Antoine Walker, whose patented shimmy brought smiles to the faces of basketball fans in Boston and beyond, has reportedly decided to call it a career. Walker announced his retirement to his Idaho Stampede teammates after and NBA D-League game on Saturday.
Walker spent the first seven years of his 12-year NBA career in Boston after being drafted with the No. 6 overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft out of the University of Kentucky. Walker immediately found a comfort zone with the Celtics, averaging 17.5 points and 9.0 rebounds in 82 games during his rookie season. He would later average a career-high 23.4 points during the 2000-01 season in Boston. Walker played in 81 or more games seven times.
For his career, Walker averaged 17.5 points and 7.7 rebounds in 893 career games played with six different NBA teams. Walker scored 15,647 career points, had 6,891 rebounds and was a three-time NBA All-Star, all with the Celtics.
Walker never reached his ultimate goal of winning a championship in Boston, but would eventually do so with Shaquille O'Neal, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat in 2006. In all, Walker played for Boston, Miami, the Dallas Mavericks, the Atlanta Hawks and the Minnesota Timberwolves, the last team Walker played with in the NBA during the 2007-08 season. Walker was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies on June 27, 2008, but only played in two preseason games and was waived.
Unfortunately, Walker would fall into hard times due to poor business decisions and gambling debt, resulting in his arrest and a court order that required Walker to pay back his whopping $822,500 debt. Walker was eventually forced to sell his championship ring and later signed with the Guaynabo Mets in Puerto Rico in February of 2010.
Walker attempted to make a comeback to the NBA in 2010, joining the Stampede of the NBA D-League. Walker played 86 career games in the Development League, averaging 12.8 points and 5.7 rebounds in two seasons. This year, Walker played in 43 games -- starting 17 -- and averaged 9.6 points and 5.0 boards for Idaho.
Sadly, Walker would never get the call from an NBA team that he was looking for.
Walker's retirement is not yet official, but he is expected to make an announcement soon.
#8 / Idaho Stampede
Aug 12, 1976
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