"He's definitely looking to go into training camp, but he knows it's not going to be a guaranteed contract. He's going to have to go in and make a team, and he understands that. That's where he is in terms of his conditioning. He knows he has to go in there and earn a spot. Nothing's going to be given to him regardless of what he's done in the past. I think the main concern is that this other stuff is going to follow him around. Is that going to be a deterring factor for a lot of teams? Hopefully not because basketball-wise, I still think he has a little bit to give to the game."Shouldn't that first bold-faced sentence read "Nothing's going to be given to him because of what he's done in the past"? During the 2007-08 season -- his last in the NBA -- Walker appeared in only 46 games (starting once) for a 22-win Minnesota squad, averaging 8.0 PPG and 3.7 RPG. His PER of 11.4 accurately qualified him as a "scrounging for minutes" player.
Now as Antoine attempts a comeback in the NBA, he turned to someone he has trusted over the years. Antoine has spent his summer working out at the University of Louisville with Rick Pitino, his coach at the University of Kentucky and on the Celtics, and the Cardinals basketball team.Four to six teams? What YMCA league is Chico talking about? Because I promise you there aren't four to six NBA teams that would hire Walker to hand out jockstraps in the locker room let alone play.
Chico estimates Antoine has dropped between 18 and 25 pounds as he continues to improve his conditioning under Pitino's watch. "Four to six" teams, he said, have already expressed interest in the forward, who is fighting to land an NBA roster spot for the first time since 2008 when he received a buyout from the Grizzlies.
As the smile spreads across his face, you realize that Antoine is a 20-year-old man living a dream, happy just to be here, but not satisfied. Not yet. He's the one rookie that truly wants to run the NBA. He wants to rejuvenate the Celtic legacy. Championships in droves. Winning the jewels last year in Blue Heaven spoiled him. That's the difference. Being a part of an NCAA championships program is something neither [Len] Bias or [Reggie] Lewis were able to claim.Huh. I guess that whole "arrogance" thing doesn't work in Puerto Rico.
He's also got that arrogance. "It's not arrogance, man!" he insists. Yet he's got that arrogance that anybody who's gonna make it, needs in order to make it. The Celtics need it. They miss it. There used to be no such thing as a Boston player without arrogance. That's why you hated them, that's why they were so loved.
Labels: Antoine Walker