Antoine Walker retires, swears he was still playing basketball
So apparently you can retire whenever you feel like it, actually playing in the NBA be damned. One of the NBA’s all-time prolific three-point shooters (note I didn’t say “scorers”), Antoine Walker officially called it quits today while the rest of the world wondered aloud, “Wait, this didn’t happen five years ago?” No, in fact it didn’t. ‘Toine actually played for the T-Wolves in the 2007-08 season and since then has filed for bankruptcy, sold his championship ring, played a little D-league ball and finally settled his bankruptcy case. So while it may not have ended so well for ‘Toine, I’ll always look back fondly on those early 2000’s Celtics squads with him jacking up three’s left and right, Tommy Heinshon screaming “I LOVE WALTAAAAAH!” and a young Paul Pierce dutifully strapping the likes of Jiri Welsch and Chris Mihm on his back. It may sound kind of strange, but I view those rag-tag C’s teams as the glory days (minus the actual glory, I guess). At the very least they were a lot of fun to root for. Antoine Walker and his shimmy were an integral part of that. So godspeed in the rest of your endeavors ‘Toine, godspeed.
Side note: In ESPN’s endless hype leading up to this year’s NCAA championship game, I caught plenty of highlights of Kentucky’s champion ’95-’96 team, led by Walker. I was stunned at the amount of future Celtics on the squad: Walker, Walter McCarty, Tony Delk, Ron Mercer- some of the all-time greats! Throw in head coach Rick Pitino and assistant coach Jim O’Brien and you gotta wonder how this didn’t translate into at least one NBA championship (any “they all sucked arguments,” while valid, will be completely ignored).