Walt Bellamy (1939-2013)

Professional sports just ain’t what they used to be. Now, every player in the NBA is a millionaire, but back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, even the biggest stars didn’t make huge money. We were reminded about those realities last weekend with the death of Walt Bellamy, aged 74, a Hall of Fame NBA center and Olympic champion who played for 14 years as a pro in Chicago, Baltimore, and New York.

In 1986, Bellamy played in the NBA Legends basketball game as part of the All-Star Weekend festivities. Tom Weinberg caught up with him then and shot an interview for the television special “Once a Star.” The resulting footage demonstrates the character of this star from another era, who was a real gentleman and a regular guy. This tape, like so many in our collection, also helps illustrate the value of a historical perspective that you can only find in documentary video.

Watch the full interview at Media Burn.

 

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