Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Antoine Walker Trying To Break Back Into NBA

'Toine's basketball career can be described the same way you'd describe a phone on vibrate, "Quarantine," and Michael J. Fox: shaky. He won a national championship at Kentucky, then he was part of one of the worst NBA teams, the 96-97 Celtics, who finished 15-67. He averaged 20.5 points per game during his time with Boston, and reached the Eastern Conference Finals, then got traded to Dallas and averaged 6 points less per game. Bringing it back to a positive note, he did find time to star in the hit ABC sitcom "My Wife and Kids," miscredited as George O. Gore II.

Above: photo of the cast.
Below: then and closer-to-now photo of Antoine.

After leaving Boston, Walker fizzled: he did average 20.4 and 16.3 points with Atlanta and Boston (again), then got old and bad, averaging 12.2 and 8.5 points with Miami, 8 points with Minnesota, and appeared in two preseason games with the Grizzlies, being waived shortly after, the entire time continuing to take shots like this. In 2010, he signed with Puerto Rican team Mets de Guaynabo, but even got released by them.

Exhilarating Puerto Rican basketball highlights.

Off the court... eghguhgh. He got robbed in 2000 and 2007. What criminal decides to rob a 6'8" African American man?

Probably these Einsteins.

More recently, in the past two years, Antoine was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving, was charged with writing bad checks to cover gambling debts, and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Yes, a man who, according to basketball-reference.com, earned $108,142,015 during his NBA career, not to mention endorsement dough, ran out of money. I'm assuming that Antoine then spiraled into a deep depression and self-produced this video to make himself feel good:

Nowadays, Walker is actually planning a return to the NBA. He's been losing weight, getting back in shape, and has drawn interest from a few teams. Maybe Antoine can sign with Miami again and take 87-foot three pointers. Maybe Boston can sign him along with Eric Williams, Tony Battie, Walter McCarty, Vitaly Potapenko, and Bruno Sundov and get the old gang back together (Nope: NESN.com reports "The Celtics are not one of the teams in the running"). But does he really have anything left? He was waived by Guaynabo and the '08 Grizzles, almost as bad as being waived by Guaynabo. Then again, in that Puerto Rico basketball video above, 'Toine did score 17 points in that game, and some impressive layups were had by him competition, so I don't know, maybe he can help a contender compete this season. He certainly won't be the same Antoine Walker that I remember:

Also, I would like to apologize for linking to Perez Hilton in the "Further reading" of yesterday's article. It was an unfortunate accident, and I promise it will never happen again.

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