"When I started, I thought I was going to be with one team." - Jim Jackson after tying the NBA's record for most teams



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Antoine Walker - SF/PF, 6'9, 245
Retired - Retired after 2012 season
       Date of birth: 08/12/1976
       Country: USA
     Drafted (NBA): 6th pick, 1996
     Out of: Kentucky
  NBA Experience: 12 years
  Hand: Right

From blog:


   Top 101 NBA Ten-Day Contract Candidates (When 20 Would Probably Have Been Enough)
2011-01-05

Antoine Walker - You probably already knew that Toine was attempting an inauspicious comeback via the D-League, knowing full well that $25k wouldn't assuage his money worries but hoping it could vault him onto a bigger platform that might. Here's how it's going: 9 games, 5 starts, 17.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.3 turnovers in 32 minutes per game, shooting 46% from the field, 35% from three and 59% from the line.

Look at some of the D-League numbers above and tell me if these ones would stand out to you if the man who put them up was actually called Spanky McFadden or something. I doubt it. They stand out because they're the number of fallen giant Antoine Walker, not because they are especially good. Antoine's comeback might be well intentioned, but he just doesn't have the skills to be an NBA player any more.

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   The best of what's left
2010-07-30

Antoine Walker - He'll take the minimum.

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   A History Of Failed Physicals
2010-07-26

August 2005: Antoine Walker

Walker's failed physical was slightly different to the others. His physical examination when signing a contract with the Miami Heat threw up warning signs about the longevity of his right knee, yet rather than veto the contract, Miami just changed it slightly; they changed his guaranteed six year contract into a guaranteed four year deal with an unguaranteed final two years.

It turns out that they were right to do so. Antoine had been extremely healthy in the nine seasons he'd played before joining Miami; he had missed only 19 games in that time, never averaged less than 34.6mpg in any season, and had averaged over 41mpg three times. But in his first two seasons with Miami, Walkah's production level declined more precipitously than Eddie Antar's business portfolio.

Antoine played all 82 games in his first season with Miami, yet played only 27 minutes per game, easily a career low. He played 78 games but only 23 minutes per game in 2006-07, and his production fell off the planet; a PER of 9.6 and a true shooting percentage of .462% were evidence of the struggles of a man who could neither shoot threes nor make layups. And in 2007-08 - in what proved to be his final NBA season - Walker played in only 46 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves before being told to go home, traded to Memphis, and waived. At no point did he miss significant time due to injury, yet his production declined so quickly and painfully that Memphis paid him $9 million not to ever suit up for them.

No exact calculation can ever be placed on quite how much of Antoine's career implosion can be attributed to his knee. All we know is that his talent level and production both dropped off greatly upon joining Miami, and while a dodgy wheel would certainly be a contributing factor to that, it is impossible to pinpoint with Walker; Antoine, even when he was good, did always kind of suck a bit.

But what we do know for sure is that Miami found something worrying in their physical examination, and in the months immediately following this, Walker's decline begun rapidly. In two short years, Walker had gone from an eclectic yet good player, into a genuinely bad one. Few stars decline quite that much before the age of 30; even fewer decline that quickly when you consider that Antoine had no significant injury downtime at any point. Therefore, despite the fact that his truly irritating style of play was never going to lend itself to the style of a role player, Antoine's career longevity simply cannot have been helped by the knee injury that Miami had predicted.

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   The 2010 Puerto Rican BSN Season
2010-06-07



Antoine Walker - 9 games, 29.1 mpg, 12.4 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.9 spg, 0.9 spg, 0.9 bpg, 40% FG, 23% 3PT, 53% FT

Guaynano's first imports, Fizer and Walker, signed early. They did so to some fanfare, not so much for Fizer (who was playing his third consecutive BSN season), but definitely for Antoine, who was the most storied player to ever play in the country. The expectations, and his pay packet, were high. But it didn't go well. It didn't go particularly well for Fizer, either, especially when you consider that this man averaged 30/12 in the BSN only two short summers ago.

Antoine survived only 9 games before being cut.

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   Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 70
2010-05-29

- Antoine Walker

This happened. Then this happened. And then yesterday, this happened.

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   Antoine Walker released by Puerto Rican team
2010-04-01

[...] There aren't many options available to you once you've been released by a Puerto Rican team. If you want summer money, you basically have to play there, unless you want to go to New Zealand (an option explored by Syracuse graduate Eric Devendorf, who is averaging 31.0 points and 5.3 assists down there for the Harbor Heat). Antoine's options for the summer, therefore, are pretty limited. He can either:

1) Try and sign with another Puerto Rican team.
2) Come home.

In fact, that's only really one option.

Of course, there is no mandate which says that he has to play this summer. He is still a free man, for now. However, Antoine did not play elsewhere during the early part of this season, and is a long long long way from being a good fit for the highest standards of European basketball. He has repayment schedules to meet if he is to avoid jail time, and employment is critical. But lacking. With his NBA candle burned out, China now looks like Antoine's likeliest destination next season. Yet there's no guarantees that the Chinese league - whose season does not start for another 8 months - will want him. And even if they do, the money is not what it once was in Chinese basketball.

