Antoine Devon Walker (born August 12, 1976) is an American former professional basketball player. He was drafted with the sixth overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft out of the University of Kentucky and played in the NBA from 1996 to 2008. Walker played for the Celtics, Mavericks, Hawks, Heat, Timberwolves, the BSN's Mets and the NBA D-League's Stampede before retiring from basketball in 2012. Walker, a three-time NBA All-Star, won an NCAA championship with Kentucky in 1996 and an NBA championship with the Miami Heat in 2006.
Walker in 2005
|Born||August 12, 1976|
|Listed height||6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)|
|Listed weight||265 lb (120 kg)|
|High school||Mount Carmel (Chicago, Illinois)|
|NBA draft||1996 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6th overall|
|Selected by the Boston Celtics|
|Number||8, 88, 24|
|2010||Mets de Guaynabo|
|Career highlights and awards|
Walker attended Mount Carmel High School, in Chicago, where he played with future NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb and attained all-state status as a senior, earning a full scholarship to play for Rick Pitino at the University of Kentucky. He was a starting forward on the Wildcats' 1996 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship Game-winning team. As a freshman at Kentucky he was named SEC Tournament MVP. In his sophomore year, Walker was named All-SEC First, All-SEC Tournament and to the All-NCAA Regional Teams.
After Walker's sophomore season, he declared for the 1996 NBA draft and was picked sixth overall by the Boston Celtics. In the 1996–1997 season, Walker made the All-Rookie First Team and led the team in scoring (17.5 ppg) and rebounding(9.0), as the team had its worst season in franchise history, 15–67. The following season, Pitino was reunited with Walker as the new coach of the Celtics, and he made the All-Star team as a reserve while averaging 22.4 ppg and 10.2 rpg. He also scored a career-high 49 points in a loss against the Washington Wizards. In the '98 draft, the Celtics had the 10th pick and chose swing man Paul Pierce. The next few years, Pierce and Walker were the 1–2 punch for the Celtics. In the 2001–2002 season, Walker had his best overall season by helping lead the Celtics to a 49–33 record and their first playoff berth in seven years. He was second on his team in scoring (22.0), first in rebounds (9), and first in assists, (5.0). Pierce and Walker took the team to the Eastern Conference finals, where they fell to the New Jersey Nets in six games. The next season, Walker made his third All-Star team.
On February 20, 2002, former Kentucky teammate Tony Delk was traded to the Celtics, reuniting Walker with him.
Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta HawksEdit
Nine and one-half days before the start of the 2003–04 season, Walker was traded with Delk to the Dallas Mavericks for Raef LaFrentz, Chris Mills, and Jiří Welsch. Walker was used in a relatively limited capacity on his new team due to the number of high-caliber players populating the Mavericks' roster. Included on that team was Antawn Jamison, newly acquired from the Golden State Warriors. On August 8, 2004 Walker and Delk were traded again, this time to the Atlanta Hawks for Jason Terry, longtime Hawk Alan Henderson and a draft pick.
Return to BostonEdit
On February 24, 2005, Walker was traded back to the Celtics in a deal that sent Gary Payton, Tom Gugliotta, Michael Stewart, and a first-round draft pick to the Hawks (Payton was released by the Hawks and re-signed with Boston for the remainder of the season). Walker started all 24 remaining games for the Celtics, averaging 16.3 points and 8.3 rebounds a game as the Celtics advanced to the playoffs before losing to the Indiana Pacers in a 7-game first round series.
On August 2, 2005, Walker was involved in a five-team, 13-player deal (the largest trade in NBA history) that sent him from the Celtics to the Miami Heat. The Celtics received Curtis Borchardt, Qyntel Woods, the draft rights of Albert Miralles, and draft picks in the deal. The move reunited Walker with Celtics teammate Gary Payton.
The Heat played Walker mostly off the bench, and he rotated between both forward positions. Though he struggled early to adjust to this role, by the end of the season he was a force for the Heat, finishing the season with averages of 12.2 points and 5.1 rebounds a game as the team's main scorer off the bench. Walker also led the team in overall 3-point shots made for the season, and increased his 3-point, free throw and overall shooting percentages.
