Bill Walton provided an interesting on-air rant during ESPN's broadcast of the Oregon-UCLA college basketball game on Thursday (January 13) night.
The Basketball Hall of Famer and noted Grateful Dead super fan explained how the Pac-12 Conference has benefitted from the NCAA transfer portal during the second half of his alma mater UCLA's eventual 84-81 overtime win against Oregon at Pauley Pavillion, but instead referred to it as the "Tinder portal."
"So the Tinder portal, which has been very good for the 'Conference of Champions'...Myles Johnson seeing the opportunity that UCLA does not have a shot blocker. He comes here and says, 'yeah, I've found myself a home,'" Walton said.
The basketball legend's play-by-play partner, Dave Pasch, quickly acknowledged the confusion, which led to the following on-air interaction:
Pasch: "Did you mean 'the transfer portal?' You called it the Tinder portal."
Walton: Tinder portal, yeah. That's what it is.
Pasch: Why? Are you saying the transfer portal is like Tinder? Like you swipe right or left to get a player?
Walton: Well...Do ya love me today?
An honest mistake, you'd think, but the former NBA big man with an even bigger personality continued to rant about the "Tinder portal" minutes later:
Walton: "But all these guys that, you know, look around and they get into the Tinder portal and then the coaches, the way that works is that they put their name in there and then the coaches start pushing left and right.
Pasch: "(brief pause)...exactly."
So maybe Walton didn't make a mistake and is actually just two steps ahead of everyone else in his comparison of NCAA athletes transferring to online dating.
Never change, Bill. Never change.