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Bill Walton’s choice for next UCLA coach? Barack Obama

Bill Walton without question is among the most iconic UCLA basketball players of all-time. A two-time national champion with the Bruins, Walton’s opinions concerning the program obviously carries a lot of weight.

That said, odds are his recommendation for who should replace recently ousted Steve Alford as head coach, however, won’t be taken too seriously, Considering Walton’s patented oddball persona — and cockeyed view of the world — perhaps that was his intent.

Walton was on the call alongside Dave Pasch Thursday night for ESPN’s coverage of the UCLA-Stanford tilt when the topic of potential UCLA head coach candidates not surprisingly came up.

Walton, for some reason known only to him, brought up the 44th President of the United States as an intriguing candidate.

“Who do you think can succeed here?” Pasch asked his broadcast partner during UCLA’s 92-70 victory in interim coach Murry Bartow’s debut. “What type of characteristics should UCLA look for in the next coach?”

Walton: “Barack Obama.”

Despite Pasch’s astute suggestion that it’s patently absurd to bring up Obama — a noted basketball junkie but unqualified nonetheless — in the UCLA coaching search, Walton would not back down.

“Well you keep saying that, but why? Why are you so negative?” Walton said. “… I’m sticking with Barack Obama until he says no.”

Bill Walton: Shine on you crazy diamond.