Put simply, Antoine is running out of options.



With his money, Antoine had ten years better than any you or I can ever imagine. In one respect, then, it was not a waste. But it is increasingly uncertain what the next 40 will hold. He had a great twenties, but it's been a bad thirties. And his forties are shaping up to be comparatively desolate.

Antoine still has time to turn this around, but it's running out.

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   Antoine Walker released by Puerto Rican team
2010-04-01

It's been well documented of late, but here it is again.

Former NBA player Antoine Walker is broke. He earned (so to speak) $110 million over his career, and yet he wasted it all. Now, only 15 months removed from his last stint on an NBA roster, Walker is in serious financial straits, facing legal troubles for both unpaid gambling debts and for failure to maintain properties that he owns in Chicago. His agent sued him for unpaid fees - and won - and the NBA paychecks stopped coming last year.

Whatever Antoine had, he spent, and he spent it on things with no redeemable value. Clothes, cars, drink, food, blackjack hands and dishonest associates. None of that means anything to a creditor. It's all gone. Antoine is broke.

It's also been well documented of late that Walker had gone to Puerto Rico to start playing ball again. Playing in Puerto Rico is far from an abnormal thing for good basketball players to; for many years now, fringe and former NBA talents have played there over the summer for some extra money. The Puerto Rican league takes place when most others don't, and it's because of this that it holds the attraction for such talented players. It is a pretty high standard level of basketball; players to have there this year include former NBA talents Lee Nailon, DerMarr Johnson, Courtney Sims, Damon Jones, Robert Traylor, and all this lot. Puerto Rico is a regular stop for fringe NBA players grinding out their careers around the world, players who often play in the far East and central Americas in a rotation now known as the Dan Langhi Tour. It's a common occurence and, all told, a decent gig.

But Antoine wasn't a fringe NBA player. He was, a star, an All Star, a big name, one of the biggest names in the game. While it is sensible and normal for Dan Langhi to be earning his living there, it represents a massive fall from grace for Walker.

Former All-Stars should not have to scrap for a living once their NBA playing days are over; instead, they should just slink off quietly, and waltz into a steady studio job with a major network. Not Antoine, though. He's having to do something he's never done in his career before - grind. It's unsightly, unbecoming and unattractive for a man who once had so much.

And now it's gotten worse; Walker has been released by his team.



Walker signed with Mets de Guaynabo a few months ago, doing so simultaneously with former Chicago Bulls forward Marcus Fizer. Fizer has played in Puerto Rico twice before, so this is not new for him, but it was Antoine's first time. And like most first times, it ended disastrously and prematurely.

In 8 games for the team, with only 1 start, Walker averaged 28.8 minutes, 12.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Those are not bad numbers, but Antoine shot only 41% from the field, 22% from 3 and 52% from the foul line, his 99 total points coming on 94 total field goal attempts. More importantly, those numbers are relative to expectation, and by being the biggest name (and most expensive player) in the whole of the Baloncesto Superior Nacional, expectations for Walkah were exceedingly high.

His performances were not.

This news is not only a great excuse for breaking out amusing Antoine Walker pictures; it's also a depressing story about a man's life in turmoil. Antoine Walker used to have ridiculous amounts of money, but he spent it all on crap, and now he owes ridiculous amounts of money. But without a means of income, he will never be able to repay it. Antoine faces prosecution and possible incarceration if he doesn't pay it, but he can't pay it if he can't earn it. He can't earn if he doesn't play. And unfortunately for us all, Antoine can't play any more. It gets no more complicated than that.

[...]

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   The NBA’s best unsigned free agents
2012-01-23

Antoine Walker — Antoine is now into his second year of D-League action, still trying to make it back for one more NBA paycheck. He is not in too bad of shape these days, however, this is somewhat secondary to the fact that his skills are eroding.

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   Bookkeeping The Retired Guys, 2013 Edition
2013-03-19

Antoine Walker - After two years of being a decent but not stand-out D-League player, Antoine finally pulled the plug on his playing career. He now gives financial adivce, despite...well, you know. Those who can, do. Those who can't, or at least didn't, teach.

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   All-Star memories: Michael Jordan’s last hurrah
2012-02-26

[...] The All-Star game itself was not half bad, either. The first and thus far only All-Star game to go to double overtime, it saw 300 total points scored, an in-his-prime Allen Iverson doing what an in-his-prime Allen Iverson did at All-Star games, and an in-his-prime Kevin Garnett dominate proceedings on his way to the MVP trophy. Shaq faced off with Brad Miller for the first significant time since Shaq tried to kill him, an amusing in-game report spoke of Antoine Walker and Paul Pierce’s outrages at playing so few minutes, Yao Ming looked woefully out of place on his way to two points and two rebounds, and the close finish saw the game’s very best turn up the intensity and play at something resembling their very hardest. It was good fun to watch, right down to the Zydrunas Ilgauskas experience. Even the 52 turnovers were aesthetically pleasing.

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