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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Bill Walton: Airport passes on statue of local basketball great

The group behind a statute of NBA legend and San Diego native Bill Walton is having trouble finding a new home for it after Lindbergh Field became the latest location to turn it down.
Bill Walton: Airport passes on statue of local basketball great

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The group behind a statute of NBA legend and San Diego native Bill Walton is having trouble finding a new home for it after Lindbergh Field became the latest location to turn it down.

The 1,200 pound bronze statue was a surprise to Bill Walton. Walton is known not just as a great former basketball player, but also a generous philanthropist and a goodwill ambassador for our county.

Those behind the statue were looking for its permanent home thought the airport was a slam dunk - even offered the $200,000 piece of art for free - but they were surprised when their plan was rejected.

"They do not see where it's a fit for the airport. There are questions about why honor one fellow and not another fellow," said statue spokesperson Dan Shea.

In a statement to CBS News 8 from an airport spokesperson said: "Walton is an accomplished athlete, generous philanthropist, and important citizen of San Diego, and we are willing to consider providing a temporary home for the statue, just as several other San Diego venues have done in recent months."

Shea said the airport agreed to take the statue for three months next year. He remains hopeful a permanent deal can be worked out.