Antoine Walker was quite boisterous for the majority of his basketball career, but the former Boston Celtics sharpshooter looked like a shell of his former self while playing for the Idaho Stampede in the NBA Development League over the past few seasons. It made sense, then, that his retirement was quite a bit quieter than his entrance into our hearts over 15 years ago.
Walker, the sixth overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, came off the bench to score six points in 20 minutes for Randy Livingston's Idaho squad during the team's final game of the D-League regular season. After the game, team put a footnote in its recap to announce that Walker is done pursuing the dream of once again playing at the highest levels of professional basketball.
Immediately after the game in the Stampede locker room, three-time NBA All-Star and two-year Stampede veteran Antoine Walker announced his retirement from basketball. Entering tonight's contest - in which he had six points, and four assists in 20 minutes, 14 seconds - Walker played in 86 games with the Stampede (56 starts) from 2010-12. In that time, he averaged 12.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 29.3 minutes per game. This season, Walker averaged 9.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 44 games (17 starts).
A veteran of 12 NBA seasons, Walker averaged 17.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 893 games (707 starts) in the NBA. Walker made All-Star game appearances in 1998, 2002 and 2003, starting alongside Michael Jordan in the 2002 game in Philadelphia.
Walker is expected to make a formal announcement in the coming days.
I'm going to ignore all of the other offcourt stuff and just congratulate 'Toine on being able to play basketball for as long as he did. Hopefully retirement treats him well.
Highlights of Saturday night's game are included below: