It has been said that in the event of a nuclear war, only cockroaches would survive. But here's another suggestion of something that will inexplicably exist forever and ever — Antoine Walker's(notes) NBA dream. That thing won't die.
Despite not playing in the NBA the past two seasons, despite being bought out by the Memphis Grizzlies during a season that saw them win 24 games and him play zero minutes, and despite being released by a Puerto Rican team after just 8 games Walker is trying to make a comeback. According to his father, Chico, Antoine's getting close since he's been preparing with his former coach, Rick Pitino. From WEEI's Jessica Camerato:
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. [...]
"He's definitely looking to go into training camp, but he knows it's not going to be a guaranteed contract," said Chico. "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. But he has to go in and he has to show that. Nothing's going to be given to him at this point."
Best of luck to Antoine Walker who desperately needs NBA money, but I'm not too sure this is going to work out the way 'Toine would like. Guys like Louis Amundson(notes), Michael Finley(notes) and Joe Smith(notes) are still running around unsigned and players of that caliber are sure to be higher on a team's want list than Antoine Walker. No offense to the guy, but sometimes your past catches up to you, which he's had to learn the hard way.
That being said, if a team was desperate for a player who can put points up in a hurry every once in a while, Walker fits that bill. Sure, he'll shoot way too many threes and slack on defense, but he'll also grab offensive rebounds and make a decent pass here and there. There aren't a lot of them, but there are certainly worse NBA options than Antoine Walker if he's actually in shape. Not to mention, we'd get to see him break out his immortal shimmy, which might be reason enough to offer him a veteran's minimum contract.
- Antoine Walker