HoopsHype Antoine Walker rumors

March 21, 2011 Updates

Livingston is a big believer in Walker, and he still thinks the 34-year-old has a chance to get back to the NBA this season. Teams are allowed to sign players to a remainder-of-season contract up until the final game of the regular season, and Livingston said a team looking for a veteran presence in the playoffs could do a lot worse than signing Walker. “Until the regular season is over in the NBA, it could still happen,” Livingston said. “A team like Orlando, who’s got Dwight Howard and needs a forward who can stretch the floor and shoot. And he’s played for Stan Van Gundy. So, you know, it just takes one team.” Idaho Statesman

A person who works with NBA personnel but preferred to remain anonymous said Walker still has some unique talents that could entice a team. “He’s one of the best passing big men we’ve ever seen, and he still is,” that NBA representative said. “That’s something that he’ll have when he’s 55, that vision and those ball skills. ... You look at Lamar Odom and you see a few Europeans who can handle the ball like that and pass it. It’s a unique talent.” Idaho Statesman

February 9, 2011 Updates
January 26, 2011 Updates

Sitting with him in the stands during a game at the recent D-League Showcase in South Padre Island, Texas, I asked Walker if he was there for the paycheck. "I wish," he said. "I haven't gotten a paycheck yet, so I don't know. I guess my paperwork got lost, so they'll get it to me. But I'm not making any money." CBSSports.com

"I put my money into real estate and it didn't work out," Walker said. "I don't have any regrets. I took an opportunity that, when I first started, I thought it was great and it went bad. That's the nature of the beast. It happens sometimes." CBSSports.com

January 21, 2011 Updates

A West Side man accused of holding up former NBA star Antoine Walker at his River North home was sentenced to 13 years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to home invasion. Just last November, Cook County Judge Kenneth Wadas declared a mistrial when jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict in Demorris Hill’s case. Assistant State’s Attorneys Mark Shlifka and Andreana Turano intended to retry Hill, 28. But on Friday, Hill pleaded guilty to one count of home invasion. Two other men, Antoine Larkins and Gregory Reedfield, have been sentenced for the July 9, 2007 incident. Chicago Sun-Times

January 14, 2011 Updates

One NBA scout on hand said Walker was out of shape and he doesn’t expect him to get another crack at the NBA. With scouts and NBA front-office executives watching, Walker had seven points on 2-of-13 shooting (1-of-6 3-pointers), 10 turnovers and four fouls in 35 minutes against Erie on Tuesday. Yahoo! Sports

January 11, 2011 Updates

It’s a different life. He flies commercial. He doesn’t stay in Four Seasons. He makes exponentially less money than he’s accustomed to making. He’s playing before crowds he hasn’t seen since he was a high schooler in Chicago. He called the entire experience “humbling” and he’s right. “It’s the best way for me to get back in the NBA,’’ he said recently on his first visit to New England as a member of the Stampede. “When you go overseas, you kinda get out of the loop. This way, teams can still follow me and with the affiliation of the D-League, I can be watched. This is the best way to do it because you have so many guys trying to get back. It’s the best route for me. The competition is great. It’s a good thing for me.” HoopsHype

So far, according to two NBA general managers who spoke on the condition of anonymity, there has not been a lot of “chatter” about Walker making it back. One of the GM’s said he had seen Walker play three times and came away utterly unimpressed. He said Walker didn’t appear to be in shape and that the issue with his bad knees will make NBA teams very wary. He said he’d love to see Walker make it back, but doubts it will happen. HoopsHype

Walker may have lost some of his explosiveness and quickness, but he has lost none of his trademark confidence. As he put it recently, “I left the game not on my own merit. I still believe I can play. I left the game way too soon and I want to get back. “I’m a very unique player’’ he went on. “There aren’t many guys in the league who can do what I do. At my size, to be able to space the floor, take you off the dribble, make plays. I think there are only a handful of guys who can do that. And I have the experience. I’ve played in big games. I’ve won a championship. I bring a lot of experience to a team.” HoopsHype

December 19, 2010 Updates

Earlier this month, Walker officially signed with the Stampede, where “Employee Number Eight” now wears the number 24. “I had a couple opportunities to go overseas,” Walker said, “but I didn’t want to go over there. I felt like if I went overseas, I would have probably been out of the loop to what I really wanted to do.” Walker never thought his career would lead to Idaho, but acknowledged it is the best option to attain his ultimate objective – playing in the NBA. For now, he plays his hardest and hopes for another NBA chance. “I just want to play, get my legs under me, let my play speak for itself,” he said. “I think it’s all about opportunity. I think when call-ups happen, it’s going to be a team that needs a guy that’s 6’9 with my skill level, that can stretch the floor and do certain things. I think it’s basically going to be about timing, and being in the right situation.” Booth Newspapers

December 17, 2010 Updates

He tallied 25 points last night as the Stampede lost to the Maine Red Claws, 105-99, and the crowd left doubly satisfied because the home team won and Walker displayed some of the skills that earned him three NBA All-Star Game appearances. Still about 30 pounds above his listed NBA playing weight of 224, Walker slyly maneuvered his way to points in the post — and even a couple of 3-pointers, without the shimmy. “I’m having a lot of fun playing,’’ Walker said. “Having a good, close game, I love that. Every day is huge for me; it’s not really a day off for me. It’s coming. I’m feeling better and better. My body is responding better. I can feel it coming. I’m having a lot of fun. The guys are fun to be around. They welcomed me with open arms.’’ Boston Globe

December 13, 2010 Updates
December 12, 2010 Updates

Perhaps an NBA payday will come again, but Walker doesn’t need anyone to tell him that the D-League is not going to ease his well-chronicled struggle with debt. “Obviously I’m not here for the money,’’ he said. “I’m just trying to play ball, and if a (general manager) gets interested in me, great.’’ Though reports have Walker owing a broad range of creditors as much as $4 million, including a $900,000 tab to three Las Vegas casinos that led to his 2009 arrest, he claims not to know the actual amount. “We’re in court right now,’’ he said. “I have no clue what I owe. I can honestly say that it’s in the hands of my (legal) people, and we’ll see what happens.” Boston Herald

Options are limited. Walker wasn’t in shape during his brief time with the Puerto Rican club Guaynabo last March, and when he looked into playing in Europe, the only interest came from leagues in more remote locations such as Russia and the Balkan nations. “None of the better leagues that I would have been interested in,” he said. At this point it’s difficult to gauge which is more difficult — paying back the banks, casinos and at least one former agent, or finding a taker in the NBA. “Obviously I have to reconstruct,” he said. “But I feel blessed. I’m not going to go jump off a bridge. I still feel I can play and compete.” Boston Herald

December 11, 2010 Updates

One NBA executive, however, told Yahoo! Sports that Walker’s gambling issues will make it hard for teams to give him another chance. “A lot of people get discouraged about the gambling situation,” Walker said. “The casinos took advantage of a situation where I owed them money and we tried to work out a payment plan. But in 10 days they can issue a warrant for the money. They just did what they could do legally. “Obviously, we’re handling it behind the scenes to get it resolved.” Yahoo! Sports

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