Former NBA player Bill Walton told SI Now’s Maggie Gray in an interview Thursday that he contemplated suicide after his last back injury.
“When I was lying on that floor–and I had nothing–I was going to kill myself if I had a gun,” Walton said.
Walton, the No. 1 overall selection in the 1974 NBA draft, has undergone nearly 40 orthopedic surgeries in his life. Multiple foot injuries cost him three seasons in the midst of his illustrious NBA career.
The centerpiece of the John Wooden-coached UCLA Bruins in the early-1970s, Walton won two NBA titles in ten healthy seasons and was the 1978 league MVP.
He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.
The entire SI Now interview with Walton will air on Monday.