- Joined Jan 16, 2002
...he got cut six weeks in.
Thursday, 1 April 2010
Antoine Walker released by Puerto Rican team
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 the Puerto Rican team 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.
Read the rest here.