Our Q&A series is back as we talk to ESPN play by play man Dave Pasch. This year, Pasch has notably teamed with Bill Walton to produce one of the most entertaining broadcast pairings on television. We asked Dave about the long, strange trip, what his relationship is like with Walton off the air, Pac 12 teams in the NCAA Tournament, and his other work for ESPN and the Arizona Cardinals.
AA: Your work with Bill Walton became the talk of the blogs during the Pac 12 Tournament. How in the world do you prepare to call a game with Bill? What's your relationship like off the air?
Dave Pasch: I really like working with Bill, and we have a good relationship off the air. Bill is just a fun guy to be around. He's pretty much the same on and off the air, and that's one of the things I like about him. Bill has tremendous passion for basketball, history, and life in general. Working with Bill, you have to stay on your toes and be prepared to talk about anything and everything, while continuing to document the game. Timing is everything, and I think we developed pretty good timing over the course of the season. The spontaneous back and forth ribbing, or conversations about music have to be weighed against what's going on in the game. What's interesting is Bill doesn't like to talk too much pre-game about his opinions on specific subjects that might come up during the telecast. He worked with Ralph Lawler for 13 years on Clippers games, and they rarely spoke until they hit the airwaves, so that all of their conversations were off the cuff. I don't think you can practice chemistry, and I think spontaneity makes for good chemistry.
AA: When Bill breaks out into stories about The Grateful Dead or the history of Macon, Georgia during the NIT how are you able to balance the entertainment and unpredictability factor and keeping some focus on the game at hand?
Dave Pasch: I think it all depends on time and score, and how the game is going. Sometimes I respond - either with a serious remark, or a jab - and then return to the action. Sometimes I will even lead him to a non-basketball subject, depending on what's happening on the court. It all depends on timing. I worked a few games with Bill when I started on the NBA in '06-'07, so I had an idea about Bill's style and unique perspective. It's been a fun learning experience working a full schedule with him this year, because I think it takes time to get comfortable balancing the on and off the court topics.no comments