Football players weren’t the only people to take Junior Seau‘s death hard last week, as one Basketball Hall of Famer took it very hard and personal, too.
Bill Walton told U-T San Diego that he was “ashamed” and “embarrassed” that he wasn’t there to tell Seau “not to give up.”
“When I think of the tragic scenario of last week, I only wish I could have done more. I talk to people every day,” Walton said. “‘You can make it.’ I spend a lot of time talking people back from the brink, from the end of the cliff. It’s a duty, a responsibility I have. ‘There is an alternative.’ I now know tomorrow is going to be better.
“I could never get from Junior that there was pain. He never portrayed that to me. I have failed Junior; I have let him down,” he added. “But, oh, my gosh, I can tell you that people called me every day trying to help. I’d hang up on them. I didn’t want to talk. I turned my back on them. I know now there is a way out; a space. But on the outside, you never saw that something was different with Junior. Now he’s gone, and I am sad I didn’t help.”
Walton considered suicide between 2007-09, when he had paralyzing back pain, that was relieved by “miracle surgery.”
“I was right there . If I had a gun, I would have used it. I was on the edge of the bridge, seeing if it was high enough and the ground was hard enough. The difference was that Junior wasn’t lying there helpless. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t bathe, I couldn’t walk; I couldn’t do anything.”