with tie-dye accents, Walton took time to enjoy our historic garden spaces. The basketball legend remarked how beautiful the Garden was and mentioned he had visited back when he was still playing.

Bill Walton reaching where few can on untitled work from Jun Kaneko, part of the Garden’s 2022-23 exhibition, Garden of Resonance: The Art of Jun Kaneko.