In the playoffs his production would increase, as he would be the third leading scorer for the team while making crucial three-point baskets and posting 20 points in four different playoff games including 23 against the New Jersey Nets in the closing game of the conference semifinals. Miami advanced to the NBA Finals and faced the Dallas Mavericks, with Walker posting 13.8 points per game in the series as the Heat won the NBA championship in 6 games. In the title clinching sixth game in Dallas, Walker contributed 14 points and 11 rebounds. Walker's production dipped in the 2006–2007 season as he averaged 8.5 points a game and 4.3 rebounds. The Heat failed to repeat as champions following a first round loss to the Chicago Bulls.
Minnesota Timberwolves and Memphis GrizzliesEdit
On October 24, 2007, Walker was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves along with Michael Doleac, Wayne Simien, a first-round draft pick and cash considerations in exchange for Ricky Davis and Mark Blount.
On June 27, 2008, Walker was dealt to the Memphis Grizzlies along with Marko Jarić, Greg Buckner, and the rights to O. J. Mayo, for Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal, Jason Collins, and the rights to Kevin Love. After appearing in just two preseason games and remaining inactive throughout the opening months of the regular season, he was waived by the Grizzlies on December 19, 2008.
On May 6, 2010, ESPN reported that Walker was trying to return to the NBA. On December 7, 2010, Walker was acquired by Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League. It was reported in April 2012 that Walker had announced his retirement after two years with the Stampede.
On July 15, 2009, Walker was charged with three felony counts of writing bad checks related to gambling debts he had incurred at three Las Vegas casinos. Walker was arrested on July 15 at Harrah's Casino in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The charges stemmed from over $800,000 in gambling debts. Walker was in South Lake Tahoe to play in the American Century Celebrity Golf Classic the following day.
On June 30, 2010, Walker entered a plea of not guilty on felony bad check charges stemming from his failure to pay $770,000 in gambling losses to Caesars Palace and two other casinos in Las Vegas, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. A year later, he pleaded guilty to one felony count of passing a bad check. Under the plea agreement, he did not face a prison term, and was put on probation and worked towards repaying the debt.
In July 2000, Walker and former University of Kentucky teammate Nazr Mohammed were robbed outside a South Side Chicago restaurant. On July 9, 2007, Walker and another individual were robbed at gunpoint by two offenders in his own house. The assailants made off with close to $200,000 worth of merchandise, including Walker's Mercedes. His car was later recovered having been stripped of its expensive aftermarket wheels and stereo system. Four men were charged in this robbery and two of them were also linked to the similar robbery of fellow NBA player, Eddy Curry.
On May 18, 2010, Walker filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in the Southern District of Florida (Miami) as case number 10-23558 with total assets of $4.3 million and debts of $12.7 million. The filing listed four pieces of real estate including a $2.3 million Miami home that was underwater with a mortgage of $3.6 million, and three other properties in Chicago, one listed for $1.4 million. Nazr Mohammed paid half the fee of Walker's bankruptcy attorney. Walker's championship ring had to be sold off. In August 2013, Walker announced that he was debt-free. Between 1996 and 2009, Walker earned more than $108 million from NBA salaries.
NBA career statisticsEdit
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|†||Denotes seasons in which Walker won an NBA championship|
- Walker returns to Celtics in shocker. Updated February 25, 2005
- By trading two more veteran starters, Wolves grow even younger, October 24, 2007
- Ira Winderman, Riley's trade stokes the Heat Archived October 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
- Wolves Nab First-Round Pick and Three Players From Heat
- Wolves pick Mayo, swap him for Love in 8-player deal
- Antoine Walker Signs In Puerto Rico
- Mets de Guaynabo release Antoine Walker
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved March 28, 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Gambling woes for Walker
- "Walker Arrested at Lake Tahoe Cabaret". ESPN.com. Retrieved September 19, 2009.
- Shine, Conor (June 28, 2011). "NBA's Antoine Walker pleads guilty to felony check charges". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
- Heat forward Walker robbed at home in Chicago
- "Man who robbed Walker gets 21 years", ESPN.com. May 5, 2009.
- Antoine Walker Bankrupt Update: Debt-Free? Former NBA Star Opens Up About Financial Crisis, Says He's Ready To Move On
- "Antoine Walker page at basketball-reference.com". basketball-reference.com.